Chicago Premises Liability Lawyer
If you are injured on someone else's property, they may be legally obligated to compensate you. However, this can be difficult to prove.
It is necessary to establish that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injuries to win a premises liability case.
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, our personal injury attorneys represent injury victims hurt on property belonging to others, ensuring they receive maximum compensation for their damages.
Contact our law offices at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
When a person is injured on someone else's property, it involves an area of the law called premises liability.
While the principles of Chicago premises liability laws are complicated, the general idea is that if you were injured through the negligence or mismanagement of the property owner, you might be entitled to financial compensation.
However, since the injury occurs on someone else's property, several special rules are to consider.
Chicago Premises Liability Attorneys Can Help You
You will need the help of an experienced Chicago premises liability attorney to file and prove your liability claim.
The property owner and their insurance company may either resist settling your personal injury case or maybe try to play hardball with their settlement offer.
Therefore, you will need a legal firm on your side that knows the legal process and how to help you get fair and full compensation for your injury.
Contact the Chicago premises liability lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to learn more about your legal rights if you are injured on someone else's property.
You can schedule a free consultation with an experienced premises liability attorney.
Proving a Chicago Premises Accident
To understand how Illinois law can help you recover, you need to understand some of the legal concepts at work.
Here are a few things to consider:
- A property owner owes at least some duty to people who are legally on their property.
- Property owners must make reasonable efforts to provide a safe environment for visitors.
- People do not have an unlimited right to enter someone else's property and file lawsuits against the owner.
- Your actions as the injured party may also matter in deciding whether the property owner is liable and how much of your injuries they must pay.
The basics are that if you are injured on someone else's property, you may have a valid case against the property owners if that person or company did not act with the proper level of care.
If you were injured on public property, you might even file a claim against the city or county responsible for maintaining or overseeing the property.
Given this expansive area of the law, you may wish to discuss your claim with a premises liability lawyer before you consider filing a claim with the property owners where your accident occurred.
Damages in Chicago, Illinois Premises Cases
Like other types of personal injury cases, a claim against a negligent property owner can be pursued by an injured person to recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic damages: Include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and any out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred due to your accident.
- Non-economic damages: Include full and fair compensation for pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement related to your injuries. Illinois courts have repeatedly struck down attempts to cap or limit non-economic damages.
In a situation where your loved one died in an accident on another's property, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for the loss of emotional and economic support.
Common Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability cases can be brought in any one of several circumstances.
Here are some common types of plaintiffs in cases involving injuries on the property of another person or business:
- Invite social guests: If you were an invited guest on someone's home or property, you might be able to sue if you slipped on the sidewalk or were injured inside the house in fall accidents or any other type of injury.
- Store or business customers: Customers shopping at a store or other business invitees may also be able to sue the business if they were injured on-premises.
- Pedestrians: People walking on city streets may have a claim if they trip on an uneven part of the sidewalk.
- Tenants: People who rent may sue their landlords for the condition of their residence or any injury they suffered, such as being attacked on the property.
These are just some examples. The truth is that premises law is a very broad area, and there are a wide variety of injuries and premises liability claims.
Therefore, if you think you may have a potential injury claim against property owners, we encourage you to contact our legal firm for a free consultation with a top-rated Chicago premises liability lawyer.
Proving Negligence Against Property Owners
Just because the property owner has possession of land, or a building does not make them automatically liable if you are injured on their property.
Something more is necessary for them to need to pay damages. Even if you fall on someone else's property, it does not mean that the owner has done something wrong.
You would be able to recover damages if the landowner was negligent, resulting in your serious injuries. Of course, someone's negligence depends on the situation.
The Duty Owed by the Property Owner
The legal duty that the negligent property owner owes depends on your status on the property. There are three different types of people present on someone else's property, each with their own level of care.
The cases often involve:
- Invitees: This is when someone gives either an explicit or an implied invitation for someone else to come onto the property. The most common example is a business owner who holds the store open for shoppers. However, it could also be a homeowner.
Here is where the property owner owes the highest duty to others. Here, the owner must keep the property reasonably safe and protect the invitee from injury. In other words, they must exercise reasonable care. It is the most common type of premises liability case.
- Licensees: These are allowed to go onto the property for their own purposes and gratification. It is more likely to be a friend invited for dinner or to play video games.
