Chicago Snow and Ice Slip and Fall Lawyer
It is not uncommon for a person to slip and fall due to winter conditions, especially here in Chicago that can have an unnatural accumulation of snow. These falls usually are not dangerous and many times more humorous than painful. However, not everyone who slips on an icy sidewalk or parking lot is laughing.
Serious slip and fall injuries on snow and ice can occur, leaving the victim with serious injuries resulting in medical costs, time lost from work, and even permanent disabilities. If the property owner’s negligence causes the fall, they can be liable for injuries.
The Chicago, IL personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC Represent victims injured in snow and ice slip and fall accidents on property owned by another homeowner, business, other homeowners, where city-owned parking lot or office buildings.
If you, or a loved one, were injured in slip and falls in Illinois due to a company's failure to remove snow or ice, contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free consultation to discuss a claim to receive compensation for your damages.
Serious Injuries Caused By Slips & Falls
The action of slipping and falling due to snow or ice can be more dangerous than many might think. Although everyone will fall during their lifetime, a fall due to slippery conditions involving snow or ice can be more severe.
The momentum and force that occurs when a person slips on snow and ice coupled with landing on a hard surface can cause acute soft tissue injuries, fractured bones, brain trauma, and death.
In 2010, over 26,000 people died from falls, revealing deadly consequences. Some of the more common injuries from falls on snow and ice include:
- Herniated disc
- Broken bones, including an arm, wrist, or hand fracture
- Knee and back injuries
- Leg, pelvis, or hip fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Whiplash injuries
- Traumatic brain injury
There were over nine million emergency room visits to treat injuries from falls in 2019, many from slips on snow or ice. Some of these injuries resulted in painful recovery and financial hardships for every injured person trying to pay their medical bills without insurance.
However, victims have legal recourse when a property owner fails to ensure everyone's safety by removing snow and accumulation of ice, or hiring a snow and ice removal company. The property owner may be liable for compensation involving victims with slip and fall injuries in a premises liability case.
Illinois Snow & Ice Fall Liability For Property Owners When Guests are Injured
In most instances, they will not be responsible, regardless of how severe the injury is or how slippery the area was. Illinois law holds the property owner legally liable for injuries on their property due to "natural accumulation" of snow and ice. However, they are not responsible for removing snow or ice.
There are circumstances in which the property owner can be held financially liable for injuries caused by a slip and fall due to icy conditions.
- Unnatural accumulation of snow. Property owners must ensure that there is no piled snow or water purposely allowed to freeze on the walkways that could be considered "unnatural accumulation" of melting snow or ice, leading to slippery surfaces. Alternatively, natural accumulations of snow occur during blizzards, storms, and snowfall.
- Lease agreement. Some lease agreements state that the property will be kept free of the natural accumulations of snow or ice during the winter months. Any failure to remove ice or snow could create liability problems for any residential or commercial property owners when they fail to contract snow removal after any natural snow we weather condition.
- Black ice. Extremely cold winter weather and snowstorms may cause dangerous conditions on roads and parking lots allowing black ice to form. Frigid winter weather and snowstorms may cause dangerous conditions on the pavement, allowing black ice to form. Black ice refers to an icy buildup under snowfall that could cause treacherous conditions leading to car accidents in Illinois without ice removal.
Snow or Ice Accident Injuries FAQs
Our Chicago, Illinois, slip & fall injury attorneys know you likely have many unanswered questions on injury cases involving snow and ice accidents. A personal injury attorney answered a few of your questions below.
Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) to schedule a free consultation to answer all of your questions. Our Chicago, Illinois trial lawyers are here to help.
What to Do If You Slip and Fall on Ice?
If you were injured by slipping on ice or snow in Chicago, what you do next will help determine how long it will take to heal physically and financially.
