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Actual Cause and Proximate Cause in Personal Injury Lawsuits in Houston

713 366 HURT


When negligent conduct on behalf of a person or an entity is shown, the injured party must show that the behavior was the cause of their injury. For the injured party to recover, they must show both the actual cause and the proximate damage caused. Real reason means that the plaintiff’s injury would not have occurred without the defendant’s act. The proximate cause indicates that the defendant’s show directly caused the plaintiff’s injury. And was a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s act. Personal injury Lawsuit.

Actual Cause and Proximate Cause

Once a person or an entity is injured by the negligence of another person or entity. As such, the elements of negligence are essential to the theory of the case. The “causation” element generally relates to whether the defendant’s actions hurt the plaintiff. It is often not clear who or what injured the plaintiff. Sometimes it is clear that the defendant injured the plaintiff. But it is not clear that the defendant caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

Personal injury Lawsuit
Actual Cause (Causation in fact) and (ii)Proximate Cause (Legal Causation)

Actual Cause (Causation in Fact) 

To determine whether the defendant’s conduct can be considered a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury, the injured party must show that the cause of the damage was a cause “In fact.” and there are several tests* that are used to determine this:

(i) “But for” Test 

The principle that causation exists only if the harm suffered by a party would not have happened in the absence of (“but for”) the defendant’s conduct.

(ii) Joint Causes- Substantial Factor test 

The principle by which two or more defendants will be liable if their joint actions caused the plaintiff’s harm, but their efforts alone would have resulted in the same injury.

(iii) Alternative Causes Approach 

Alternative liability is a legal doctrine that allows a plaintiff to shift the burden of proving the causation of her injury to multiple defendants, even though only one could have been responsible.

*Note Under the joint causes approach, both parties caused the harm. Although both parties acted negligently under the alternative causes approach, only one caused the damage. 

           In addition to being a cause, the defendant’s conduct must also be the proximate cause of the injury. Even though the conduct caused the plaintiff’s damage, it might not be considered the proximate cause. Thus, the doctrine of proximate causation is a limitation of liability and deals with liability or non-liability for unforeseeable or unusual consequences of one’s acts. Proximate cause prevents the plaintiff from suing parties whose actions are too remote to hold them liable somewhat. It does this by only making defendants responsible for the foreseeable injuries they cause to foreseeable plaintiffs.

Personal injury Lawsuit
Actual Cause (Causation in fact) and (ii)Proximate Cause (Legal Causation)

For example, Driver A ran a red light and hit Driver B. This time, Driver B spins out and hits Driver C. Was it foreseeable that Driver A would strike at least one car if they sped through a red light at a busy intersection? Yes, a reasonable person would have predicted the likelihood of an accident. Driver A would also likely be liable for Driver C’s injuries under a proximate cause analysis. Even though Driver B collided with Driver C, Driver A’s actions were the proximate cause of Driver C’s accident and injuries. It was foreseeable that Driver A’s running through a red light might cause a collision with another driver (Driver B), who might also collide with a third driver (Driver C).

The Law Protects You

It’s easy to see how complicated causation can be, and defendants will likely toss out any mitigating factors to offset their guilt. It may be best to consult with an attorney if you’re facing a personal injury case. At Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, our firm focuses the entirety of our time and expertise on representing those who have suffered a personal injury and helping our clients through the entire recovery process – physical, emotional, and financial recovery – from their injuries. We allow our clients to tip the balance of justice in their favor through our years of experience and devotion to our clients. Our care and preparation are core principles and keys to our success. The lawyers at Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help you navigate this issue and answer any questions that you may have. If you would like to speak to someone about your particular situation or for a free and confidential consultation, call our office at (713) 366-HURT (4878) today or visit us online at

Personal injury Lawsuit

(713) 366-HURT (4878)

A case involving Harris County Courts can be complicated. Proving the legal elements with clear and convincing evidence is a daunting task. Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, can help you navigate this issue and answer any questions you may have. Se Habla español.

Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC Personal injury Lawsuit

We have the experience and resources necessary to guide you and your family through the civil court proceedings. Your injury claim will entail and help you approach the situation with great confidence and understanding.

Contact us to schedule a free case review and find out how our firm can assist in your recovery.

State of Texas 

They are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in Texas that allows victims to recover their damages and seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

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