Slip and fall injuries can be some of the most deceptively serious incidents that can affect a person’s health. Even a short trip to the ground can cause broken bones, concussions, and separated joints. Whenever this accident is the fault of the person who owns the property where it occurred, the injured individual may have the right to demand compensation. However, proving that the landowner was at fault can be more difficult than it may appear at first. Illinois is one of a few states that has passed a statute specifically outlining the duties of landowners to protect visitors to their property. All potential plaintiffs must understand this statute and what it means for their claim.
A Lake County slip and fall lawyer could take on the insurance companies to help you pursue the compensation that you deserve. In addition, your dedicated personal injury attorney could work to ensure that you understand the relevant laws, gather the key evidence in the case, and demand payments for medical bills as well as lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other damages.
Lake County Laws Concerning Slips and Falls
Slip and fall cases in Illinois are different from those in most other states. Other jurisdictions would examine the visitor’s reasons for being on the land to determine to what extent the landowner must protect them, but Illinois takes a simpler approach. Instead of relying on the old common law analysis for visitor rights, Illinois’ legislature passed a statute that changes the responsibilities of landowners.
740 ILCS 130/2 simply states that all landowners must take reasonable care to protect the wellbeing of all invited people present on their land. This means that as long as a visitor has permission to be on the land, the property owner must take steps to protect them.
Whether or not those steps were sufficient to meet this legal duty is ultimately a question for a court to answer. However, a Lake County slip and fall lawyer could help with gathering the evidence of this failure of duty and to present it to defendant attorneys and juries in a clear and convincing manner.
Typical Examples of Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and falls that occur on other people’s property are often the result of temporary hazards. Usually, the landowner is aware that this hazard exists prior to the incident, or otherwise does not take any steps to address the problem. Common examples of these conditions include:
- A buildup of ice or snow on a sidewalk
- Liquid spills on floors
- Unfilled potholes in parking lots
- Loose floor tiles
Any of these examples could cause even a cautious visitor to lose their balance and fall to the ground. These falls can place great strain on a person’s knees and ankles, while the impact onto the ground itself can cause severe bruising, broken bones, or concussions.
Liability for Slip and Fall Injuries
If the landowner is held liable for the accident, they may have to pay not just medical bills to the injured plaintiff but also potentially compensate them for any lost earnings and mental anguish. Slip and fall lawyers in Lake County could help plaintiffs examine the conditions that led to the slip and fall, gather information concerning their losses, and engage in settlement negotiations that demand full payment.
However, plaintiffs and attorneys alike must ensure that a case does not fail because of missing the time limit to file. Under 735 ILCS 5/13-202, plaintiffs must act within two years of the date of injury or potentially lose their right to pursue compensation permanently.
Speaking with a Lake County Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and falls may leave victims seriously harmed. Even short unexpected tripping accidents can cause heavy impacts that can result in permanent injuries. If a landowner does not take adequate steps to protect that injured visitor, they may be civilly liable to pay for these losses.
A Lake County slip and fall lawyer should understand the responsibilities of landowners under Illinois law and may be able to help enforce them. Get in touch with a knowledgeable attorney today to schedule a consultation and see what they may be able to do for you.