When one person is harmed by another, the tort of Negligence provides a possible legal basis for claiming compensation from the wrongdoer. The general principle underlying Negligence is that a person who fails to prevent foreseeable harm to another person's protected interests may be liable to pay damages.
Three elements combine to produce liability for Negligence.
- The circumstances must give rise to a duty of care towards the plaintiff.
- The defendant must breach that duty of care.
- The defendant's breach must cause harm to the plaintiff's protected interests and the kind of harm caused must be reasonably foreseeable.
The first two of these elements are dealt with in the foregoing sections of this module. This section deals with the third element, often referred to simply as the element of 'causation'.