What Is “But-For” Cause? What Is Proximate Cause?
With most personal injury claims, you are seeking compensation because of the defendant’s negligence. To successfully prove negligence, you must show that:
- The defendant failed to act reasonably under the circumstances
- That failure caused an accident
- You suffered actual losses as a result
Let’s look at what you must show to prove that a person caused an accident.
As the law of personal injury has evolved, two specific types of cause have been identified: actual, or “but-for” cause, and proximate cause:
- “But-for” cause means that you must show that the accident would not have happened, and any ensuing injuries would not have been sustained, had the defendant acted reasonably.
- Proximate cause looks at whether or not the accident and/or injuries suffered were reasonably foreseeable as a consequence of the failure to act as a reasonable person. Without the requirement of proximate cause, a defendant’s liability could be potentially unlimited.
Proven Baltimore County, Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer
Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of injured people across the state for more than 30 years. An accomplished and highly-regarded trial attorney, Smith has been honored as a “Top-Rated Lawyer” by the American Lawyer Magazine, and has long been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System (the highest rating possible). The National Trial Lawyers Association, a “by invitation only” professional organization, has listed him among the top 100 attorneys in the state of Maryland.
Smith has also earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible), as well as a perfect 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial attorney.
Experienced Carroll County Accident Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered any type of loss as the result of a personal injury, we can help. Contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.