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Elements of Negligence Personal Injury Lawyers Use to Prove Fault

What Personal Injury Lawyers in Illinois Use to Prove Fault with Elements of Negligence

Proving someone responsible for your expenses means showing that they acted negligently in some way. An injury you suffered does not automatically entitle you to file a personal injury claim. To receive monetary awards, your personal injury attorney will need to prove five negligence elements that resulted in damage.

Duty of Care

The plaintiff has to show that the defendant is obligated to protect the plaintiff. That could be in the context of a doctor-patient relationship or a business-client relationship. Learn more about Reasons Why Your Personal Injury Lawyer May Not Help.

Breach of Duty

The second element of negligence is when they breached the duty of care. The defendant has to have failed in some way to provide reasonable care.

Cause In Fact

Did the defendant’s actions or inactions cause the injury of the plaintiff? It is called the actual cause.

Proximate Cause

Proximate cause relates to the defendant’s responsibility for the incident. It’s up to the plaintiff to show that the defendant could have taken steps to prevent the incident from happening.


Were there damages because of another person or business’s inactions or actions? These damages could be in the form of physical injuries or property damages. When damages are present, they will resolve them through financial compensation.


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