Elements of an Illinois Negligence Case (Part A)

An Illinois negligence case is determined by two main elements: duty and cause. The relationship between you (the plaintiff) and the other party (the defendant) is critical in determining how your case is structured by your Chicago personal injury attorney.

Breach of Duty in an Illinois Negligence Case

Most Illinois negligence cases stem from a breach of duty from the responsible party. In this type of claim the relationship between you and the other party is examined to determine if the defending party had a duty to keep you from harm. An experienced Chicago personal injury attorney can help you provide evidence as to how your relationship with the defendant would be subject to breach of duty.

An example of where a breach of duty would come into question in an Illinois negligence case would be a customer who slips and falls on a spill in a grocery store. Because the store relies on customers walking in their aisles to purchase items, the store also has a duty to keep those aisles clean and free from hazards which may injure their customers.

Cause in Fact in an Illinois Negligence Case

Another less common type of Illinois negligence case is based on cause in fact, where you must prove the defendant’s actions specifically caused your injury. In claims like these, your injury would not have happened if it weren’t for the defendant’s actions.

An example of cause in fact would be a child who is struck by a bag of grain being loaded on a truck by a worker. As long as the child was legally allowed to be there (it was not private property) and you could prove the worker could have foreseen the harm that would have resulted in the bag striking the child, you have cause in fact for negligence.

Continue reading to see how these elements are proven in an Illinois negligence case and how a Chicago personal injury attorney can investigate the full details of your case to determine liability.

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