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What is the Current Test for Remoteness in Negligence?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Remoteness in negligence cases refers to the legal test of causation.

In medical negligence claims, this determines the type of loss caused by a breach in duty of care.

Remoteness is a set of rules in English law. These rules control the limits for claiming compensatory damages. With medical negligence, the test to establish is that the Defendant you are claiming against has caused the injury.

However, causation also requires that the loss or damage you have sustained is not too remote.

The current test for remoteness of damage is whether the kind of damage you have suffered was reasonably foreseeable by the Defendant, at the time of the breach.

The test for remoteness is important in a negligence case because it can affect the outcome of a claim.

The Court must first examine whether there is a breach of duty, and if this is the cause of the damage or loss the Claimant has suffered. This is usually known as the “but for” test; but for x occurring, y would not have suffered an injury.

When the Court applies this test, they will also consider any hypothetical causes that might have produced the injury or loss the Claimant suffered.

It is worth noting, that the Defendant would be liable for all losses that were a direct consequence of their breach of duty, however applying the test of remoteness, not every loss will be recoverable in law.