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If you want to succeed in a personal injury case, you and your personal injury attorneys need to be able to effectively prove that negligence truly caused your injuries. There are many elements in negligence cases that you should consider before filing a lawsuit, but attorneys can also help you better understand these aspects. The five elements that juries have to examine include Damages, Duty, Breach of Duty, Cause in Fact, and Proximate Cause.


Even if negligence has affected an individual, he or she cannot successfully sue the negligent parties in a personal injury lawsuit if an injury isn’t apparent. Medical records and police reports provide evidence of injuries sustained, and should be readily available in a negligence case.


A judge will usually determine if a defendant owed a duty of care to a victim of negligence, which heavily influences the outcomes of many cases. An example of this would be a caregiver at a nursing home whose negligence caused harm to residents, when they were responsible for the residents’ wellbeing.

Breach of Duty

Determining a breach of duty differs from determining owed duty in that a breach of duty occurs when a defendant fails to exercise reasonable care while fulfilling his or her duties. Breach of duty acknowledges that the defendant owed a duty of care, but normally the jury decides if that duty was fulfilled competently or negligently.

Cause in Fact

Plaintiffs in negligence cases must also prove that a defendant’s actions were directly responsible for injury. Personal injury attorneys and plaintiffs help prove that injuries could have been prevented if not for the defendant’s actions. The concept is often referred to as “but-for” causation. For example, but for a legal guardian’s negligent actions, a child would not have been injured.

Proximate Cause

Negligence cases also require defendants to have been able to foresee the consequences of their actions. When harms caused by defendants fall outside of the zone of acknowledgeable risks, plaintiffs and their personal injury lawyers will not be able to prove proximate causation.

If you want to file a negligence claim, these main elements will help you succeed and recover the maximum amount of compensation. Personal injury attorneys can provide representation that carefully addresses each of these to strengthen your case as much as possible.

Firm Awards & Recognitions

Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the American Institute of Legal Counsel. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list. The list is issued by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

  • Steven Malman was selected to the list for 2018-2019.

  • Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process based upon objective and uniformly applied criteria which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

    Prospective members of The NTL are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership.

  • Top Attorneys Diamond Member

  • Top Attorneys of North America 2019-2020

  • The American Institute of Trial Lawyers is an invitation only professional organization composed of premier trial attorneys from each state. These attorneys exemplify the very best qualities and qualifications of an attorney. Each attorney must meet stringent qualifications as a civil or criminal trial attorney. These attorneys practice in a variety of fields to help and promote the ethical and elite practice of law. Selection is based on a thorough multi phase process which includes peer nominations and third party research. Each member must be in good standing with their local compliance organization. Membership is extended to only a select few in each state and/or region.

  • As the founder of Steven J. Malman and Associates, P.C., Attorney Steven Malman has 21 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, premises liability, construction and workers’ compensation cases. Mr. Malman is one of Chicago’s leading authorities on personal injury law and has taken a special interest in defending the elderly from neglect and abuse. He has personally handled over 10,000 cases successfully, and collected hundreds of millions dollars for his clients.

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