It may be tempting to delay contacting a personal injury attorney because you think you will eventually recover from your injuries without any long-term effects of a slip and fall accident.
But waiting could lead to more severe problems if the property owner refuses to acknowledge responsibility for their negligence or fails to fix dangerous conditions on their property in time.
The Naperville slip and fall lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, can help if someone else caused your accident by failing to keep their property safe or neglecting their duty of care toward others using it.
Our Naperville personal injury attorneys will fight hard on your behalf to ensure you get all the damages and compensation you deserve.
Illinois and National Slip and Fall Statistics
According to the National Security Council (NSC), slip and fall accidents are the second most common type of injury after motor vehicle crashes.
The NSC estimates approximately 23,000 fatalities yearly from slips and falls on business property, more than the deaths caused by falls in homes, toilets, bathtubs, swimming pools, stairs/and landings.
Many slip and fall cases, personal injury lawsuits, and premises liability injuries have increased significantly in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Public Health released the following statistics:
- For 2019, there were 13,634 slip and fall injuries in Illinois state hospitals alone
- Nearly 3300 people missed about two months of work
These injuries involved 1,516 staff members and 3,846 other people.
If you are injured, the property owner must ensure their property is safe. If they fail to do so, then it may be possible for you to claim compensation from them.
How a Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Can Help
The Naperville slip and fall accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand how suddenly our lives can change when we have been injured.
You may not be able to return to work immediately, could have mounting medical bills, and worry about whether you will be able to meet your financial obligations.
Understanding how you can recover compensation to cover expenses makes us strong advocates for those we represent. We aim to ensure each client secures the maximum compensation the law will provide.
Ways in Which Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in Naperville
Whether you are walking up or down the stairs, across the street, through a hallway, or performing your duties while on the job, there are numerous hazards we may face daily, resulting in a trip, slip, or fall.
Property owners and employers must mitigate these risks by making people aware of any hazards, performing regular maintenance, and implementing reasonable, common-sense measures to protect the people on their premises.
Here are some of the ways they fail to do so:
- Failing to install and maintain proper lighting: We need to see where we are walking, and lighting has contributed to many cases. For example, a client stumbles over an object that would have been easier to see with proper lighting.
- Failing to maintain elevators: When an elevator malfunction results in the doors opening so that people could fall down the shaft, the results can be devastating. If the victim survives, their life will be changed forever.
- Failing to warn of hazards: The most common dangerous condition is that property managers fail to notify people of wet floors. A slippery floor can easily take accident victims by surprise as some surfaces become slicker than ice when wet.
- Failing to remove snow or ice: During cold and inclement winter weather, property owners need to maintain walkways and parking lots so that people can enter and leave the premises without slipping over patches of black ice.
- Failing to maintain railings and balconies: Missing or defective railings can result in falls from great heights, and a balcony collapse can injure multiple people simultaneously in a catastrophic accident.
- Uneven pavement and potholes: Poorly maintained pavement is a hazard for traffic and pedestrians alike, making it possible for our footfalls to land in a hole or unevenly, causing sprains, fractures, and falls.
- Failing to provide a safe work environment: Trips, slips, and falls represent a significant portion of workplace accidents. Many hazards are present on the job, from objects on the floor that can cause people to trip to poorly designed guardrails and scaffolding.
- Failing to maintain sidewalks: Naperville residents need safe access to their homes. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that walkways are free from dangerous conditions. For example, if someone falls on an uneven sidewalk or has dangerous cracks or holes, the owner could be liable for damages.
Of course, many people are injured when walking up or downstairs, so you must read our steps to ensure safety.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident
After an accident, it can be tempting to remain on the scene until the authorities arrive. It is especially true if someone has been seriously injured or anyone has died due to the accident.
However, when you are in a hurry to see a medical professional or don’t want to call attention to yourself and your injuries, it is often best for those involved to leave and seek care on their own accord.
Then, you can address any damages later and, if necessary, take the appropriate measures to hold the property owner accountable for their negligence.
Police Call 911 Immediately If:
- The victim is unconscious and unresponsive
- The victim appears to have suffered a head, neck, or back injury
- The victim is bleeding profusely
- A baby or child has been injured (especially if they are not conscious)
- You believe someone else is still trapped in the wreckage of the accident
- The victim needs prompt medical attention—you can assess this by how much they are in pain or discomfort
Police File an Accident Report If:
A person has been injured in the accident, and someone else can corroborate your claim that you slipped on a wet floor. For example, then the responding officer will likely file an accident report.
