After reading the complexity of some previous posting on this topic, I think that lawyers may have it simpler. For example, in a Texas jury trial where negligence is raised, the jury is instructed on "unavoidable accident" as being an avoidance for a finding of negligence (meaning that it is not negligence if it is unavoidable accident).
Originally Posted by goawayfarm
Here are jury instructions for negligence and related definitions of ordinary care and proximate cause:
Negligence means failure to use ordinary care; that is, failing to do that which a person of ordinary prudence would have done under the same or similar circumstances or doing that which a person of ordinary prudence would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Ordinary care means that degree of care that would be used by a person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.
An occurrence may be an "unavoidable accident", that is, an event not proximately caused by the negligence of any party to the occurrence.
Proximate cause means that cause which, in a natural and continuous sequence, produces an event, and without which cause such event would not have occurred. In order to be a proximate cause, the act or omission complained of must be such that a person using ordinary care would have foreseen that the event, or similar event, might reasonably result therefrom. There may be more than one proximate cause of an event.
Did the negligence, if any, of Joe Blow proximately cause the occurrence in question?
Answer "Yes" or "No." _______________________