CACI 3901 Introduction to Tort Damages—Liability Established

California Civil Jury Instructions CACI

3901 Introduction to Tort Damages—Liability Established

If you decide that [name of plaintiff] was harmed and that [name of defendant]’s [insert description of cause of action, e.g., “negligence”] was a substantial factor in causing the harm, you also must decide how much money will reasonably compensate [name of plaintiff] for the harm. This compensation is called “damages.”

The amount of damages must include an award for each item of harm that was caused by [name of defendant]’s wrongful conduct, even if the particular harm could not have been anticipated.

[Name of plaintiff] does not have to prove the exact amount of damages that will provide reasonable compensation for the harm. However, you must not speculate or guess in awarding damages.

[The following are the specific items of damages claimed by [name of plaintiff]:]

[Insert applicable instructions on items of damage.]

Directions for Use

This instruction is intended for cases in which the defendant “admits” liability, but contests causation and damages. See CACI No. 424, Negligence Not Contested—Essential Factual Elements.

Read last bracketed sentence and insert instructions on items of damage here only if CACI No. 3902, Economic and Noneconomic Damages, is not being read. If CACI No. 3902 is not used, this instruction should be followed by applicable instructions (see CACI Nos. 3903A through 3903N, and CACI No. 3905A) concerning the items of damage claimed by the plaintiff. These instructions should be inserted into this instruction as sequentially numbered items.

Read CACI No. 430, Causation: Substantial Factor, as the definition of “substantial factor.”

Sources and Authority

See the Sources and Authority to CACI No. 3900, Introduction to Tort Damages—Liability Contested.

Secondary Sources

6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 1715–1719, 1723–1726
California Tort Damages (Cont.Ed.Bar) Bodily Injury, §§ 1.2–1.6
4 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 50, Damages, § 50.02 (Matthew Bender)
15 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 177, Damages, § 177.41 (Matthew Bender)
California Civil Practice: Torts § 5:1 (Thomson Reuters)