Have you or a loved one been injured on someone’s property in Chicago? If so, then you might need a Chicago premises liability lawyer.
- Contact An Experienced Chicago Premises Liability Lawyer
- What is Premises Liability?
- Common Premises Liability Cases
- Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
- The Burden of Proof Against a Property Owner for a Premises Liability Claim
- Viable Evidence Against Property Owners in Premises Liability Case
- Premises Liability Lawyer FAQs
- Hire Chicago Attorneys For Your Liability Case
Contact An Experienced Chicago Premises Liability Lawyer
The Chicago premises liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you determine your legal options and file a claim against the negligent property owner. Filing liability claims could compensate you for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses you incur due to your injury.
Contact us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that holds a property owner accountable for injuries caused by unsafe conditions on their land.
Common Premises Liability Cases
Based on our attorneys’ experience, the following premises liability accidents occur most frequently:
Slip and Fall Accidents
A slip-and-fall accident occurs when someone falls or trips on someone’s property. It can happen anywhere, including stores, restaurants, hotels, residences, and public areas. The following are some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents:
- Wet or slippery floors, lack of ‘wet floor signs,’ spilled liquids
- Cracked or uneven pavement
- Broken staircases
- Damaged carpeting
- Tripping hazards,
- Inadequate lighting
- Icy surfaces
Dog bites and other animal attacks are common causes of liability. If an animal injures someone, the owner is responsible for the victim’s injuries as long as:
- The injury victim did not provoke the animal in any way
- The attack occurred in a place where the victim was legally allowed to be (i.e., the victim was not trespassing)
Elevator and Escalator Accidents
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 17,000 people are injured, and 30 are killed yearly in elevator and escalator incidents. Most of the accidents are caused by:
- Not maintaining safe premises due to improper or irregular maintenance
- Lack of routine safety inspections
- Failing to shut down elevator access when needed
- Improper installation and leveling
Asbestos can increase the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung scarring, and other critical conditions when inhaled. Multiple sectors used it in industrial and commercial applications until 1989 when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned most asbestos products. Owners in most states are expected to protect visitors from asbestos exposure. They may be liable if they:
- Know about the presence of asbestos on their property
- Fail to address the hazard or warn others about the risk
- Deliberately conceal the asbestos hazard
A property owner must address all defective conditions they know about or warn visitors of the risks. Dangerous or faulty conditions include:
- Weak or unsupported ceilings
- Collapsed floors
- Loose shelving or overhead materials
- Raised tree roots
- Dangerous electrical fixtures
- Faulty appliances
- Poorly maintained playground equipment
Fire Safety Violations
Private properties and commercial buildings must adhere to fire safety rules. Common violations include:
- Blocked exit doors
- Faulty emergency exit lighting
- Faulty fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Lack of fire extinguishers
- Malfunctioning sprinkler systems
- Blocked outdoor fire department valves and connections
- Improper use of extension cords
- Not keeping fire inspection records
- Leaving fire doors propped open
Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
The negligence of a property owner can lead to severe injuries, such as:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A traumatic brain injury is the result of a sudden, forceful impact to the head. Examples include concussions, contusions, hemorrhages, skull fractures, and penetrating injuries. Typically caused by slip-and-fall incidents resulting in blows to the head that can be fatal if high enough above ground level.
- Fractures: In personal liability cases, broken bones are a common occurrence and can be attributed to hazardous conditions on a property. The severity of fractures varies from mild to severe, affecting the victim’s ability to function normally for an extended period of time. Complicated fractures where the bone pierces through the skin are particularly serious.
- Burn Injuries: Burns can stem from chemicals, electric shock, and fires. These serious injuries range from mild to severe, with moderate to severe cases requiring immediate medical treatment.
- Infections: Dog bites, pest infestations, and untreated mold can lead to infections.
- Drowning or Asphyxiation: Swimming pool accidents typically involve drowning. People who survive drowning may experience mild to severe brain or organ damage due to hypoxic brain injury (brain damage caused by lack of oxygen).
- Wrongful Death: Property negligence can lead to accidental death, whether instantaneous or gradual. Victims that survive severe accidents may succumb to their injuries later on
The rules on who may recover damages and under what conditions vary from state to state. Some states focus on the injured party’s status at the time of the incident:
- Invitee: An invitee is someone the property owner invites for commercial or professional purposes, e.g., a customer. Every property owner owes the highest care to invitees; they could be liable if dangerous conditions injure an invitee.
- Licensee: A licensee is someone on the property with the owner’s permission. Unlike invitees like party guests, they are on the premises for their own benefit. The property owner must address known hazards or warn the licensee of them.
- Trespasser: A trespasser enters another’s property without the owner’s consent. Property owners do not owe any duty of care to trespassers and are not liable for their injuries. However, owners are not allowed to injure trespassers on purpose.
