Legally Reviewed by:

Jonathan Rosenfeld

February 1, 2022

Over $400 Million worth of case results

Awarded The Best Lawyer in 2024 by U.S. News

Nationally Recognized in Legal Community

The proximate cause in a personal injury case is the event generally determined to be the legal cause of an accident and any resulting injuries or damages.

How You Show Proximate Cause in Personal injury Cases

Defining proximate cause after a car accident in personal injury cases means arguing the plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred or would not have happened absent the defendant’s actions.

In other words, the defendant’s breach of duty or lack of reasonable care led to the personal injury claim broadly.

The plaintiff must rule out other causes or even an assumption of risk on behalf of the plaintiff. To prove proximate cause, victims must draw a line directly between the negligence of the defendant and the harm of the plaintiff.

His or her conduct must be seen as ultimately responsible for the events and the primary cause of the injury to be deemed the proximate cause. There can be no superseding cause that the defendant could argue actually caused the incident.

There are various tests used to ascertain the proximate cause of the car accident including the foreseeability test and the substantial factor test.

These tests all drive at something important: the end must have been a foreseeable result or foreseeable consequence to be considered proximate cause.

Otherwise, the negligence of the defendant cannot be recognized as the proximate or legal cause of the accident. This makes sense too because people should be liable for things they could reasonably foresee at the onset of their conduct.

If not, it is not considered negligence.

We offer legal advice and a free consultation on causation if a defendant’s action caused you or another victim’s injuries.

You may be entitled to financial compensation from the defendant if their negligence was the proximate cause of your injuries. A lawyer from our law firm can help prove this under the law in a claim after an accident.

How are Actual and Proximate Cause Related in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

For you to prove a plaintiff’s injury (or plaintiff’s injuries) were legally caused by the defendant’s actions, you must demonstrate proximate cause and actual case. If you don’t establish both, you cannot hold the defendant liable for your injury or injuries from an accident.

What exactly is actual cause under the law? Actual cause is when a person argues that an event would not have happened but for the negligence of the defendant.

This is different than proximate cause. Here, you are specifically stating that it directly caused the unfortunate outcome.

In a personal injury claim, the law recognizes proximate cause under the law when the defendant’s actions are deemed to be ultimately responsible for an accident among other competing factors.

It picks out one sequence in a long series of phases as key and places blame on one person or party.

If the negligence of another person caused your accident and injuries, call our law firm to talk to a lawyer and get a free consultation today. Our legal team specializes in proving causation and defendant’s negligence.

What Else Do I Need to Prove in a Personal Injury Case?

In order to hold a person liable for your personal injuries, you must plead and prove things other than causation.

Specifically, there are four elements to every negligence cause of action in Illinois that a plaintiff must offer and demonstrate:

  • The defendant owed duty.
  • The defendant breached that duty.
  • The defendant’s negligence caused (both actual cause and proximate cause) the plaintiff’s injuries or injury.
  • The plaintiff suffered tangible damages as a result of the events, either economic or non-economic damages.

We spent a lot of time analyzing the third element of these cases. However, there is a lot packed into the other components of your lawsuit.

Making your case on all of these elements will require extensive investigation, legal analysis, and tremendous resources. Our team has experience in every capacity and can walk you through the entire process.

Contact us to speak to a lawyer and set up an initial consultation. We can review how you were injured in the accident and may seek relief and compensation under Illinois law.

What Can a Plaintiff Get for His or Her Injuries in Court?

The injured party can recover compensation if they can prove the defendant is liable for the accident. To do that, as noted above, they must establish legal duty, breach, causation, and damages.

Once they do that, they are able to obtain compensation and relief for all of their damages including the following:

  • Economic Damages: Out-of-pocket expenses and other tangible losses like medical bills, property destruction or damage, lost wages, and more.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Intangible harm such as disability, pain and suffering, disfigurement, lost quality of life, reduced normalcy of life, etc.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: The pain and cost of a losing a loved one from a traumatic event including lost support, lost companionship, and lost consortium.
  • Punitive Damages: Recovery for wanton and reckless conduct on behalf of the defendant like drunk driving.

A lawyer can more expertly survey and estimate all of the kind and extent of damages available to you should you choose to file a case in Illinois court. The foregoing section merely reviews the broad categories of relief at your disposal.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help Make Your Case?

Establishing proximate causation of your injuries sufficient to hold the defendant liable and obtain compensation is difficult in any state.

The laws are stacked in such a way to make it difficult for any victim of serious injury to make their case, even if they are well versed in the law.

Yet, a lawyer can help in this legal process in a couple of important ways, including:

  • Investigating the circumstances of your accident.
  • Cataloguing your injuries in coordination with your doctors.
  • Review your medical records to determine the true extent of your harms.
  • Going through the law of your state to see what relief you are afforded.
  • Filing and presenting your case in court or settlement.

Our team can get to work on your personal injury claim today. Call us to get started and hear more about how we can help you prove causation and other critical elements.

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer about What Compensation You are Entitled to Today.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented thousands of injured victims and their families after terrible accidents. We intimately know how to make a case in the best possible way and prove causation and other important elements.

Talk to us in a free and no-obligation consultation to see what you may be able to obtain through trial or settlement. Our services are free if we do not win for you. Call us now to see what a win may mean for you at (888) 424-5757.

Free Consultation (888) 424-5757
Scroll to Top