Causal link


The causal link in a basic element within the area of civil liability . It is the cause and effect relationship that must always exist between an unlawful civil act or omission and the damage caused by this omission, so that there is liability and, therefore, the duty to compensate . It is a relationship that occurs between the action that determines damage or the omission of the action and the damage itself.

What is the causal link?

It is a cause-effect relationship that allows establishing the facts that must be considered to determine the damage and which caused the tangible damage . It is necessary to claim the damages caused to the author or responsible .

  • What is the causal link
  • Theories
  • Jurisprudence
  • Disruption of the causal link
  • Importance
  • Examples of the causal link

What is the causal link

It consists of the relationship that exists between the result and the action , which allows us to affirm that it has been produced by it. We must remember that the crime is a conduct or a human act , which comprises, on the one hand, the action taken and the action expected, and on the other, the result that occurred. For this to be incriminated, it is necessary that there is a causal link or a causal relationship between the human act and the result that has occurred.


Then we can say that there is a causal relationship when the act of human will cannot be assumed , without the concrete result ceasing to occur. The causal nexus is then the relationship that exists between the behavior and the result and by means of which material of this can be attributed to that as cause.


The theories of the causal link are as follows:

  • Theory of objective imputation : tries to explain by means of logical and evaluative criteria , in which circumstances the Criminal Law can attribute a final result to the author of a conduct by the legal order, which is, unfailingly, linked by a causal link . For this theory, the balance and coherence of the social system occurs because each person has a specific function that allows it and, the fulfillment of these roles allows the social system to develop without altering its basic structure.
  • Theory of equivalence : it says that any condition of the result is causal that, suppressed mentally, could make the result disappear . Establishing causality as a condition was enough to assert the presence of the target type .
  • Theory of the adequate condition : it says that not every condition of the result is cause in the legal sense, only the one that is usually adequate to cause the result. The judgment of adequacy is made up of the objective probability or predictability of producing the result . The condition is adequate if for the prudent and objective man it is, in the moment of the action, with all the knowledge of the situation that the author had when acting or that he should have had, he understands that it was very likely that the typical result would be produced.
  • Relevance theory : it is a dogmatic refinement of the equivalence theory, in which causality is affirmed by means of two differentiated studies: one, of a strict causal relationship between the event under analysis and the hypothetically linked result and, two, that this causal relationship is within the scope of protection of the norm .


The jurisprudence has as a criterion a point of convergence which is the admission of the lack of responsibility of the agent causing the damage when there is a fortuitous event or force majeure, even if there is a causal link .

The union of criteria and jurisprudence occurs because both understand that what really happens in a specific case must prevail, that is, we must ask ourselves, if the force majeure that we are observing is the cause of the damage or, if, on the contrary, these damages would still occur, even if that force majeure had not existed .

Disruption of the causal link

The causal link can be interrupted and some of the assumptions of this interruption are:

  • Cases of fault of the victim : in cases in which the fortuitous event has not been proven to the administration.
  • Concurrence of blame : when the blame is shared with the Administration itself.
  • Fault of a third party in the production of a result that breaks the causal link, which implies the exclusion of the responsibility of the Administration.
  • Force majeure: some articles of the Constitution exclude the responsibility of the Administration and establish the obligation to compensate “except in cases of force majeure.”


The causal link is important because in the Criminal , Civil and Social order , causality acts as a main axis because, at the legal level, it is intended to show when a result can be attributed to an action and, therefore, it can be left perfectly established the existence of a link of cause to effect between the two.

Examples of the causal link

Some examples of the causal link are as follows:

  • If, for example, you fall on the street and fracture your arm, then the causal link will be the relationship between the fall and the fracture and, therefore, a civil liability is generated that can be claimed.
  • If a person is waiting for a traffic light and a car hits him from behind, and the person in the first car suffers a neck injury, the causal link will then be the relationship between the collision and the neck injury. For it to be a causal link, you should not wait to go to the doctor because it can be argued that another has been the cause of the problem.

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