What Is 'Proximate Cause' Under Tort Law?
Well unlike actual cause, proximate cause could be a situation where there is more than one factor that caused the injury or harm. It could be a situation where there's a rainy day and the plaintiff auto driver is out on the road, but the car in front of him is being driven by a man who just recently changed his oil and noticed that he had a leaky seal. And he knew that he was leaking oil, but he decided to go out on the road to begin with. Well, the cause of the spin out that would result from the oil and water being mixed would be the actual cause. But the defendant's attorney may argue that your car would have lost control anyway, because there was rain water on the road. But the plaintiff's attorney would correctly point out that it was the mixture of the rain and the oil which caused the spin out, and as a result the proximate cause of the injury was the oil, and because of that the plaintiff's attorney can then sue for a breach under negligence principles.
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