Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Proximate Cause

  • Robert L. HeilbronnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1018


Proximate cause is used in tort law to link negligence to liability for an injury caused by an accident. The accident and injury must be shown to be the natural and probable result or consequence of the act(s) of negligence alleged by the attorneys to have been committed. The attorney for the plaintiff must prove that anynegligence (no matter how small) of which the defendant is accused proximately caused the accident and his or her injuries. A defense attorney must at the same time prove that any contributory negligence of the plaintiff proximately caused the accident and any injuries of which the plaintiff complains and they were not primarily caused by the defendant. The traditional method of determining whether one event (e.g., car accident) is the proximate cause of another (traumatic brain injury) is to ask whether one could “reasonably foresee” that the former would lead to the latter. The concept has also been defined as “the conduct or thing, which, in the...

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References and Readings

  1. Melton, G. B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N. G., & Slobogin, C. (1997). Psychological evaluations for the courts: A handbook for mental health professionals and lawyers. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  2. Young, G., & Shore, R. (2007). Dictionary of terms related to causality, causation, law, and psychology. In G. Young, A. Kane, & K. Nicholson (Eds.), Causality of psychological injury: Presenting evidence in court. New York: Springer Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chicago Neuropsychology GroupChicagoUSA