What is an Element?
Auto accidents are distressing and become even more challenging for the plaintiff to win a negligence lawsuit following an unfortunate auto accident. It’s essential for any plaintiff to prove every single “element” that represents and proves the negligence of the defendant.
Elements that Need to be Satisfied
In order to hold the defendant liable, it becomes necessary to prove these following elements to get compensated for your injuries and vehicle damage. Here are the basic elements a judge or a jury would need to satisfy, apart from testimony and evidence when deciding on a verdict in a negligence case in an auto accident.
- Duty of care
- Breach of Duty
- Cause in Fact
- Proximate Cause
Duty of Care
Duty is the first of the five elements that needs to be satisfied to prove negligence on part of the defendant. An experienced auto accident attorney will help determine the outcome of the negligence case by proving the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. Driving laws in Illinois indicate all drivers owe a duty of care to all other drivers on the road to be safe, drive carefully and lawfully and to abide by traffic rules at all times.
Breach of Duty
Once the duty of care has been satisfied, it’s essential for the jury and judge to satisfy the breach of duty element. The plaintiff and their experienced auto accident attorney have to prove the defendant was in breach of duty as the individual drove aggressively and did not abide by traffic rules, hence breached the duty of care.
Cause in Fact
The cause, in fact, is also termed as “but-for” causation. It indicates the defendant’s actions led to the injuries and vehicle damage of the plaintiff. If the defendant actions were prevented, or if the defendant did not act the way he/she did, then the plaintiff would not have suffered any injuries in the resulting auto accident.
Proximate cause is related to the actual scope of the responsibility, which falls upon the defendant in an auto accident negligence case. The defendant is only held responsible for the harm and damage they could have foreseen through their actions.
Damages or Harm
Another element a judge or jury need to satisfy is ‘damages’ you or your loved ones have suffered if you were involved in an auto accident. These damages will include any loss of life, severe or minor injuries and damage suffered by vehicle and other personal property.
If you wish to find out more about this topic or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with a skilled auto accident attorney.