We want to give you an index of laws so that you are ready if you are ever involved in a premises accident. To understand them in a more comprehensive manner, please contact one of our qualified and experienced attorneys. Anyone of them can explain to you how they apply to your case and what they mean to your potential recovery.
- Premises Liability Laws
- Statutes Of Limitations in Illinois Premises Cases
- Lawsuit Drafting for Illinois Premises Cases
- Dismissal Of Your Illinois Premises Case
- Negligence Standard In Illinois Premises Cases
- Contributory Fault In Illinois Premises Cases
- Products Liability Actions In Illinois Premises Cases
- Joint And Several Liability In Illinois Premises Cases
- Contribution In Illinois Premises Cases
Premises Liability Law
Although there are many, many different kinds of premises accidents in Illinois, most of them fall under the umbrella and purview of the Illinois Premises Liability Act. This Act provides many important definitions (i.e. the difference between an invitee and trespasser) and many other critical items. However, maybe the most important thing it does is give what the duty of premises owners is to others and, also, what it is not:
740 ILCS 130/2:
“The duty owed to such entrants is that of reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the state of the premises or acts done or omitted on them. The duty of reasonable care under the circumstances which an owner or occupier of land owes to such entrants does not include any of the following: a duty to warn of or otherwise take reasonable steps to protect such entrants from conditions on the premises that are known to the entrant, are open and obvious, or can reasonably be expected to be discovered by the entrant; a duty to warn of latent defects or dangers or defects or dangers unknown to the owner or occupier of the premises; a duty to warn such entrants of any dangers resulting from misuse by the entrants of the premises or anything affixed to or located on the premises; or a duty to protect such entrants from their own misuse of the premises or anything affixed to or located on the premises.”
Statutes Of Limitations
Below are a few relevant statutes that provide for the time period by which you must bring your case for damages following a premises accident:
735 ILCS 5/13-202:
“Actions for damages for an injury to the person, or for false imprisonment, or malicious prosecution, or for a statutory penalty, or for abduction, or for seduction, or for criminal conversation that may proceed pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 7.1 of the Criminal Conversation Abolition Act, except damages resulting from first degree murder or the commission of a Class X felony and the perpetrator thereof is convicted of such crime, shall be commenced within 2 years next after the cause of action accrued…”
735 ILCS 5/13-205:
“Actions on unwritten contracts, expressed or implied, or on awards of arbitration, or to recover damages for an injury done to property, real or personal, or to recover the possession of personal property or damages for the detention or conversion thereof, and all civil actions not otherwise provided for, shall be commenced within 5 years next after the cause of action accrued…”
For actions related specifically to premises accidents at construction sites, see 735 ILCS 5/13-214, provided in part:
“(a) Actions based upon tort, contract or otherwise against any person for an act or omission of such person in the design, planning, supervision, observation or management of construction, or construction of an improvement to real property shall be commenced within 4 years from the time the person bringing an action, or his or her privity, knew or should reasonably have known of such act or omission. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, contract actions against a surety on a payment or performance bond shall be commenced, if at all, within the same time limitation applicable to the bond principal.”
It might see simple. You got hurt and you want to recover but Illinois require you to say specific things in your complaint. Otherwise, your claim will be denied. Here is a law that outlines how you must draft your Illinois premises case complaint.
735 ILCS 5/2-603:
“(a) All pleadings shall contain a plain and concise statement of the pleader's cause of action, counterclaim, defense, or reply.
(b) Each separate cause of action upon which a separate recovery might be had shall be stated in a separate count or counterclaim, as the case may be and each count, counterclaim, defense or reply, shall be separately pleaded, designated and numbered, and each shall be divided into paragraphs numbered consecutively, each paragraph containing, as nearly as may be, a separate allegation.
(c) Pleadings shall be liberally construed with a view to doing substantial justice between the parties.”
Dismissal Of Your Illinois Premises Case
Unfortunately, there are certain ways that the defendant or defendants can kick your suit out and leave you holding the bag. Basically, there are two different routes for them to do that. The first, 735 ILCS 5/2-615, alleges that the law does not recognize what you are asking for and the second, 735 ILCS 5/2-619, alleges that you have not made the case for a legally recognizable claim. Both of these laws are provided in relevant part:
735 ILCS 5/2-615:
“Motions with respect to pleadings. (a) All objections to pleadings shall be raised by motion. The motion shall point out specifically the defects complained of, and shall ask for appropriate relief, such as: that a pleading or portion thereof be stricken because substantially insufficient in law, or that the action be dismissed, or that a pleading be made more definite and certain in a specified particular, or that designated immaterial matter be stricken out, or that necessary parties be added, or that designated misjoined parties be dismissed, and so forth.”
735 ILCS 5/2-619
“Involuntary dismissal based upon certain defects or defenses. (a) Defendant may, within the time for pleading, file a motion for dismissal of the action or for other appropriate relief upon any of the following grounds. If the grounds do not appear on the face of the pleading attacked the motion shall be supported by affidavit:”
Negligence Standard In Illinois Premises Cases
In many Illinois premises accident cases, you might simply claim that the wrongdoer acted unreasonably and that conduct caused your injury. This is the essence of a negligence suit and Illinois defines what that looks like in 735 ILCS 5/2-1116(b).
