proximate cause(redirected from But for rule)
Also found in: Dictionary, Legal, Financial.
the immediate cause that precipitates a condition.
Etymology: L, proximus, nearest
a legal concept of cause-and-effect relationships in determining, for example, whether an injury would have resulted from a particular cause.
proximate causeMalpractice An element required to prove negligence; the plaintiff–Pt or Pt's estate must prove that the Pt's injury is reasonably connected to the physician's action, through either the 'but for' test or the 'substantial factor' test. See 'But for' test, Negligence, 'Substantial factor' test.
proximate cause (prok´səmit),
n one that directly produces an effect; that which in ordinary, natural sequence produces a specific result with no agencies intervening.