PLEASE NOTE: To protect your safety in response to the threats of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

Common terms in civil actions

If a person is involved in a tort action, they may benefit from having an understanding of the different terms involved in the proceedings. The terms fault, contributory fault and tortfeasor are commonly used and have been specifically defined in Illinois Statutes.

According to the provisions outlined in the statutes, fault is defined as an omission or act that is negligent. This definition also extends to willful, wanton or reckless actions in addition to breaches of warranty. Fault is also defined as a proximate cause of physical damage to property or the cause of injury or death to a person. Contributory fault is defined as any fault that was is contributed by a person bringing the civil action. A plaintiff's assumption of risk or wanton misconduct might also be considered contributory fault.

A tortfeasor is a designation assigned to individuals who are at fault for the damages that might be compensated in a lawsuit. This excludes the plaintiff's contributory fault, but may include a plaintiff's employer even if that party is not involved in the action. The term still applies to individuals who have chosen to settle an action with the plaintiff outside of court.

Learning these terms may provide a person with a basic understanding of some of the players involved in a civil action. However, there are a number of other factors that might affect a claim and its resolution. Those who are seeking compensation for damages that were allegedly cause by another party's negligence might benefit from working with an attorney. An attorney who is familiar with personal injury accident cases might be able to provide a client with representation and advice throughout the proceedings.

Source: Illinois General Assembly, "Illinois Compiled Statutes", October 09, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Get a free consultation

Get A Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact Us For A Free Consultation | No Fee Unless We Win

Let us answer your questions during a free consultation. Contact the Law Offices of Mark L. Karno & Associates for help with your injury case.

Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no legal fees unless we win compensation for you.

Serving Chicago, Evanston, And Nearby Areas Of Illinois

Chicago Office
33 N LaSalle St
Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 312-574-3362
Phone: 312-701-0090
Fax: 312-701-0600
Chicago Law Office Map

Aurora Office
1444 N Farnsworth Ave
Suite 105
Aurora, IL 60505

Phone: 312-574-3362
Phone: 312-701-0090
Fax: 312-701-0600
Aurora Law Office Map

Tell us how we’re doing:

Review Us