Forensic Animation and the Law of Causation: An Unbeatable Pair

Attorneys cannot avoid the law of causation in proving offenses based on results. To establish causation, an attorney should seek to use forensic animation.
Forensic Animation
Photo by Conor Samuel on Unsplash

The law of causation is a fundamental aspect of law and is paramount in proving cases in court. More often than not, causation can change the course if not established appropriately. This is why it is essential to have a good attorney by your side. Beyond that, you also have to consider the best way to present your evidence before the court. It must be noted that you cannot go wrong with forensic animation as part of your evidence arsenal as long as it is done with proper knowledge of court procedures.

What Is Causation In Law?

Causation must always be established in all result-based crimes like personal injury cases, negligence, murder, or manslaughter. According to an article by Wilson Kehoe Winingham titled Causation: A Legal Definition, causation in legal terms “refers to the relationship of cause and effect between one event or action and the result. It is the act or process that produces an effect.” Therefore, in proving certain cases, you have to prove causation for your claim to have any effect. This is why it is paramount to know the types of causation you must prove for your case to have any merit before the court.

What Are The Types Of Causation?

Generally, two significant types of causation have to be proven by the plaintiff in a court case. They are briefly discussed below:

  1. Factual causation (“but for”) : 

This causation answers the question “but for.” That is, but for the act of the accused, would the result have occurred? Therefore, in proving this type of causation, the facts of the case are taken into consideration. If the answer to the question is known, then the accused would not be said to have factually caused the result to the victim. 

For instance, Mr. A was speeding heavily along the road and collided with another vehicle. The vehicle occupant, Mrs. B, was grievously injured and died on the spot. Would Mr. A be factually liable for the demise of Mrs. B? most definitely. The reason is that Mrs. B would not have died but for the collision caused by Mr. A’s reckless driving.

  1. Proximate Causation:

This is also known as legal causation. This causation proves if the result of the accused’s action can be deemed reasonably foreseeable. Therefore, if the accused’s act was the factual cause of the injury or harm to the victim, the injury acquired must have been reasonably foreseeable. It must be noted that medical negligence is reasonably foreseeable and cannot be raised as a defense unless there was gross medical negligence.

According to an article by Enjuris titled Causation in Negligence Cases, it was stated that “foreseeability can throw a wrench into many legal cases.” Under this causation, the possibility of an intervening cause is considered. Therefore, if an intervening act further breaks the chain of causation, the accused would not be deemed guilty of the result caused to the accused. 

For instance, Tommy was walking down the street when he was accosted by a thief who threatened him with a knife. During a scuffle with the thief, Tommy sustained a minor cut on his stomach. He went to the hospital, where the wound was stitched. 

The following week, Tommy was unfortunate to meet with another thief with a gun. He was shot in his stomach on the exact spot where he had sustained the cut and suffered grievous injuries to his internal organs. In this situation, the gunshot would be seen to have broken the chain of causation as the previous injury would not reasonably be expected to cause such grievous injuries.

Forensic animation can pinpoint the actions and omissions that led to a specific result. This is because forensic animations are produced while adhering strictly to science and state laws principles.

Forensic animation is used chiefly in cases where there is confusion about salient facts in the matter before the court. It helps to discover the actual trajectory of things using different subject matters such as physics and geometry. Hence, when causation, whether factual or legal, is to be considered, there is no more incredible weapon than the use of forensic animation to both discover and portray salient facts in the matter. If you have a case with causation as a crucial aspect or a point of confusion, you should consider forensic animation.

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