Upon entering the property of another person or business, it may be natural to assume that the conditions will be safe. While not all accidents on someone else’s property may be the result of a property owner’s negligence, sometimes owners and overseers of private and public property may, in fact, fail to provide a safe environment.
Something as simple as spilled milk left on the floor at the grocery store or a landlord not repairing an old deck can cause long-term or permanent damages. If you were injured on another party’s property, a Cook County premises liability lawyer could help you determine whether you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. A determined attorney could provide you with the representation you need to effectively pursue a positive result in your case.
Licensees and Invitees
As per 740 ILCS 130, known less formally as the Premises Liability Act, potential recovery after an accident on someone else’s property may depend on why the plaintiff was on the property where the injury occurred. The party who owns or occupies the property may be expected to provide reasonable care to keep the premise safe for all legal visitors, although some visitors could be afforded more protection under the law than others.
Social guests are referred to as licensees, and invitees include nearly any other party who is rightfully on the property for any reason, such as independent contractors, sport event spectators, and business customers. It is important to note that landowners may not be required to guarantee safety under all circumstances to visiting parties, but they may be held liable if all three of the following conditions apply:
- The owner or occupier knew of the hazardous condition that injured a visitor or would have discovered the dangerous condition had they taken reasonable care of their property
- The visitor could not reasonably discover or realize the hazardous condition on their own
- The owner or occupier failed to exercise reasonable care to protect the visitor from this particular danger
Trespassers are people who enter a property without permission or invitation. As any Cook County premises liability attorney could confirm, a lower standard of care is expected with trespassers than invitees or licensees.
Generally, the landowner or occupier may not be liable for any injuries suffered by a trespasser, unless they willfully or carelessly injure them. Since trespassers are breaking the law in order to be on the property, Illinois premise liability law is not as sympathetic to their injuries.
Potential Compensation for Injuries
An experienced premises liability lawyer in Cook County may be able to seek compensation on a plaintiff’s behalf if a hazardous condition on someone else’s property caused them to suffer injury. Compensation may be settled between the plaintiff and the defendant or, if private negotiations are unsuccessful, decided by a jury in civil court.
Either way, the purposes of damages in a Cook County premises liability case is to attempt to make a victim whole again. Several factors may be used to determine the amount of compensation that is fair, including past and future medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contacting a Cook County Premises Liability Attorney
Since determining fault in a premise liability case could be difficult, many injured victims wisely choose to hire a Cook County premises liability lawyer to represent them.
Laws about premise liability may be overwhelming, but a skilled attorney could take the guesswork out of your case and work with you to successfully recover damages. Call today to find out more about your legal rights and options after an injury on the property of another party.