Illinois Slip & Fall Accident FAQ's
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people with slip and fall injuries suffered in accidents involving dangerous conditions, premises liability incidents and other types of professional negligence. Our law firm has collected a series of slip and fall accident FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of an accident occurring on another's property. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Victims of accidents involving slipping, tripping and falling typically have the legal right to seek financial compensation if the event occurred on another's residential or commercial property. Many of the injured have questions about their legal options. Our legal team has compiled a comprehensive list of the most common slip and fall accident injury frequently asked questions and posted the answers below.
What do I do if I was Injured in a Chicago Slip and Fall Accident on Someone Else's Property?
If you are involved in a slip and fall accident in the Chicagoland area, it is important to stay calm, seek medical attention, and obtain legal counsel. These moves will ensure that you get better while protecting your legal to recover compensation in Illinois.
If the event occurred at a commercial business establishment, it is important to contact the store, office or property manager immediately to ensure the incident is recorded. Try to memorialize the hazardous or dangerous condition where the fall occurred. Also, consider collecting or taking photographs of the accident scene and your injuries as well as any names and contact information of all individuals who witnessed what happened.
Can I File a Lawsuit in Illinois if the Slip and Fall Injury Occurred on a Public Sidewalk in Illinois?
You can probably file a case against the city where the slip and fall incident occurred if the town acted or maintained the area negligently, you suffered as a result of this negligence, you timely notified the municipality of the event, and you filed a claim within the specified statute of limitations (sometimes as short as one year). However, filing a compensation claim or lawsuit against a government agency can be challenging. Often, cities and towns are immune from many injuries you might be able to claim against private citizens due to the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. That said, the municipality is legally bound to maintain the sidewalks and streets to ensure they remain in good repair. You might successfully win your case against the city if you can prove they failed to maintain the area properly.
Can I sue my Neighbor for Slip and Fall Injuries?
Yes, you can still bring a claim for personal injuries in Illinois court if the accident occurred on your neighbor’s property. Your neighbor has a legal duty to ensure the safety of every social guest (an invitee) at their home or on their property. If a dangerous situation occurred, the property occupier or owner is legally bound to either repair the problem or warn every guest, including contract workers on the premises.
However, if you were trespassing at the time, the slip and fall event occurred you are not entitled to receive compensation. See 740 ILCS 130. This rule does not apply to young trespassers who might have been enticed onto the property by an open pool, toys in the yard, or other condition. This rule is also inapplicable if the owner willfully and wantonly endangered adult trespassers that were known to be trespassing.
Can I Receive Compensation if I was Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident Inside a Chicago Store?
You can bring a claim for damages in Illinois after you slipped and fell in a store if 1) the store acted unreasonable and 2) you filed the case within 2 years. See 735 ILCS 5/13-202. The unique facts of your case will determine if you have the right to seek recovery for your damages. You will likely need to prove that an unsafe condition existed inside the store, like a slippery floor, and that the employees knew existed or should have known and yet took no action to barricade the area or clean up the mess.
How can I Prove That the Illinois Store “Should Have Known” About the Hazardous Condition?
You can demonstrate that the Illinois business “should have known” about the risk by showing what a reasonable actor would have done or realized in the same circumstances. In many cases, a personal injury attorney can prove that the property owner or occupier “should have known” about the hazardous condition or that it existed for more than a reasonable length of time but did not barricade the area or eliminate the danger.
Are Chicago Property Owners Responsible for Removing Snow and Ice to Maintain Safety?
Yes, Chicago property owners must take reasonable efforts to remove snow and ice once it has accumulated in order to secure the safety of travelers. Illinois law does not require any occupier, owner or manager of a commercial or residential property to remove snow or ice while it is accumulating during inclement weather.
However, once the snowfall or ice storm passes, those in charge of maintaining the premises must ensure the safety of every visitor and passerby on the property's sidewalks, walkways and parking lots. Additionally, if there is an unnatural accumulation of snow or ice like mounds of shoveled snow that causes a slip and trips event, those in charge of maintaining the property might be held legally liable.
Can Building Code Violations be Used as Evidence in Illinois Slip and Fall Cases?
Yes, plaintiffs often use building code violations to show negligence per se. In many cases, the plaintiff might argue in a court of law that negligence was involved because the owner of the premises violated relevant codes and statutes. To successfully resolve the case, the plaintiff might prove that the lack of action of the owner to remain in compliance with local applicable building statutes and codes was negligence as a matter of law and led to the victim's injuries.
As an example, if the plaintiff fell in a stairway that did not have required handrails, and the local municipality required handrails in such buildings, the victim may have a valid claim to receive financial compensation from the building owner. Notice, building code violations speak only to negligence. Plaintiffs must still prove how that building code violation caused their damages in court or negotiation.
What are the Most Common Causes for Slip and Fall Cases in Illinois?
Some of the most common reasons for slip and fall cases in Chicago and across Illinois include weather impediments, poorly constructed buildings, and badly designed walkways. Remember though, these types of events can occur nearly anywhere including on sidewalks, on playgrounds, in parking lots, inside shopping malls, and anywhere that where there is an unsafe or hazardous condition. Many slip-and-fall lawsuits are built on specific causes that include:
- Pavement defects like broken sidewalks or parking lot potholes
- Accumulated ice and snow
- Inadequate or insufficient lighting
- Worn, torn, or raised carpeting
- Spilled drinks and food
- Broken stairway handrails
- Faulty wires and worn electrical cords
- Depressions or holes in the ground
Where do Most Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in Chicago?
Most Chicago slip and fall accidents happen outside of commercial premises or inside private buildings. However, a slip and fall accident can happen anywhere in Illinois and may arise for a myriad of reasons. The premises liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers handle cases for clients who have slipped, fell and injured themselves in parking lots, grocery stores, supermarkets, on commercial sidewalks, and office buildings and at privately owned residential homes.