There is a lower standard than there would be for an invitee. Here, the property owner must only warn the licensee about any known dangerous conditions.
- Trespassers: Landowners owe very few duties to protect trespassers and avoid unreasonable risk. All they need to do is for undiscovered trespassers to avoid hurting them through willful misconduct. If the landowners know that there are trespassers, the owner must make the property conditions safe or give the trespasser warning of the dangerous conditions
'Foreseeability' in Chicago Premises Liability Cases
The primary thing that needs to be necessary for recovery in a premises liability case is that your injury needs to be foreseeable. If the accident that hurt you would have been completely unanticipated by a reasonable person, the owner may not be held liable.
What makes Chicago premises liability cases seem much more complicated is that each case on its own is very fact intensive.
For example, suppose you fell down a flight of stairs in an apartment building due to poor lighting and wish to pursue a claim against the landlord for your injuries.
In that case, you will need to establish that the landlord had noticed the dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time to have corrected the situation.
In other words, if there was no notice and the condition was not foreseeable, you will not have a very strong premises liability case.
Common Types of Chicago, IL Premises Liability Claims
Of course, the most common liability claim that people think about is the slip-and-fall. That is one of the most frequently filed civil liability claims.
However, there is much more to premises liability. The defendant can be held legally responsible for a wide variety of harms that befall you on their property.
All liability attorneys at our firm have experience with the following types of claims and lawsuits:
Lawsuits Arising from Inadequate Maintenance
Beyond the common slip-and-fall cases, many things can go wrong on private property. One thing is that you can be struck by an object that falls from a room or tree.
Faulty maintenance can also extend to something like an escalator which, if it malfunctions, you could be entitled to compensation.
Especially when invitees, an owner must maintain their property reasonably safe.
Inadequate or Negligent Security
A landlord or a business owner must provide adequate security for residents and customers. In addition, they must protect against reasonably foreseeable actions against others.
In other words, the owner must exercise ordinary care to keep the premises and approaches safe. It means that if you are attacked in a criminal act on someone else's property, the owner could be responsible.
You may be able to recover if you are attacked by a dog on someone else's property. However, if the dog is dangerous, the owner must take steps to keep the dog from harming others.
This duty is even higher if the animal is even more dangerous than a common dog.
These are just some types of this type of liability claims. You can file a lawsuit for practically any injury suffered on the property of someone else.
Illinois Premises Liability Act
The State Legislature enacted the Illinois Premises Liability Act that provides the basis for property owners to be held liable for injuries that occur on their property.
The law applies to both commercial and residential properties.
To hold a property owner liable, the injured person must prove that the owner knew or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury.
Chicago premises liability lawyers typically prove their case by showing:
- The condition existed for a long time
- The owner had notice of the condition
- The owner failed to repair or warn about the condition
- The injured person suffered injuries as a result
These types of liability cases can be complex and often require the help of an experienced attorney.
Under the law, owners are responsible for injuries on their property.
Here are some types of situations in which Illinois courts have ruled that a homeowner or business owner could be held liable:
- When the sidewalk is in bad condition and a pedestrian is injured
- When a homeowner knows that their dog is vicious and attacks someone
- When there is a hazardous condition on the property that the owner should have known about
- To win a liability case, the injured person must typically show that:
- The condition existed for a long time
- The owner had notice of the condition
- The owner failed to repair or warn about the condition
- The injured person suffered injuries as a result
These cases can be complex, which is why it is important to speak with an experienced Chicago premises liability lawyer.
Common Premises Liability Lawsuits
Nearly all liability accidents occur when the property owner fails to maintain security in a safe environment for all visitors, invitees, and tendons.
Property owners' negligence might include willful and wanton conduct or a failure to warn guests of known hazards and dangers on the premises.
Many types of liability claims involve injuries occurring at the following localities:
- Swimming pools (drowning and near-drowning when pool owners provide insufficient protection)
- Apartment complex (security problems and slip and fall cases)
- Shopping malls (elevator accidents and escalator accidents)
- Amusement Park (potential hazards and defective rides)
- Restaurants (slip & fall accidents, food poisoning)
- Storefronts (customers injured by falling merchandise)
- Hotels (slip & fall accidents, being assaulted in a room)
- Construction sites (Failure to keep the property free from hazards)
- Grocery store (Spilled liquids and icy entryways)
To bring a premises liability lawsuit, the victim must prove that property owners knew or should have known about the hazardous condition that caused the injury.
