A slip and fall accident can be more than just embarrassing. Slips, trips, and falls can occur in a variety of environments and may result in severe injuries such as sprains, strains, and broken bones. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, slip and fall accidents account for up to fifteen percent of all accidental deaths.
Generally, slip and fall accident cases are based on negligence law. Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, property owners owe a duty to those who visit their property to exercise reasonable care in addressing risky conditions such as wet floors, loose handrails, and debris, and to either remove those dangerous conditions or to warn of these risks.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury after a slip and fall accident, an Oak Lawn slip and fall lawyer is prepared to answer your questions and address your concerns. Furthermore, a dedicated personal injury attorney could help you pursue compensation for your damages and work to hold negligent property owners responsible for your injuries.
Liability in Slip and Fall Accidents
In many cases, slip and fall accidents are entirely preventable, and often are caused by a property owner’s negligence. However, slip and fall laws in the State of Illinois recognize that landowners generally do not have a duty to warn others of open and obvious conditions on their property.
For example, a property owner may not have a duty to warn others of a large and visible pond on their property. However, property owners do have a duty to exercise reasonable care of their property and to protect those on their property who are there legally.
Types of Visitors in Oak Lawn
A landowner’s duty towards a visitor on their property depends on that visitor’s legal status under premises liability law. There are generally three types of classifications for a person on another’s property: trespassers, invitees, and licensees.
Under Illinois slip and fall law, a property owner does not owe a trespasser a duty of care until their presence is known or should be known. However, property owners cannot take any action or set any traps with the specific intent to cause harm to trespassers on their property.
Invitees and licensees are much more protected under the law, which means property owners owe them a much broader duty of care. Invitees include people who are invited onto another’s property such as business customers, sporting event spectators, and public service members. Meanwhile, a licensee is a person who is invited onto private property for a specific purpose, such as a social guest or a person who is granted a right of way across another’s property.
Under Illinois Premises Liability Act 740 ILCS 130/2, there is no difference between an invitee and a licensee in terms of the legal duty owed to them by property owners. This means that property owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to all invitees and licensees.
Serious Slip and Fall Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 800,000 people are hospitalized every year due to a falling injury. Some of the most common injuries associated with slips and falls include:
- Broken bones, particularly in the wrists, arms, tailbones, hipbones, legs, and ankles
- Sprains to the wrists, elbows, and shoulders, as well as further sprains and strains in the knee
- Head injuries—to the degree that researchers cite slip and fall cases as one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries
Talk to an Oak Lawn Slip and Fall Attorney Today
If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall accident on private property—whether at a store, restaurant, business, or government-owned location—a dedicated and experienced Oak Lawn slip and fall lawyer could help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and other losses associated with your accident. Call today to get started on your case.