Should I consider filing a lawsuit after an Illinois auto accident? A friend told me I would have to prove negligence. What is that?


While cars crash every day in Rockford or the surrounding areas, every time it happens the circumstances are different. Since you do not specify the details of your accident, we can’t tell you exactly what to do.

But, as Rockford auto accident specialists, we can tell you that successful personal injury lawsuits usually require that negligence be proven. So, what is negligence? Here are some basics for you to consider:

  • Negligence, in law, means that someone has acted thoughtlessly, unreasonably, or carelessly and caused someone else harm.
  • Examples of personal negligence in car wrecks include running red lights, speeding, and drinking and driving. Other examples are road hazards like poorly marked roads, surfaces in disrepair, and road debris.
  • Unless the defendant can be proven guilty of negligence, you might not be able to win your case.

Negligence claims all have some things in common that must be proven. You must be able to prove that:

  • The defendant did not exercise what is called the “duty of reasonable care.” It is expected that all drivers will be reasonably careful while behind the wheel.
  • The defendant breached the “duty of reasonable care.” Simply, this means that he or she did not act the way a reasonable person might have acted.
  • The injuries that you, the plaintiff, sustained were caused by the defendant’s behavior. For example, if the defendant ran a red light and hit your car, he or she could be held responsible for any injuries. However, if the stoplight was defective, your case might well deal with the person(s) responsible for maintaining it.

Finally, you must be able to prove that you suffered property loss or injuries. This seems obvious, but without evidence of loss, a lawsuit cannot proceed.

If you want some expert legal advice about your Northern Illinois car accident lawsuit, please contact The Fisk & Monteleone Law Firm. We can answer your questions and uphold your legal rights.