735 ILCS 5/2-1116(b):
“Fault" means any act or omission that (i) is negligent, willful and wanton, or reckless, is a breach of an express or implied warranty, gives rise to strict liability in tort, or gives rise to liability under the provisions of any State statute, rule, or local ordinance and (ii) is a proximate cause of death, bodily injury to person, or physical damage to property for which recovery is sought.”
Contributory Fault In Illinois Premises Cases
Illinois adopts modified comparative fault for premises accident cases. As shown below, this is because it means that the plaintiffs can recover only if their amount of the fault is less than 51%; however, any recovery they get is also limited by how much their actions contributed to the incident:
735 ILCS 5/2-1116:
“In all actions on account of bodily injury or death or physical damage to property, based on negligence, or product liability based on strict tort liability, the plaintiff shall be barred from recovering damages if the trier of fact finds that the contributory fault on the part of the plaintiff is more than 50% of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought. The plaintiff shall not be barred from recovering damages if the trier of fact finds that the contributory fault on the part of the plaintiff is not more than 50% of the proximate cause of the injury or damage for which recovery is sought, but any damages allowed shall be diminished in the proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the plaintiff.”
Products Liability In Illinois Premises Cases
Your premises accident might involve a defectively made or designed product . If so, here are crucial laws related to that kind of cause of action:
Definition of a products liability action:
735 ILCS 5/13-213(3):
““product liability action” means any action based on any theory or doctrine brought against the seller of a product on account of personal injury, (including illness, disease, disability and death) or property, economic or other damage allegedly caused by or resulting from the manufacture, construction, preparation, assembly, installation, testing, makeup, characteristics, functions, design, formula, plan, recommendation, specification, prescription, advertising, sale, marketing, packaging, labeling, repair, maintenance or disposal of, or warning or instruction regarding any product. This definition excludes actions brought by State or federal regulatory agencies pursuant to statute.”
Definition of a product:
735 ILCS 5/13-213(2):
“(2) “product” means any tangible object or goods distributed in commerce, including any service provided in connection with the product. Where the term “product unit” is used, it refers to a single item or unit of a product.”
Definition of a seller:
735 ILCS 5/13-213(4):
“(4) “seller” means one who, in the course of a business conducted for the purpose, sells, distributes, leases, assembles, installs, produces, manufactures, fabricates, prepares, constructs, packages, labels, markets, repairs, maintains, or otherwise is involved in placing a product in the stream of commerce.”
Statute of repose for a products liability action:
735 ILCS 5/13-213(4)(b):
“(b) Subject to the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) no product liability action based on any theory or doctrine shall be commenced except within the applicable limitations period and, in any event, within 12 years from the date of first sale, lease or delivery of possession by a seller or 10 years from the date of first sale, lease or delivery of possession to its initial user, consumer, or other non-seller, whichever period expires earlier, of any product unit that is claimed to have injured or damaged the plaintiff, unless the defendant expressly has warranted or promised the product for a longer period and the action is brought within that period…the action commenced within the applicable limitation period and, in any event, within 10 years from the date such alteration, modification or change was made, unless defendant expressly has warranted or promised the product for a longer period and the action is brought within that period...”
Joint And Several Liability In Illinois Premises Cases
Here is Illinois’ law on joint and several liability in premises accident cases:
735 ILCS 5/2-1117:
“Joint liability. Except as provided in Section 2-1118, in actionss on account of bodily injury or death or physical damage to property, based on negligence, or product liability based on strict tort liability, all defendants found liable are jointly and severally liable for plaintiff's past and future medical and medically related expenses. Any defendant whose fault, as determined by the trier of fact, is less than 25% of the total fault attributable to the plaintiff, the defendants sued by the plaintiff, and any third party defendant except the plaintiff's employer, shall be severally liable for all other damages. Any defendant whose fault, as determined by the trier of fact, is 25% or greater of the total fault attributable to the plaintiff, the defendants sued by the plaintiff, and any third party defendants except the plaintiff's employer, shall be jointly and severally liable for all other damages.”
Contribution In Illinois Premises Cases
Here is Illinois’ law regarding contribution among defendants for premises accident cases:
740 ILCS 100/2:
“Right of Contribution. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, where 2 or more persons are subject to liability in tort arising out of the same injury to person or property, or the same wrongful death, there is a right of contribution among them, even though judgment has not been entered against any or all of them. (b) The right of contribution exists only in favor of a tortfeasor who has paid more than his pro rata share of the common liability, and his total recovery is limited to the amount paid by him in excess of his pro rata share. No tortfeasor is liable to make contribution beyond his own pro rata share of the common liability.”
Many times, your premise accident will occur while you are working and thus implicate your ability to collect workers’ compensation. To read about the laws and rules of workers’ compensation in Illinois, click here:
Want To Know More About Premises Liability Law In Illinois?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has represented victims of all kinds of injuries. We can help you get a better grasp of the various laws that affect your premises liability case. Also, if you hire us, we can work for you on contingency so that you’ll only have to pay if you are happy with the settlement or award. Just contact our offices to find out how we can get the ball rolling towards recovery.
For additional information see the following pages:
- How Can Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Help My Premises Case?
- Is There a Premises Accident Case Toolkit?
- What Are Premises Accident Statistics?
- What Are The Most Common Premises Accidents And Offenders?
- What Can I Recover in a Premises Accident Case?
- What Have Other Premises Accident Victims Recovered in Court?
- What Should I do After Im in a Premises Accident?