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What is proximate cause?

Proximate cause is the legal term for the primary cause of a personal injury. You may also hear it referred to as the “legal cause” or the “cause at law.”


The proximate cause of an injury isn’t necessarily the first event in the chain of events that led to a person’s injury. Also, it isn’t always the event that occurred closest in time to the injury. Rather, proximate cause is the act from which the injury resulted as a natural and direct consequence, and it is the event without which the injury would not have occurred.


A simple way to think of proximate cause is as being the “but for” event – “but for” this negligent act on the part of the defendant, the victim would not have been injured. Proving that the defendant’s act was the proximate cause of your injuries is a basic component of winning your personal injury lawsuit.


Fears | Nachawati represents accident victims in Texas personal injury lawsuits. Our Texas personal injury lawyers provide free legal assistance to accident victims with a one-on-one consultation. You can reach us by email at or by phone at toll free 1.866.705.7584.

Personal Injury

What is proximate cause?