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But-For Cause

Definition - What does But-For Cause mean?

The but-for cause is a principle in criminal and tort law in which an accused person is only presumed responsible for an event if the event would not have happened "but for" the person's actions or lack of actions. In other words, it is a way to determine whether or not a person's actions or lack of actions caused a particular event.

Justipedia explains But-For Cause

When an accident or some other negative event happens, there can be confusion as to what caused the event to take place. The but-for cause is used to determine whether or not an individual is at fault. If the accident or injury would not have happened without the actions or lack of actions from the individual, then they are presumed responsible. For example, if a car accident only occurred because two individuals were drag racing on a busy highway, then they are presumed responsible.

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