You do not have to file a police report if you were alone during your accident. Still, it is generally best to make your concerns known to the authorities if other injuries on the property need attention.
Slip and Fall & Nursing Home Abuse
Many cases involving nursing home neglect and abuse result in preventable slip-and-fall accidents when the victim is left unattended without sufficient supervision.
In these cases, the victim is often rendered vulnerable by their age and disability, which leaves them unable to seek help in a potentially dangerous situation.
It is helpful for families to understand the role that nursing homes can play in preventing injuries from occurring in the first place. Every family member can watch how their loved one in a nursing home interacts with the staff and determine if abuse or neglect occurs.
If there is a problem with the nursing home, the family can work with the proper authorities to ensure that their loved one receives adequate care in a safe environment.
They can also advocate for changes that will reduce the risk of future injuries occurring on the premises, enabling their family members to live their golden years without worrying about their safety.
Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Neglect – It’s a Disturbing Trend That Can Affect Your Loved One
In the past decade, numerous cases involving nursing home neglect and elder abuse have gone to trial. In these high-profile trials, wrongful death victims secured sizable settlements from negligent parties by proving the existence of elder abuse or nursing home neglect.
By working with a qualified attorney to recognize any hidden dangers on your loved one’s premises, you have the potential to prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring regularly.
In addition, if your loved one has already been injured by a slippery floor or dangerous condition on the property, an experienced slip and fall attorney can work to recover damages on behalf of your family member.
Naperville Slip and Fall Accidents are Responsible for a Wide Variety of Injuries
There is a sliding scale on the severity of injuries that our law firm has seen from slip and fall accidents, but every injury can set the victim back regarding pain, recovery time, and expense.
It is unfortunate when an injury permanently changes the quality of a person’s life or results in the death of a loved one.
The following are the most common injuries that occur from these types of accidents:
- Spinal and back injuries: While the slip or trip might not cause any immediate harm to the spine, it is the impact with the ground that can slip a disc, break vertebrae, or sever a nerve. It is also relatively common to see victims report back injuries after a fall.
- Damage to the nerves: While the skin, bones, and muscles can heal with time and the proper medical intervention, nerve damage is permanent. Neural retinopathy is a condition that results from trauma to the nerves. It may result in losing feeling, shooting or sharp pain, or the inability to move the impacted limb.
- Broken bones: Fractures are common because of the angle and force of the victim’s wrists, feet, shoulders, and legs when striking the ground. Bracing a fall by extending the arms is also a natural reflex, making broken wrists commonplace with these accidents.
- Traumatic brain injuries: A blow to the head can cause severe damage to the brain through micro tears over the long term. The damage can be mitigated through early detection, but neurological conditions are common for those who have sustained trauma to the head or face.
- Skull fractures: A skull fracture is a more extreme version of a traumatic brain injury that can cause head bleeding, brain bruising, and structural damage to bones or tissue.
- Burns and abrasions: Some people have fallen onto hot asphalt while others fall face-first onto the frozen ground. In either case, burns and abrasions are common serious injuries when our skin encounters a much hotter or colder surface than the average body temperature.
Many of these cases have been resolved when a slip and fall attorney negotiates with the defendant’s insurance company to promptly ensure their clients receive financial compensation for medical treatment and lost wages.
Slip and Fall Victims Hurt at Work Make Less Money for the Same Work
Unfortunately, no matter how much everyone wants to believe it, there is no such thing as a full recovery from an accident like this. The victim’s life will never be the same, and they will always need retraining for a different job or live with pain that limits everyday activities.
- Loss of income: Many victims try to work through their injuries to return to the workforce because they do not have enough sick time to cover their physical rehabilitation appointments. The problem is compounded by many people who suffer from these injuries will never return to their old job and lose an income source they have been counting on.
- Missed wages: It is not uncommon for victims to have long periods off work after a fall because of pain, injury, or treatment. The sick time they accrue during their disability will be spent on doctor’s visits and physical therapy appointments, meaning they must continue working while injured to make money.
- Job loss: A few slip-and-fall accidents are severe enough that the victims cannot return to work at all or may need medical accommodations that would cause them to be unable to perform their job duties.
- Compensation: Victims can file a lawsuit against the property owner, municipality, or business responsible for the accident to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and personal injury. However, many people never see this option as an immediate solution instead of focusing on treatment and recovery while waiting for the legal process.
