Champaign Slip and Fall Lawyer
Property owners must maintain their property in good condition. If they fail to do so or delay doing so for an unreasonable amount of time, they can be held liable for the injuries suffered by those who slip on a puddle of water left behind after it rains.
The personal injury attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are faithful advocates of anyone injured because an employer or property owner failed to take the needed measures to ensure they had access to a safe environment. We know that you have enough to deal with already without worrying whether you will be able to make ends meet during your physical recovery.
Let our Champaign, IL personal injury lawyers explore every legal option to obtain the compensation you are entitled to recover your medical care, pain, suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
What Causes a Slip and Fall Accident in Champaign County?
No one anticipates a slip or fall accident, but they are the most common cause of serious workplace injuries and premises liability incidents. There are many ways that an unsuspecting victim can encounter a trip or fall hazard.
Here are the most common causes that we've seen.
- Inclement weather: Snow, ice, and rain all pose slip and fall hazards, and property owners need to take appropriate measures to clear ice and snow from parking lots and sidewalks and make sure that floors are kept dry so that guests do not slip on slick surfaces.
- Defective elevators: Falls down elevator shafts are easily preventable by marking off areas under maintenance and performing regular inspections to ensure that elevators operate safely. However, it can have devastating consequences when the doors open unexpectedly or are left open during maintenance.
- Lack of lighting in hallways, entranceways, and staircases: This can cause possible trip hazards that are responsible for many of the accidents we've seen where lighting is a contributing factor. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that guests have reasonable access to lighting in hallways and staircases to mitigate these risks.
- The presence of clutter, garbage, or debris: This causes accidents. The property owners' responsibility is to keep the grounds orderly so that guests are not exposed to trip hazards when objects block the way.
- The lack of guardrails or poorly maintained guardrails: Balconies provide tenants a space to relax and experience the outdoors with the company of others. However, the failure to ensure that railings are secure, braced, and adequate can pose serious safety hazards. If someone falls because of a broken or missing guardrail, the property owner can be held to account.
- Poorly maintained sidewalks and parking lots: Uneven pavement, potholes, and other defects in the paths people take into and out of the building can cause injury. Property owners must be aware of these problems and take action to correct them.
- Workplace injuries: When a workplace hazard or failure of an employer to provide proper safety measures results in an injury, the injured worker may be able to file a lawsuit against the employer on the grounds of negligence.
Champaign Slip and Fall Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries
While each accident's location and specific details can impact the type and severity of an injury, some slip and fall accidents can permanently change victims' lives.
Here are some of the most common injuries that we encounter when working with clients.
- Trauma to the head or face: Striking the head or face may result in internal injuries to the brain that can cause permanent long-term brain damage when undetected. Victims may suffer from chronic neurological disorders and lose cognitive function as a result.
- Fractures: Broken bones are extremely common for these types of accidents. It often takes a considerable amount of time before victims can return to work or return to the activities they once enjoyed. Severe fractures may even require extensive medical care and corrective surgery to facilitate recovery.
- Injuries to the back and spine: Can include ruptured or herniated discs, damage to the nerves, or complete paralysis. The cost of caring for someone with paralysis can be in the millions of dollars over a lifetime, and it is difficult to cope with such a dramatic change in the quality of living.
- Death: Our Champaign County personal injury attorneys have assisted some families in recovering compensation after a fall has resulted in the death of their loved ones. When the lack of proper maintenance or safety procedure costs a life, the responsible party needs to be held to justice, and we will always do whatever is in our power to do so.
Slip and Fall in a Nursing Home
Slip and fall incidents are common occurrences in nursing homes due to neglect, understaffing, or failure to provide minimal care. A slip and fall accident could cause harm to a patient, resulting in traumatic brain injury, broken bones, and even wrongful death.
Nursing home neglect typically occurs in two forms: impact neglect or omission neglect.
Impact neglect occurs when an accident is caused by negligence in the physical environment, like irregular flooring surfaces, inadequate lighting, poor maintenance of items (such as furniture, railings), poorly fitting doors, and hallways too narrow.
Omission neglect occurs when staff fail to provide proper care for the patient, such as not helping with eating and bathing, failing to provide proper supervision or medication, or reporting incidents.