- Seek immediate medical attention even if you believe your injuries are minor. Only a doctor with the best diagnostic tools can evaluate the extent of your medical condition
- Report what happened to the business or property owner
- Get contact information of all eyewitnesses, including the name, address, and phone number
- Capture photographic evidence of the accident scene and highlight hazards in the area that led to you falling
- Preserve the clothing and shoes you were wearing that will provide evidence when negotiating a settlement or presenting your case at trial
- Consider hiring an attorney to handle your personal injury case
Can You Sue If You Fall on Ice?
Did you fall while at another person’s home, office building, or business in Chicago, Illinois? You likely have the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation.
The property owner may be legally responsible for all slip and falls on their property, mostly if the accident resulted from an unnatural accumulation of snow and ice.
However, you must prove that the owner failed in their duty of care to provide a safe environment for people by not removing snow, ice, or other freezing liquids. Also, you must show that their negligence resulted in your injuries.
You might not have a case if your injuries were caused by slippery surfaces of natural accumulations of snow on the sidewalk, parking lot, or walkway. The property owner might not be held liable for any natural accumulation of ice in the hours after an ice storm.
How Would You Describe a Slip and Fall Accident?
Statistics maintained by the National Safety Council reveal that almost 9 million injured victims receive treatment in emergency rooms after a slip, trip and fall. These outdoor accidents involve the property owner’s negligence in clearing debris, snow, or ice in a reasonable time from pathways or parking lots used by visitors and others.
Indoor slipping, tripping, and falling often involve slippery floor surfaces, crowded aisleways, broken stairways, and hazardous unmarked areas.
What Is the Average Cost of a Slip and Fall Accident?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) revealed the average hospital expenses involved in slipping and falling accidents totaling over $30,000 per incident.
- However, there are other costs associated with falling injuries that include:
- Lost time away from work during the healing
- Lost future earnings due to a temporary/permanent disability caused by the accident
- Future costs associated with ongoing rehabilitation, treatments, and physical/occupational therapy
- Non-tangible damages including pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Slip, Trip, and Fall?
The length of time it takes to resolve a slip, trip, and fall incident depends on the case’s unique circumstances and the extent of the victim’s injuries. The victim, or their attorney, will need to determine liability and all parties responsible for causing damages.
Next, the lawyer will need to evaluate the case and determine its value based on hospitalization and medical costs, time away from work (past and future), the extent of temporary/permanent disability, pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
Can I Sue the City for Slipping on Ice?
A city or county municipality might be civilly liable for a fall accident occurring on the sidewalk, alley, road, or side street if the town's maintenance crews were negligent in maintaining a safe environment.
Simply falling on a sidewalk or street does not prove the city’s negligence in providing reasonable care to streets and sidewalks.
Many cases involving slipping and tripping in cities and towns occur on poorly maintained public sidewalks and streets. However, the municipality is not responsible for removing snow and ice in the front of a private home or commercial building.
Hiring an Illinois Accident Attorney: Holding a Property Owner Responsible for a Snow or Ice Slip & Fall Injury
Anyone severely injured from a slip and fall from snow and ice conditions that they believe were beyond natural conditions should discuss their accident with an experienced Illinois premises liability injury attorney. Filing a personal injury claim might provide available financial relief to cover their damages, harm, and injuries.
The injured party must establish that the property owner was negligent in maintaining premises which might have contributed to the victim's injuries. Likely, the property owner has commercial or homeowners insurance coverage to pay for any damages caused by an ice slip and fall accident, which might include medical expenses, time away from work, hospitalization costs, pain, suffering, and mental anguish.
The slip and fall attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represent people who have been injured from falling on ice and snow at the homes of friends or businesses. Before you speak to an insurance company about your accident, we invite you to talk to a Chicago attorney who has successfully litigated these cases with a free consultation.
Were you or a loved one injured in a slip and fall accident at work?
We can help you obtain financial compensation in workers' compensation benefits for your injuries. Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your claim.
All discussions with our premises liability lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send sensitive information to our personal injury law office through voicemail, email, or text message.
Our Chicago, IL attorneys follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Learn more about the incidence of Illinois slip and fall accidents involving snow and ice: