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What is 'negligence' in Illinois?

Being seriously injured is no fun at all. Unfortunately, many Illinois residents likely have had to deal with the pain and discomfort that comes with having an injury. It can create a feeling of helplessness, lead to expensive medical bills and lost wages at work, and just generally keep a person from living their best life. When such injuries are the fault of someone else, such as the result of a car accident caused by another driver's carelessness, injured individuals may wish to remember that they may have a legal right to compensation.

The most common way for such people to recoup some of what they have suffered is a civil lawsuit to hold the careless individual responsible for the costs associated with the injury. This is often done through the legal theory of negligence. This theory has a long history in English and American law, but while the concepts are somewhat simple, applying them to the facts of a specific case can be complicated.

To prevail in a negligence case, the plaintiff needs to be able to show, through evidence, that a certain number of elements were present in the accident. The first of these is that a legal duty must have existed that was owed to the plaintiff and that duty was breached by the defendant. Also, the breach of this duty must have been both the direct and proximate cause of the injuries or other damage suffered by the plaintiff.

In future posts, we hope to break down these elements into their constituent parts and take a brief look at each and what they mean. In the meantime, those Illinois residents who have been injured due to another's negligence may wish to consider speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney.

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