Premises Liability in Slip and Fall Cases
Slip and fall cases happen often in Chicago during the winter months, and the injuries caused by these accidents can be serious and require extensive rehabilitation for the victims. Slip and fall accidents fall under the umbrella of premises liability, which is codified in Illinois as the Illinois Premises Liability Act. As the victim of a slip and fall in the Chicago area, it is important to understand the Act and how it might affect the viability of your claims against a property owner or operator who was negligent in the care of their premises, causing your injuries.
The Illinois Premises Liability Act
In Illinois, a property owner or operator has a duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner for guests. This applies to both private and public property, including stores, restaurants, bars, shopping malls, amusement parks, movie theaters, condominium and apartment buildings, parking lots, private residences, and more. In many states, the level of responsibility of the property owner is determined by whether the victim was an invitee, licensee, or trespasser on the property, but in Illinois the Premises Liability Act does away with some of those distinctions.
Under the Act, invitees and licensees are due the same level of care by a property owner or occupier. The person responsible for the premises owes people entering the property for the economic benefit of the owner or as social guests a duty to inspect the property and keep that property reasonably safe.
Slip and Fall Cases Under Premises Liability
The owner or occupier of a premises can be held liable under premises liability for slip and fall cases when slippery surfaces and other dangerous conditions caused injury. In order to prove that the owner of the premises is liable for a victims’ injuries in a slip and fall case, the following elements must be shown:
- The owner knew or should have known about the slippery or hazardous condition
- The owner should realize the condition poses an unreasonable risk to invitees
- Expectation that the invitee will not discover the hazard, and
- The owner fails to exercise reasonable care to protect invitees from the condition
In essence, owners and occupiers of land owe a duty of care to protect invitees from slippery surfaces and other dangerous conditions that can cause slip and fall accidents on their premises. Some of the most common hazardous conditions that lead to slip and fall cases in Illinois include pavement defects, accumulated ice and snow, inadequate or insufficient lighting, worn or raised carpeting, spilled drinks and food, worn electrical cords, and depressions in the ground. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to review the facts of your case to determine whether you have a valid claim for your slip and fall case.
Call or Contact Us Now
To learn more about your legal options after a slip and fall on another person’s property, call or contact Harvey L. Walner & Associates in Chicago today to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our Chicago slip and fall attorneys.