This blog has previously discussed the fact that many Seattle motorcycle accidents are caused by the negligence of other drivers on the road. In cases like that, the injuries that were likely suffered by the motorcyclist may be the responsibility of the negligent driver. This legal cause of action is made up of several elements needed to prove the claim. Two of these elements, the interconnected concepts of duty and breach, were looked at in a previous post. Now, let’s take one part of the two-part idea of causation.
The first type of causation in a negligence case is called ‘cause in fact,’ or sometimes, ‘but for’ causation. This is the simpler of the two types of causation in a negligence case. Cause in fact is the element that a court will examine to determine that the conditions that caused the accident were created by the negligence of the defendant. That is, that “but for” the negligent action of the defendant, the accident would not have occurred, and the injury would not have happened.
For example, if a driver were to break a rule of the road, such as, ignoring a stop sign, and a crash ensued in the intersection with a motorcycle passing through, the driver’s failure to stop might be the cause in fact of the accident, because if he or she had obeyed the traffic sign, the likelihood is that the accident would not have occurred.
This type of causation is distinct from proximate causation, which asks a different question, and can be much more complicated. That is not to say, however, that cause in fact is always obvious. Those who have been injured in a motorcycle accident with a negligent driver may wish to consider consulting an experienced Seattle injury lawyer to explore legal options.