Who Are Common Defendants in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
The most common defendants in Illinois slip and fall cases include commercial property owners, private property owners, store owners, and public entities among others.
What Are the Duties of a Property Owner in Slip and Fall Cases and Accidents?
You might not think about it very much as you go onto another commercial or private property, but the property owners of those establishments owe you certain duties regarding your safety.
Generally, they must use reasonable efforts and ordinary care to reduce risk and warn you about unseen dangers. See 740 ILCS 130.
However, they do not have to guard you against every conceivable kind of harm or accident including a natural pileup of ice or snow.
With respect to slip and fall accidents, this may require businesses to clean up items (such as liquids, products strewn on the floor, or things that can trip you) in order to prevent these kinds of incidents. How long do they have to do that? It depends upon the situation but they will typically be afforded a reasonable amount of time.
Therefore, if you are walking down the aisle of a Chicago grocery store and slip on water that had been there for hours, you may have a reasonable claim against them.
Yet, if the water had just spilled on the ground where you fell within the last few minutes, then you may not have a plausible case.
The duties of property owners to prevent slip and fall accidents and your right to recover a personal injury settlement amount for them are reasonably derived from the particular facts and circumstances.
To understand what your settlement options are, speak with a personal injury lawyer from our law firm about fall cases and issues of actual or constructive notice.
We can set up an attorney client relationship and give you a free consultation about fall cases, fall injuries, and a premises liability case.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Cases?
Many slip and fall incidents and the subsequent personal injury case arise from similar circumstances. These often include roadways, construction areas, old or decrepit walkways, stores, and large private residential areas.
The specific causes of slip and fall events that happen in these settings are common as well, though, and include some of the following:
- Warning signs
- Snow and ice pileup
- Wet floor
- Dog bites
- Poor lighting
- Broken down handrails
- Uneven floors
- Other unsafe condition
Talk to a personal injury lawyer after a slip and fall accident and subsequent slip and fall injury. We can discuss if the property owner had constructive notice about the dangerous conditions.
Then, a personal injury attorney can review the property owner's liability and file a case for the injured party.
This will let the fall victim obtain compensation for their serious injuries from the property owner or responsible party in fall claims brought about by a dangerous condition.
Use our contact form to get in touch, don't send sensitive or confidential information, message and data rates apply. Use of form or other automated technology constitutes acceptance of outreach (zip code search) and confidential relationship - attorney advertising.
What Is Someone Responsible in a Slip and Fall Accident?
There are only certain situations when injured victims can bring an injury claim to necessarily secure compensation for a defendant's negligence, like a property owner. Prior to breaking down examples of when the defendant's negligence would trigger relief, let us break down the notion of negligence.
In this context, it means when the defendant failed to act as a reasonable person would in the circumstances.
For instance, they could have failed to identify dangerous conditions and remove them or maybe they did not properly maintain the premises.
Whatever the case, you must argue it was deficient for the specific situation.
Implicitly, you must remove alternative causes for your harm, coming from your or a third party. There can be no comparative fault.
Also, you must show the defendant had some notice-constructive if there was no actual notice. In the end, defendants will be liable in these cases when you can show they were negligent. We will outline the full set of elements you must prove in your cause of action in the following section.
Contact us for a free evaluation on personal injury cases if a fall occurred or a similar accident occurs.
We can review legal representation for settlement negotiations in premises liability law. We can also discuss common defenses like what the property owner knew, comparative negligence, contributory negligence, open and obvious defense, or such a defense has not been predicted.
What You Need to Prove in a Slip and Fall Claim
You must prove specific things in court or settlement before you can recover financial compensation in an Illinois slip and fall cause of action. These are essential points of your lawsuit and cannot be ignored.
If you do not plead and prove them, you will be futile in your attempt to obtain economic damages or non-economic damages after your incident.
Here are the points you must make:
- You had legal permission to be on the property.
- You slipped, tripped, or fell on the property.
- This accident caused injuries and damages, be them either tangible or intangible in nature.
- The events transpired due to the negligence of the defendant and not yours or that of a third party.
Of course, you have a lot of flexibility to accomplish these legal points. Discuss strategy with an experienced attorney but do not ignore them
How Long Do I Have to File a Slip and Fall Lawsuit?
