Owning property in Illinois is both a privilege and a responsibility. While land ownership generally gives that owner the right to do as they wish on that land, they must protect people who visit their property. The area of law concerning landowner responsibilities in Lake County is known as premises liability.
A landowner must take reasonable steps to protect all invited visitors onto their land. This may include both ensuring that their land is safe from any temporary hazards and making sure that there are not any hidden structural defects that may cause an injury. If a landowner fails in this duty and a visitor is injured as a result, that visitor may have the right to demand compensation with a Lake County premises liability lawyer’s help.
A proactive personal injury attorney could work with you if you were injured while visiting another’s land to pursue compensation needed to make you whole again. This could include payments for medical bills, lost earnings, and mental anguish.
Obligations of Landowners
As a general rule, landowners must protect invited visitors on their land from foreseeable harm. Illinois is one of a few states that has a statute which specifically addresses landowner obligations to protect visitors.
740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 130/2 states that landowners must take reasonable care to protect the wellbeing of invited visitors. The concept of what is reasonable could be key. Reasonable steps for landowners depend greatly on what type of land they own.
The greatest burdens are placed upon businesses that hold themselves open to the public and employ safety and security staff. Places such as shopping malls or grocery stores are held to a higher standard than private home owners.
Statutes of Limitations
Plaintiffs must also satisfy the statute of limitations. 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-202 states that plaintiffs have only two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Whether steps taken to protect visitors were reasonable is a question for a court to decide. A Lake County premises liability lawyer could assist with this process by working to convince defendants and their insurance companies that the evidence against them is so overwhelming that a fair settlement is the correct path going forward.
Compensable Losses for Plaintiffs
The core of any premises liability case is a physical harm. No matter how emotionally shaken a plaintiff may be about the incident, their case may not be able to progress if they do not suffer a physical harm. The extent of this physical harm may not need to be life-threatening. Many cases move forward with mild or moderate injuries such as cuts and scrapes, sprains or strains of joints, and concussions.
Some premises liability injuries can be life-altering. They may result in damage to a person’s spinal cord or cause such severe broken bones that a limb loses function. No matter how severe the medical injury, a defendant may be held liable to pay for all medical costs associated with bringing the plaintiff as close as possible to full health.
A premises liability case must examine the full impact of the incident on a victim’s life. Premises liability lawyers in Lake County could also demand compensation for any lost wages or future earning power, any physical or mental anguish associated with the accident, and loss of quality of life.
Contacting a Lake County Premises Liability Attorney
Injuries that happen while visiting another’s property can lead to surprisingly complex cases. While landowners do have a duty to protect visitors on their property, whether they took reasonable steps to prevent an injury could be difficult to prove. Many insurance companies may try to take advantage of unrepresented plaintiffs who do not understand Illinois premises liability laws. This might result in injured individuals not pursuing their claims for their full value.
A Lake County premises liability lawyer could be dedicated to holding negligent landowners responsible for their actions that result in injuries. They could work for you to gather vital evidence, apply that evidence to the relevant laws, and demonstrate landowner fault to insurance companies and juries. To set up a consultation and get started on your case, call today.