Landowners have a responsibility to protect invited visitors on their land. However, this does not mean that any injury that happens to a visitor is a compensable event. State law requires property owners to take reasonable steps to protect visitors, but this creates a gray area that leaves many instances of personal injury up for debate.
A Naperville premises liability lawyer may be able to help you if you were injured on another’s property. This can include injuries resulting from temporary hazards such as ice, structural defects such as broken stairs, and even criminal actions if the landowner did not provide adequate security to prevent them. An experienced personal injury attorney could fully investigate the incident, seek out evidence to demonstrate fault, and push for full compensation in settlement talks or at trial.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability cases arise when an individual is injured due to a hazard or defect on another person’s property. One common example is a spill in a grocery store aisle. If the store allows a liquid spill to sit on the floor for an unreasonable amount of time without cleaning it up or warning customers, that store may be legally responsible for damages if a shopper slips and falls.
Landowners also have an obligation to maintain structural features on their property. Hazards such as broken stairs, faulty handrails, or even potholes in parking lots could all cause severe injuries if not repaired.
In certain situations, landowners may even be responsible for the actions of third parties. Businesses and apartment buildings must provide adequate security to keep patrons safe, and a lack of proper locks, failing lights, or inoperable emergency phones could all embolden someone with criminal intentions. A Naperville premises liability attorney could work with clients to examine the situations that led to an injury and file suit accordingly.
Pursuing a Premises Liability Claim for Damages
Under 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 130/2, landowners have a duty to take reasonable care to protect invited visitors. This may sound straightforward, but pursuing a personal injury claim based on this statute may require some analysis and assistance from a qualified lawyer.
First, only invited visitors may make a claim for damages alleging personal injury. Therefore, the first step in many cases is to provide evidence that the landowner invited the plaintiff onto their land. In claims involving businesses, a plaintiff may only need to prove that the incident happened during business hours. For incidents involving private property, a plaintiff may need to point to an invitation by text message or email that gave them permission to enter the land.
The plaintiff must also prove that the defendant did not take reasonable steps to prevent the injury, an analysis which occurs on a sliding scale. Large businesses such as shopping malls have a heightened duty to observe their land and provide adequate security. On the other hand, it might not be reasonable to expect private landowners to observe patches of ice on rear patio steps. Ultimately, any premises liability case in Naperville must examine the totality of the circumstances.
A Naperville Premises Liability Attorney Could Help Prove Landowner Negligence
Injuries that occur on another person’s land can result in life-changing consequences. Fortunately, victims may be able to recover compensation for their injuries and other losses if they can prove that landowner was negligent.
However, just because an injury occurs on a property owner’s land does not mean that the landowner is responsible. Plaintiffs in these cases must prove that they had an invitation to be there and that the owner did not take reasonable steps to prevent injury.
A Naperville premises liability lawyer could investigate your accident and help you prove liability within the two-year time limit provided by 735 ILCS 5/13-202. Call today to schedule a consultation.