Plaintiffs in Illinois are prohibited from filing suit for their injuries if they wait too long. Illinois victims of slip, trip, or fall accidents only have two years from the date of the underlying events to sue.
This means they have to do all of the investigation, legal analysis, and court filing procedures within that amount of time. It might seem like a lot but it goes by quickly when you are seeking medical treatment, trying to work, taking care of your family, and managing other commitments.
Our firm can expedite this process so you can worry about your health and your family, and it gets filed on time. Talk to us about what steps you need to take and how we can take some of the load of your shoulders.
What Should I Do After a Slip or Fall Accident?
In the immediate aftermath of a slip, trip, or fall situation, you will want to do a couple of things. Taking these steps will ensure that you get better.
They will also allow you to proceed on a legal cause of action to redress your damages in court or through private remediation.
Also, the person or party that caused this tumult will move to squash your rights.
You need to act fast, or they will disappear or destroy your case. Here are a couple of steps we recommend every person injured in an event like this take:
- Go see a doctor for medical attention.
- Contact your employer for proof of income information.
- Make a list of everything you remember about the events.
- Avoid talking to the other parties involved or their insurance company without counsel present.
- Retain experienced legal counsel to advocate on your behalf.
Of course, after you hire your legal team, you can craft out a full plan of attack. However, moving on these action items will get you started and hopefully allow you to pursue relief and compensation in Illinois court.
What Compensation Could I Get in a Slip and Fall Case?
The nature and extent of your recovery will depend solely upon your injuries. You cannot borrow from other cases. They may guide your estimate, but they will not shape your award or settlement.
Normally, plaintiffs recover for the following harms and losses:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Changed quality of life
Talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about what you may expect to return in a claim.
Slip and Fall Cases
$325,000 Slip and Fall Accident Award:
A man in his early sixties tripped down a flight of stairs at a local Chicago-area theater. He ruptured a tendon in quadriceps. That eventually resulted in a disability with partial loss of leg.
His medical expenses were over $40,000 and his lost income was almost $100,000. He sued the theater and claimed they should have installed handrails as well as anti-slip tape.
The defendant filed a response, but the matter did not litigate. The two sides settled for $325,000.
$400,000 Slip and Fall Accident Settlement:
A construction worker was working at a Jewel grocery location when he slipped on ice and fell to the ground. He was fifty-give. The man suffered spinal damage at L4 and L5.
Though they did not require surgery, he still incurred medical expenses close to $100,000 for other medical treatment and lost over $100,000 from missed work.
To recoup for that as well as the other economic and non-economic damages, he sued the grocer as well as the general contractor. He claimed they knew of this dangerous condition but failed to tell him about it or rectify the situation.
The parties settled the matter for $400,000.
$1,225,000 Settlement Award:
A pastor in his late sixties was out walking his dog at night when he slipped on some ice on a neighbor’s driveway and seriously injured his head. He sustained a traumatic brain injury as well as a subdural hematoma that required cranioplasties and craniectomies.
The pastor sued the neighbor. He alleged the water was an unnatural accumulation from a downspout that turned into black ice.
The defendant shot back that the pastor was drunk or, in the alternative, that the ice was a natural accumulation and open and obvious. Their differences did not prevent them from settling the matter to end the litigation.
The pastor received $1,225,000 in financial compensation for his economic damages (medical expenses) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering).
$110,000 Slip and Fall Case Award:
This personal injury claim was brought against a condo association by a condo owner. She was just forty-six at the time of the accident.
The woman slipped on some ice in the parking lot and aggravated a prior lower back injury at the L5-S1 spot on her spine. She needed surgery and other medical treatment totaling nearly $50,000.
The woman also racked up thousands of dollars of losses because she had to miss work to recover. While leaving snow unattended might not ordinarily incur liability in Illinois for slip and fall accidents, the association was supposed to clear per its bylaws.
The two sides settled the dispute for $110,000.
Talk to an Experienced Lawyer Today About Your Slip and Fall Case
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers years of experience helping countless victims recover from slip, trip, and fall accidents for the pain and harm that comes with that.
Let us help you and your family move on from this event by obtaining the relief and compensation you deserve under Illinois law.
We can schedule a free and no-obligation consultation to go over your rights. Then, we can get to work on your case right away.
Our attorney client arrangement is on contingency so that you don't pay, if we don't win. Find out what that might mean by calling us at (888) 424-5757.