Nursing home staff members who neglect patients contribute to slip and fall accidents by:
- Failing to prevent water from accumulating on floors
- Not properly cleaning exacerbated decay on the floor surface, which can cause a fall
- Failing to place a non-skid mat inside the tub and shower area
- Not using proper housekeeping techniques for mopping and sweeping
- Using ammonia or other harsh chemicals which can damage flooring materials, such as vinyl and tile
- Having an insufficient number of staff members on duty to assist residents always needing supervision and care
- Having poorly lit rooms that cause residents to fall or have other accidents because they cannot see properly
- Poorly trained staff members who are unaware of the proper housekeeping practices, safety measures, and common pitfalls for their patients
- Omitting proper care for victims can result in additional injuries, including bedsores, pressure ulcers, or dehydration
There are ways family members can protect their loved ones while living in a nursing home facility. First, make sure your loved one is aware of their surroundings by having them walk through the hallways and room with you to get an eye for potential hazards.
Check the flooring material, railings on staircases, bathroom tile, shower, tub surfaces, and even the bathwater temperature to ensure no irregularities. Keep them active by encouraging them to walk or use physical therapy equipment to avoid becoming less mobile than they are already.
Always ask for help when needed and be diligent of any signs that something may be wrong. If you suspect nursing home neglect, notify the proper authorities.
Our personal injury law firm has a team of slip and fall attorneys ready to assist you with your case if necessary, so don't hesitate to get in touch with us today for a free initial consultation.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured
Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall incident? The four steps you take after the accident quicken the healing process and allow you to get back on track.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), slip and fall victim should:
- Seek medical care immediately, even if you do not believe your injuries are serious. The symptoms of a fall-related injury may be delayed in revealing themselves and could require further treatment or worsen, resulting in a more complex injury.
- Call the police if a crime was committed in connection to the incident. That includes vandalism to property, theft, or assault.
- Write down any details that you remember about the fall. People commonly forget things when they are in shock following an accident, so it is important to write anything you can think of as soon as possible. It includes descriptions of the area where the injury occurred and describes the people involved (if applicable).
- Obtain contact information for any witnesses. It is important to have someone on your side who may have seen the incident provide further details or attest to what happened.
- Take pictures of the area, including closeups of any injuries you incurred, the scene where the accident took place, and anything else that could assist in proving your case against another party. If you are not able to take the photos yourself, ask a friend or relative to help.
- Gather any evidence that may be important in proving your case including, but not limited to:
- Medical records
- Receipts for medical expenses
- Police reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Workmen's compensation claims (if applicable)
- Video surveillance (if available)
Contact your local city or county health and safety office if the accident occurred in a public building, such as a store or restaurant.
They may be able to provide more information about any existing hazards that have been reported at the site or assist you in reporting a hazard that has not been remedied by management.
You should hire an experienced slip and fall lawyer to help you recover financial compensation for your slip and fall injuries.
Slip and Fall Compensation
You should always be aware of the potential dangers around them and take precautions to avoid any unnecessary accidents or injuries. However, there may come a time when despite your best efforts, you suffer an injury due to someone else's negligence, carelessness, or recklessness.
If the slip and fall was the result of someone else's negligence, you have the legal right under Illinois law to file a compensation claim to recover damages that include:
- Hospitalization costs and medical bills
- Lost wages and future lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (if applicable)
- Punitive damages, if the injury was due to malice or willful and wanton conduct on the part of the responsible party
- Property damage, such as fixing damaged clothing you wore at the time of the accident, could be recovered; there is no compensation for future clothing costs, but you can file a reimbursement claim for out-of-pocket costs
While this list is extensive, it is not automatic that the victim will receive adequate compensation to pay for their damages. The legal process begins with filing a claim, building a case, and negotiating a settlement, if possible.
Typically, slip and fall cases are resolved through negotiated settlements with the defendant and their insurance company that pay the plaintiff (injured party) the agreed amount.
If the plaintiff and defendant cannot reach an agreement, or the insurance company Provides a bad faith offer, the case will likely go to trial. Either way, it's best to consider hiring a Champaign slip and fall lawyer to handle the case.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Data proves that injured victims who use personal injury attorneys receive three times more compensation if they handled the case without legal representation.
Should you file an injury claim based on negligence, you must prove that the negligent party owed a duty of care and breached their duty by acting negligently or failing to act. You also need proof that your personal injuries resulted from their actions or lack thereof.
It is where your injuries and the impact of those handling personal injuries play a crucial role in determining whether you have a valid claim.
Additionally, Illinois law requires that any injury claim for negligence be filed within two years from the time of injury occurred or within two years from when the person filing knew or should reasonably have known about the injury and the other party's possible role in causing it.
