July 21, 2024

[Legal Glossary]: Definition of Causation

Causation is a term that factors heavily in personal injury law. Legally defined as “the act or process that produces an effect,” causation refers to the cause-effect relationship between one action or event and the resulting event.

To win a personal injury case, one has to establish causation. The negligent action must be what caused the harm to the plaintiff. Negligence alone is not enough.

An Example of Causation

If an apartment property manager leaves the gate to the pool area unlocked after hours, that’s negligence. If a child then opens the gate, falls into the pool and injures him or herself or drowns, the negligence caused the child’s injuries. Causation is established.

If the same child had climbed the fence and had the same injuries, there would be no causation. The gate would not have prevented the result, even if it had been properly locked.

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