Cause Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Cause, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Cause?

(n) Cause is the reason, ground , basis with which an event , activity is occurred by having direct and influential effect on the occurrence of the event. A casual connection cannot be treated as the cause. Eg. The cause of an accident is the engine defect but not the function to which the passenger is heading to

History and Meaning of Cause

The term "cause" in a legal context refers to the reason or ground with which an event or activity occurred, having a direct and influential effect on the occurrence of the event. Its meaning in legal philosophy has a long history dating back to ancient Greek, as the concept of causality is fundamental to the study of metaphysics.

In the context of the legal system, "cause" is often used in the context of establishing liability, whereby the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant's actions were the cause of the damages suffered. However, establishing cause can be a complex task, requiring a thorough understanding of the circumstances surrounding the event.

Examples of Cause

  1. In a personal injury case stemming from a car accident, the cause of the accident may be attributed to the driver who was operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, resulting in injuries to the passengers.

  2. In a medical malpractice case, the cause of the patient's injuries or death may be attributed to the actions of a doctor or medical professional who failed to adhere to the proper standard of care.

  3. In a wrongful termination case, the cause of the employee's termination may be attributed to discriminatory practices or violations of labor laws.

Legal Terms Similar to Cause

  1. Proximate cause: a type of legal cause that connects the defendant's actions to the plaintiff's injuries, without any intervening factors.

  2. But-for cause: another type of legal cause that examines whether the plaintiff's injuries would have occurred "but-for" the defendant's actions.

  3. Contributory cause: a causal factor that, when combined with other factors, leads to the plaintiff's injuries.