Filing a Wrongful Death Claim Citing Neglect or Medical Malpractice
Surviving family members who lost a loved one in a slip and fall accident can file a wrongful death lawsuit seeking financial compensation from the party at fault through their insurance policy.
While many slip and fall incidents happen on someone else's property, other indicators may be involved, including negligence or medical malpractice in a hospital, medical setting, or nursing home.
Neglect is an omission, meaning that the defendant failed to act in a matter where there is a duty owed.
Negligence may be classified differently, including whether the defendant's conduct was reckless or willful and wanton.
Medical malpractice claims may be filed when a physician deviates from the standards of care and causes an injury.
For example, suppose a doctor fails to diagnose your heart condition or prescribe medication for your symptoms, and you suffer cardiac arrest and die. In that case, these factors may support a medical malpractice case.
Slip and Fall & Premises Liability Cases
Most personal injury cases involving slip and fall incidents are based on premises liability where the property owner, manager, or tenant failed to ensure a safer environment free from hazards.
These premises liability lawsuits are usually resolved through payments from the defendant's insurance companies. The defendant might offer the full amount of the plaintiff's demand, which usually includes all expenses, or they may offer to pay only part of that amount.
When the insurance company makes an offer and no settlement agreement has been reached, it may be best to consult with a Champaign slip and fall lawyer before rejecting it.
If you accept the offer, you might be able to resolve your case quickly without having to go through further negotiations. However, if you reject the offer, the insurance company is no longer obligated to pay anything toward your claim and will likely close their file on this matter.
Contact the Champaign slip and fall lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today if you consider filing a slip and fall case in Illinois because of injuries suffered from a wet floor, a pothole, or an icy sidewalk. We are extremely law-knowledgeable and provide the best legal services to the injured party, not just a client at our law firm.
Our personal injury law firm has been helping clients in central Illinois with personal injury claims for years and is well-versed in this area of law. We can help you recover compensation for your medical cost as well as damages for lost earnings, pain, and suffering, and more.
A Slip and Fall Incident at Work
Any employee, worker, visitor, or guest injured in a slip and fall incident on the job has the legal right to file a personal injury case, citing negligence. Additionally, employees can receive workers' compensation benefits while out of work and during the healing process.
Medical bills paid through the employer's insurance company should cover all costs associated with the slip and fall accident, including time away from work. However, any long-term permanent disability will likely need the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney who can negotiate at one time fair settlement and additional funds to pay for legal help.
Consider hiring a local attorney from our law office who has recovered millions on behalf of clients in southern Illinois by requiring more compensation than just paying medical bills.
A skillful attorney can also seek compensation for non-economic damages, including pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional trauma associated with the slip and fall accident.
Why a Law Firm Builds a Case to Avoid Trial
It is where hiring a competent Champaign County personal injury lawyer can make all the difference in the results of your case. They will handle gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, interviewing key parties, and presenting your case to an insurance company or a judge if it goes to trial.
An experienced attorney will ensure that your case is presented as favorably as possible, which increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.
According to the Illinois Bar Association, for instance, it is helpful to have a personal injury attorney because they can:
- Gather evidence and information about the other party's role in causing your personal injuries
- Explain any complicated medical terminology or jargon
- Help you avoid common mistakes that happen when filing a personal injury claim on your own or with a less experienced lawyer representing you
- Work behind the scenes to negotiate an out-of-court settlement for a smaller amount than what might be awarded if the case went to trial
- Handle any necessary arbitration, mediation, or settlement conferences
- Be familiar with the local and state laws and relevant statutes that would apply to your case
- Present your personal injury claim or lawsuit before a judge or jury in court if settlement discussions fail
Discuss Your Rights with Slip and Fall Attorneys During a Free Case Review
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a leading personal injury firm fighting for the rights of those who have been injured in premises liability or workplace negligence accidents.
If you have been hurt, our personal injury attorneys can help you secure the compensation you need to cover your expenses so that you can focus on becoming well again.
Contact our Champaign County slip and fall attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to arrange a free consultation. Let's discuss all your legal options together and decide how best to proceed with your claim to receive full and fair compensation.
Should we be unable to secure compensation on your behalf, our services will not cost you anything at all. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our Champaign County law firm represents clients in all types of personal injury litigation, such as a car accident, truck accident, workers' compensation, nursing home neglect, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.