The Burden of Proof Against a Property Owner for a Premises Liability Claim
To file a valid premises liability claim, you must prove the following are true:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you. The property owner must take reasonable care to protect your safety if you are an invitee or licensee.
- The defendant breached this duty of care. A ‘breach’ can be a negligent act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to others, e.g., failing to address a hazardous condition within a reasonable amount of time.
- You suffered a significant injury. You must suffer actual harm to file an injury case. An ‘injury’ can be physical, emotional, mental, or financial.
- The defendant’s actions directly led to your damages. You must prove that the defendant caused your losses, such as hospital bills, loss of income, etc.
Our premises liability lawyers will help determine if you have grounds to file a claim or lawsuit.
Viable Evidence Against Property Owners in Premises Liability Case
Collecting substantial evidence is crucial to a successful civil lawsuit. Your premises liability lawyer will help you gather different forms of proof, such as:
- Medical records
- Photos of injuries
- Police reports
- Incident reports
- Surveillance footage
- Witness accounts
- Expert testimony
You may also need to present evidence of your losses, such as:
- Records of missed workdays
- Hospital bills and prescriptions
- Psychological evaluations
Filing legal premises liability claims could help you recover financial compensation for your losses, including:
- Medical Bills: Cost of hospitalization, emergency transportation, medication, surgery, physical therapy, future anticipated medical bills, etc.
- Disability: Rehabilitation, mobility aids, household modifications, and other related damages if you are temporarily or permanently disabled.
- Pain and Suffering: Recovering from physical and emotional injuries, e.g., physical pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, etc.
- Lost Wages: Income, wages, benefits, and business opportunities lost while recovering from your injuries or caring for an injured loved one.
- Wrongful Death: Funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical costs, loss of consortium, and other death-related damages if your loved one dies from the accident.
Experienced attorneys will calculate the potential value of your compensation based on your damages and other applicable factors.
Filing a Claim with Insurance Companies
Most accidents involve insurance claims and end in settlements. However, obtaining a fair payment can be challenging. You may receive a low settlement offer at first. Thus, it is best not to accept the offer.
Instead, have your attorney negotiate for full compensation. Experienced liability attorneys will help ensure your settlement is enough to cover all your damages. They will:
- Investigate how and why the accident occurred
- Identify negligence and establish their liability for your injuries
- Determine the extent of your damages and calculate the potential value of your settlement
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- File your case with the defendant’s insurer representatives
- Negotiate settlement values
- File a lawsuit and represent you in court, if necessary
You don’t have to go through this legal battle alone. Let your attorney remove the burden and allow you to focus on your recovery.
Premises Liability Lawyer FAQs
Our knowledgeable firm can help you navigate the complexities of your premises liability case and seek the compensation you deserve. Our lawyers explore various aspects of your cases and how to determine liability for different types of accidents. We have answered some concerning questions below.
What Do I Do If I’m Injured on Another’s Property?
Your actions right after an incident could determine the success of your premises liability case. Our Chicago attorneys recommend the following steps:
- Call 911. Contact emergency services if you need immediate medical attention or if others are in danger, e.g., a fire on the property.
- Seek First Aid. Unless you need to go to the hospital immediately, tend to your injuries on the property or at home. If you have sustained a head injury, go to the emergency room immediately, even if you feel fine.
- Document the Scene. Take pictures of the accident scene, precisely the condition or element that caused your accident, such as a raised tree root, a wet floor, etc.
- Contact Experienced Attorneys. Trying to recover compensation against a negligent property owner is difficult without legal help. Find an experienced Chicago lawyer to handle your case.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help with My Lawsuit?
Accident victims should seek the support of a reputable firm. Experienced Chicago premises liability lawyers can:
- Investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident.
- Gather evidence to support your claim.
- Negotiate with insurance companies and opposing parties.
- Represent you in court, if necessary.
Acting quickly is crucial if you or someone you know has suffered harm on someone else’s property. It will ensure that evidence is preserved, witnesses can be interviewed, and your case can be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations.
Most cases end in settlements, wherein defendants agree to pay plaintiffs a fixed amount for their losses. However, you may have to move your case to civil court if:
- The defendant continues to deny responsibility for your accident
- The defendant’s insurer refuses to make a fair offer
- Negotiations have stalled
Furthermore, a lawsuit may be necessary if your loved one dies due to property negligence.
Hire Chicago Attorneys For Your Liability Case
The last thing you expect is to get hurt when you visit someone else’s property. Unfortunately, many fail to maintain their facilities properly.
If you or a loved one were injured due to an owner’s negligence, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help. Our Chicago premises liability attorneys help injured parties recover compensation through out-of-court settlements and litigation.
Contact a premises liability attorney at (888) 424-5757 for a consultation, free of charge, to discuss your legal options. We keep all confidential information private between you and our team. If we handle your claim, we only charge a fee if we win the case, making it worry-free for you.