Is there causation in fact? Did the injury occur because of the defendant’s act, or would it have occurred anyway? If the injury would not have occurred without the defendant’s act, then there is causation in fact. Causation in fact usually can be determined by use of the but for test: “but for” the wrongful act, the injury would not have occurred. This test determines whether there was an actual cause-and-effect relationship between the act and the injury suffered. In theory, causation in fact is limitless. One could claim, for example, that “but for” the creation of the world, a particular injury would not have occurred. Thus, as a practical matter, the law has to establish limits, and it does so through the concept of proximate cause.

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