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Establishing Negligence in a Personal Injury Case

 Posted on January 27, 2024 in Personal Injury

IL injury lawyerNegligence plays a pivotal role in personal injury cases. You could say it is the cornerstone on which personal injury cases are built. The role negligence plays will vary from case to case but is almost always involved in some form or another. From car accidents to wrongful death, knowing how to properly establish a defendant’s negligence is one step closer to receiving compensation for any damages you have incurred. An attorney can discuss with you the finer details of negligence and its importance to your specific case.

Defining Negligence

Negligence occurs when someone fails to provide a reasonable level of care that they normally would have otherwise in a given situation. Neglecting to perform duties or actions that a reasonable person would have performed that resulted in harm or injury to another individual.

Illinois requires a plaintiff to prove four key elements to establish a defendant’s negligence:

  • Duty of care - The legal duty or behavior the defendant owed to the plaintiff under the circumstances
  • Breach of duty - The plaintiff failed to provide the legal duty or behavior owed to the plaintiff
  • Causation - The breach of duty was a direct or partial cause for the injuries sustained by the plaintiff
  • Damages - The economic and non-economic suffering that was the result of the injuries sustained by the plaintiff

An example of a negligent act would be if the defendant had been found to be driving under the influence (DUI) and, as a result, struck the plaintiff, causing injuries and subsequent damages. Another example would be a doctor causing additional harm to a patient while the patient was under anesthesia.

Illinois Uses Modified Comparative Negligence

In Illinois, a plaintiff can recover damages only if they are found to be less than 50 percent at fault for the injuries. The amount of recoverable damages is then reduced by their at-fault percentage. So if the plaintiff is found to be 63 percent at fault, they will receive no compensation, whereas if the plaintiff is found to be 42 percent at fault, they will recover some damages.

Contact a Will County, IL Personal Injury Attorney

Suffering personal injuries due to another’s negligence can take a toll on you not just physically but mentally as well. You should not wait too long to file a lawsuit and receive what is owed. An experienced Joliet, IL personal injury lawyer can investigate the matter and attempt to uncover valid evidence to present to court. The office of McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC is just a phone call away. Pick up the phone and dial 815-727-0100 for a free consultation so that we may discuss your personal injury case in-depth.

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