How Long do I Have to File a Chicago Trip and Fall Injury Lawsuit?
In Illinois, the length of time you must file a lawsuit is based on one of the statute of limitations. What statute would be involved in your case could be difficult to identify without the assistance of a personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability cases. However, in most instances, you will be afforded at least two years to file your cause of action in the appropriate courthouse as 735 ILCS 5/13-202 states:
“Actions for damages for an injury to the person… shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued…”
If you wait to file until after the statute expires, you will forfeit your right to seek financial compensation forever.
What can I Expect to Receive in my Chicago Slip and Fall Case?
If you were injured in a Chicago slip and fall accident, you should be able to at least claim compensation damages for your medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering. The extent to which you are reimbursed for these losses and other losses depends on the 1) facts of your incidents 2) nature of your harms and 3) fault of the other parties. The premises liability attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers fight aggressively on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive adequate financial compensation to cover all their damages. Our team of attorneys will build your case to ensure you are compensated for:
- All your past and current medical expenses;
- The cost of your future hospitalization, medical expenses, needed surgical procedures, physical therapy, and rehabilitation care;
- The wages you lost due to your injury and time away from work;
- The loss of future earning capacity restricted by your temporary or permanent accident-related disability; and
- Non-economic damages including pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
Your attorney might be able to prove that the actions of those in charge of maintaining the premises were egregious or outrageous. If so, you may be able to obtain punitive damages awarded by the jury to punish the defendant for their actions.
How Long Does an Illinois Premises Liability Accident Case Take to Settle?
The exact length and timeline of Illinois premise liability litigation is difficult to predict exactly and can last anywhere from a few months to more than a year. The facts and evidence in every case is unique, which makes it hard to determine how long it will take to resolve your premises liability case. In simple cases, victims with slipping, tripping and falling injuries can resolve their claim in as little as three months. However, most claims take significantly longer to gather evidence, speak to eyewitnesses, review medical records, and build a case for negotiating a settlement or taking the case to trial.
How can I Prove I Have a Valid Slip and Fall Claim for Compensation in Illinois?
To prove a claim for damages after a slip and fall accident, plaintiffs must prove how the defendant’s negligent conduct caused or contributed to the slip and fall accident and subsequent damages. However, the surest way to know if you have a valid claim to receive financial compensation for your slip and fall injuries is to contact our law offices at (888) 424-5757 for a case review. Our lawyers will look at numerous factors to determine the validity of your claim. Some of these factors include the following:
- Did you have the legal right to be present on the property or were you trespassing at the time?
- Did the circumstances that occurred the result of another's negligence?
- Did the event caused by the dangerous conditions directly lead to your physical harm?
If I Filed a Chicago Slip and Fall Lawsuit, who Would be the Defendants Listed in the Case?
You would list any party who contributed to your injuries and damages in the slip and fall incident as a defendant including any relevant people or companies. An attorney working on your behalf will determine who was responsible for causing your injuries on another's property. The parties at fault in your premises liability case could include the:
- Property owner
- Building owner
- Building manager
- Residential or commercial business management company
- Store managers, assistant managers, and others in charge of maintaining safe environments on the premises
How Much Will You Charge to Review My Case?
Our law firm provides every potential client a no-obligation, initial case consultation at no charge. Call our law offices today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an appointment. Let our team of attorneys discuss your case, listen to your complaints, and provide numerous legal options on how to ensure your family receives the financial compensation they deserve.
How can I Afford an Attorney if I am Financially Strapped From Medical Bills?
If you are struggling with bills from an Illinois slip and call accident, realize that many firms do not charge upfront fees for representation. This means you can get the help you need to bring a claim for recovery in Chicago court. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we accept all personal injury cases through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones the payment of all your legal services until after we have successfully resolved your claim for compensation.
How do You Resolve a Chicago Slip and Fall Claim?
Typically, you have two options to resolve your claim for compensation involving a slip and fall incident in Illinois: negotiate a settlement or present at trial.
- Negotiating a Settlement – Nearly all slip and fall compensation lawsuits and complaints are finalized during negotiated out of court settlement meetings where the plaintiff and defendant reach a compromise to settle the case. Typically, the defendant's attorneys work to negotiate a settlement to sidestep presenting their evidence at trial to eliminate an unpredictable outcome.
- Presenting the Case at Trial – In some cases, the defendant's attorneys fail to offer adequate financial compensation to the plaintiff forcing the need to litigate the case in court. While the litigation process can be long and demanding, it provides the injured party their day in court and the right to show evidence in front of a judge and jury.
While taking the case to trial may seem like the ideal resolution option, it can have unpredictable outcomes for the plaintiff who might have obtained more compensation through a negotiated settlement.
Illinois Premises Liability Attorneys Successfully Prosecute Premises Liability Slip and Fall Cases
If you believe your loved one suffered severe harm or injury in a slip and fall incident occurring on another's property, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to discuss your case for justice and financial recovery. Our premises liability attorneys have successfully prosecuted hundreds of slipping, tripping and falling cases throughout Illinois. Our legal team fights aggressively as an advocate for the rights of our clients who were harmed by another's negligence. We provide superior legal representation and will handle every aspect of your case from filing documents to negotiating a settlement or winning your case at trial.
Call our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 to speak with our representatives who can assist you in scheduling your free, no-obligation case evaluation. No upfront retainers or fees are required because our personal injury law firm accepts every claim for compensation through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement postpones payment of our services until after we have successfully resolved your case at trial or through a negotiated out of court settlement. We provide every client a “No Win/No-Fee” Guarantee, meaning if we are unsuccessful at obtaining compensation on your behalf, you owe us nothing. Call us today to hear how we can help.