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Chain of Causation in Slip-and-Fall Accidents

Michael Agruss

Written and Reviewed by Michael Agruss

  • Managing Partner and Personal Injury Lawyer at Mike Agruss Law.
  • Over 20 years of experience in Personal Injury.
  • Over 8000+ consumer rights cases settled.
  • Graduated from the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law: Juris Doctor, 2004.


When individuals are injured in slip-and-fall accidents, they may mistakenly believe that their compensation simply awaits them without fuss; on the contrary, there is a complex process to endure, as a plaintiff must prove causation – that the actions of the defendant were the proximate cause of his/her injuries.

This is often a four-step process which may be referred to as a “chain of causation.”

1) Link between breach and hazard This is often the primary focus in slip-and-fall lawsuits. Did the property owner breach his/her duty of care? Was the injury caused by inadequate property maintenance or lack of warning about a potential danger? Did the defendant fail to correct, or inspect for, such hazards? 2) Link between hazard and accident Even if the first link is proven – that a hazard existed on the premises – it does not prove that the hazard, or the defendant’s negligence, was the direct (proximate) cause of the victim’s injury, which is the second necessary link. Often, personal injury attorneys incorporate expert testimony to establish this. 3) Link between accident and injury Using the victim’s and any witnesses’ testimony and medical records (if necessary), establishing this link is relatively simple, especially in self-evident cases. Occasionally, “expert” medical testimony may be necessary. 4) Link between injury and damages Available documents, such as bills and pay-stubs, may be used to prove lost wages and medical expenses. However, “general damages” (i.e. pain and suffering, emotional distress) may be more difficult to prove. Witness testimony, photographs, and videotapes are all helpful to establish this link.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact Mike Agruss Law for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you.

Lastly, Mike Agruss Law is not paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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