If you have been injured on another person's property, it is important to speak with an experienced Chicago premises liability lawyer to help you navigate the complex legal process.
How to Prove the Slip and Fall Accidents
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers figured that our law firm would spend some time discussing the trip-and-fall claim since it is the most common liability action.
For example, it can arise if you trip on a sidewalk or slip on a spill walking down the aisle in a grocery store.
There are generally three things that you must prove to be successful in a trip-and-fall case:
- The defendant knew or should have known about the hazard or danger.
- Even though you were exercising ordinary care, you did not know about the danger
- The defendant had control over the dangerous condition.
It does not mean that the defendant is liable for every single injury that occurs.
For example, if there is an open and obvious hazard, the court says the plaintiff should have known about it.
However, it is also reasonable to expect people to get distracted in a certain store or private property parts.
Your Own Actions (or Comparative Fault) Can Reduce the Value of Your Premises Claim
Not every injury will result in financial recovery. In other words, the property owner does not act as an insurance company for every injury on their property.
It is basically the same thing as contributory negligence in a car accident. For example, if you were running down the aisles of a supermarket and fall injuring your back, you may not be able to recover or a fall injury.
The damages may be as much your fault as it was the owner. Another example would be if you dove into a shallow swimming pool with warnings about shallow water.
There is not much that the owner could have done to prevent your injuries in these examples.
The defendant may argue that you were responsible for your own injuries. However, Illinois and other states that use a comparative-negligence-based system can recover from your injuries if you were not more than 50% responsible for the accident.
Consequently, you may wish to consult with an experienced liability lawyer to discuss the legalities that apply to your situation and anticipate defenses that property owners may raise in the claim.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured on Someone Else's Property
Here are some steps to take if you were injured in an accident on another's property:
- Make sure to get documentation and evidence of what the unsafe conditions looked like at the time of the accident. Our law firm understands that it may be difficult to take pictures when you are lying on the ground injured, but you should try your best to line up witnesses and get photos as close to the time of the accident as possible.
- You should get medical attention immediately after the accident. However, do not refuse medical attention if it is offered.
- If you are not treated at the scene, go to a doctor immediately for help.
- Obtain medical documentation of your injuries and gather all the evidence.
- Contact a Chicago premises liability lawyer as soon as possible. It is best to retain an attorney before filing a claim or speaking to the insurance company.
- Make sure to document all the possible damages that you want to receive, including lost wages and payment for medical bills. You can even qualify for payment for pain and suffering and emotional distress.
Illinois Premises Liability FAQs
Our Illinois premises liability lawyers understand that many families have unanswered questions about dealing directly with the insurance companies and claims adjusters after being injured on another business or person's property.
Some of those questions have been answered below.
Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 for additional information.
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
A claim of this type is when you seek to hold someone liable for an injury you suffered while on their property.
Property owners can face legal consequences if they do not take adequate care to keep visitors safe and protect them from injury while they are on the property.
According to Illinois liability law, an owner who fails to maintain their premises properly could be held legally liable. While the owner is not automatically responsible for everything on their property, they may be liable if they were negligent.
Who should a Chicago premises liability lawsuit be made against?
Generally, the property owner is held legally responsible in compensation claims. However, liability can also extend to residents of buildings who are not owners.
For example, if a business rents its store from someone else, they can be responsible for injuries if the dangerous condition on the property is their fault.
Is Premises Liability the Same as Negligence?
Not all liability claims result from negligence, but many involve some negligence claims. For example, you can be liable for a fall accident on your property if you were negligent.
Chicago Premises Liability Attorneys
Having an experienced premises liability attorney on your side can make the liability claims process easier.
After you are injured, you have a lot on your plate, including medical bills for ongoing care and worry about your health and finances.
It is where our office can help you. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has experienced personal injury lawyers who have helped clients negotiate with insurance companies and file lawsuits for financial compensation throughout Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, and all of Illinois.
If you or a loved one has been injured or someone in your family is a victim of wrongful death, call our firm's offices at our toll-free number or fill out a contact form to set up your free consultation to discuss your case on a contingency basis.
You can even call us to talk to a real person for real-time assistance or schedule a free consultation.
Chicago Premises Liability Lawyer Resources:
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- Stairway Falls
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