When we visit any business or private residence, it is reasonable to expect the property owner to keep their grounds maintained in a way that would limit the likelihood of slips, falls, and other accidents.
The Chicago slip-and-fall accident attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC believe that those who fail to do so should be held fully accountable when their disregard for public safety results in an injury. A Chicago slip-and-fall attorney from our law firm will fight on your behalf for justice when you have been injured due to a property owner's negligence. Slip-and-fall accidents are the most common source of personal injury and in most cases are entirely preventable.
The Responsibility of Property Owners to Maintain Safe Premises
If you have been injured due to a slip, trip, or fall accident on another person's property, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of your medical treatment. To succeed on this claim, you must prove that the property owner did not take reasonable steps to provide a safe environment.
Examples of negligence leading to trip-and-fall accidents include the following:
- No effort was made to maintain the premises and ensure that they were safe. Examples of this negligence include not making a reasonable effort to remove snow and ice and not repairing uneven surfaces that could contribute to a slip or fall accident.
- Visitors were unaware of potential hazards due to inadequate warnings. For example, a building owner should post signs near wet floors or near trip or fall hazards.
- The property owner was aware of unsafe conditions and made no effort to warn others of the hazards, make reasonable repairs, or take appropriate action.
Protecting Your Rights Following a Trip-and-Fall Injury
Our Chicago slip-and-fall lawyers handle many cases where the conditions leading to the injury were temporary or the property owner made attempts to cover up the scene of the accident to avoid responsibility. For this reason, we advise all of our clients to take the following steps to protect their rights and establish their damages by filing a lawsuit to cover the cost of expenses.
- Take pictures of the property immediately so that the owner is unable to tamper with the evidence found at the scene or make expedited repairs. Include photos of the exact location where you suffered harm and the property damage or hazard that caused your accident.
- Seek emergency medical treatment. It is a legal mistake to leave the scene appearing unharmed and seek treatment after the fact. By calling emergency services, you will establish a record of the incident with the authorities and the hospital where you received treatment.
- Obtain contact information of any witnesses present when you were injured. It is vital to get in touch with anyone who can provide testimony to support your case.
- Report the accident to the property owner. You do not need to have a long conversation with the owner about your injuries or answer specific questions. However, it is essential that you inform the owner that you have been injured on their property. It is your right to refrain from any in-depth discussion about the accident until you've spoken with a lawyer.
What Type of Financial Compensation am I Entitled to Following a Slip-and-Fall Accident In Illinois?
In most cases, the cost of your medical treatment, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, and pain and suffering will be covered by the building owner's insurance policy, so you should not feel any hesitation to demand compensation when you've been injured on someone else's property.
Illinois law also allows fall victims to sue for their economic and non-economic harms. Normally, non-economic damages double or triple a plaintiff’s out-of-pocket bills. This rule of thumb helps claimants predict their own recovery. Of course, a more precise estimate can be calculated with an attorney.
Who is Responsible for a Trip and Fall Accident?
Responsibility in trip and fall accidents is determined by negligence standards. Any unreasonable conduct that contributes to the plaintiff’s fall may be blamed for the incident. That means the victim can sue that party in court for all their damages. The list below summarizes some common defendants in Illinois slip and fall accidents.
- Premise Owners. Property owners, commercial and private, have certain duties to keep their land safe. If other people slip and fall on their premises, they can be sued if the action or inaction was unreasonable for the circumstances.
- Cities. Cities have a duty to keep some areas safe. They need to make sure people do not slip on roads, sidewalks, and other places. If people do fall, then a lawsuit might be brought against that municipality.
- Third Parties. If a third party causes a victim to fall, then that person might be sued in court. The action or inaction needs to be unreasonable. Examples of acts that warrant a lawsuit include shoves or trips.
Other things factor into responsibility for slip and fall cases. This answers the basic issue of who and when people can be sued for this accident.
What do I Need to Prove to win a Slip-and- Fall Case in Illinois?
Plaintiffs need to prove four things to win a slip-and-fall case in Illinois.
First, the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. This can be as simple as noting the landowner needed to keep the area safe.
Second, the defendant breached the duty. A simple reference to the facts can accomplish this point.
Third and fourth, the breach caused the plaintiff’s damages. In other words, plaintiffs need to connect the dots of how the defendant’s unreasonable conduct contributed to the plaintiff’s harms. Yes, plaintiffs must actually assert and prove damages. Damages can take the form of tangible or intangible loss but they must be something.
How Long do I Have to File a Chicago Slip & Fall Injury Lawsuit?
You have two years to file a lawsuit in Illinois after a slip and fall accident. 735 ILCS 5/13-212. If victims do not notice their injuries, courts might award them more time to file. However, since these incidents are so traumatic and obvious, plaintiffs find it difficult to seek and obtain additional time. Therefore, one must assume that a case must be brought two years from the day of the accident.
How Much is my Case Worth?
Cases for slip and fall accidents are worth as much as the victim suffered. Plaintiffs can seek compensation for all of their damages. There is no cap. Normally, the most obvious loss is economic. Out-of-pocket costs like medical bills and lost wages are incredibly common in slip accidents. Yet, a larger form of recovery is intangible damages. This includes pain, suffering, disability, and any other kind of non-economic harm the victim sustained. These can fetch as much as two- or three-times economic damages total. Wrongful death or punitive damages might be possible if the conduct was outrageous or ended in death. Yet, these rarely arise in slip and fall cases. Slip and fall cases are worth as much as the victim shows how he or she suffered from the event. Tallying that figure up with a skilled lawyer will be the preeminent task of litigation.
What are Some Examples of Successful Slip and Fall Cases Handled by the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC?
- $166,200: Woman who fractured her arm while exiting a favorite restaurant when she tripped over a tangled doormat.
- $300,000: Settlement to a carpenter who injured his back and hip in a construction site fall over scattered construction debris.
- $85,000: Woman who fractured her foot in a slip and fall on ice that had unnaturally accumulated in front of a busy store.
Get a Free Consultation From Successful Illinois Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has handled thousands of cases that may be similar to your own. A Chicago slip-and-fall attorney from our law firm can access the expertise of medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, economists, and social workers. This will allow us to connect you with resources critical to your physical recovery while representing your legal rights. We also rely on these same individuals to provide compelling testimony that establishes the value of your case when seeking slip-and-fall settlements.
Begin the process of your slip-and-fall lawsuit today. Complete our online contact form for a free case review of your situation with a Chicago slip-and-fall lawyer. They will address any potential concerns or questions about your case or the legal process. Our office is proud to represent people in slip-and-fall cases across all of Illinois. We do not ask for a dime until we've secured the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.