- Loss of quality of life: Victims will never be able to return to work or live an everyday life if they can’t avoid slipping on new or icy floors daily. It burdens victims and their families, who must cover costs while waiting for an accident settlement while supporting them through their recovery process.
Insurance companies will try their best to settle claims for less than they are worth, and it is the job of a personal injury lawyer to protect clients’ rights and get them the money they deserve.
Although this process can seem long and confusing, experienced legal professionals will help victims file a slip-and-fall claim in the most efficient way possible.
Illinois Premises Liability Act
The State Legislature enacted the Illinois Premises Liability Act can serve as the basis for slip and fall cases if property owners fail to follow specific safety regulations.
For example, Illinois law states that property owners must always keep their premises safe, including inspecting them regularly for hazards that can cause accidents or injuries.
Property owner negligence— property owners do not have to keep their premises 100% accident-proof— they only need to take reasonable precautions and eliminate as many dangers as possible.
A victim only needs to show that the defendant failed to provide a safe environment and that their injuries were sustained because of it. After proving liability, the court will decide how much money the victim should be compensated based on their injuries and long-term effects.
Those who violate these guidelines are responsible for any injuries caused by their property’s lack of safety features. It may include cracks in the sidewalk, loose floorboards, or poor lighting around grassy areas.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Citing Property Owner’s Negligence
All injured parties have the legal right to file a personal injury claim seeking financial compensation for medical bills and lost wages from the responsible parties. Typically, claims are made against two parties in injury cases:
- Property owners: “natural” persons, businesses, and public entities can be held liable for any injuries they cause. Proving liability is the plaintiff’s responsibility to be paid for damages, showing that the property owner was careless in maintaining their premises or failed to correct known dangers when notified of them.
- Contractors: If a property owner hires another contractor to work on their premises, they can still be held responsible for any damages caused by the contractor’s negligence. An injured person needs to show that:+
- The property owner knew or should have known about the risk of injury because it was part of the contractor’s job requirements
- The property owner failed to correct the dangerous conditions, even though they had a reasonable opportunity to do so
- The plaintiff sustained personal injuries
No matter the type of claim, the plaintiff must prove that they were injured because of someone else’s negligence. For instance, if a person slips and falls on ice from their negligence on someone else’s property, there is no case unless a property owner fails to clear away snow or salt it responsibly.
When Third Parties Are Involved
If a property owner fails to keep their premises safe and causes an accident, they may be held legally responsible for all damages caused by the incident. In some cases, multiple parties could be held liable if the injury was caused by negligence from both property owners and contractors.
If a loved one sustains injuries due to someone else’s negligence, it can be hard to know where or against who to file a claim. If the serious injury was caused by unsafe conditions on public property—including highways, sidewalks, and buildings owned by a city—the victim should seek legal guidance before filing a lawsuit.
The property owner’s negligence is the proximate cause of the accident, meaning it was directly responsible for bringing about the injury. However, the plaintiff must also show that they did not contribute to their injuries negligently.
For example, if someone slips and breaks their arm after failing to see a large crack in the sidewalk, it would be difficult to claim that they were the innocent victim of the property owner’s negligence.
In most cases, people can only recover compensation from those they believe are responsible for their serious injuries. However, when multiple parties could be held liable for damages caused by negligence, the court will order one or multiple parties to pay damages.
Negligence is a legal concept covering liability for injury and other losses caused by carelessness and lack of concern for others. For example: “I slipped and fell on your property because you didn’t put any caution signs around that mud hole. You were negligent.”
A person or business could be held responsible for serious injuries caused by unsafe conditions if they failed to use reasonable care in maintaining the property.
That includes complying with the following:
- Building, housing, and health codes
- Inspecting areas where people could get hurt
- Removing or guarding against known dangers
- Repairing dangerous defects that were reported to them
Our Naperville Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Will Review Your Case for Free
You can receive compensation following an injury through many different avenues. The law offices of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC will leave no stone unturned when seeking to secure compensation on your behalf.
Were you injured due to poor building maintenance or because an employer did not provide a safe environment?
If so, contact our Naperville, IL law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our award-winning DuPage County slip and fall accident attorneys.
Our Cook County personal injury lawyers will investigate your claim and review all your legal options so you can make an informed choice on how best to proceed. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our dedicated team of slip-and-fall lawyers remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Our liability attorneys accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until our law firm resolves your injury case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.