With the onset of winter, icy sidewalks and steps can result in an increase in slip and fall cases. When serious injury occurs, many people in the greater Chicago area seek out a Naperville personal injury lawyer at the Greenberg Law Firm to recover damages. Hard winters are common in the region, but if owner negligence was a factor in the accident, the slip and fall victim might successfully sue for compensation.
In legal terms, “slip and fall” applies to circumstances in which injuries occur on someone else’s property. Aside from winter-related hazards such as icy walks or potholes, other problems with loose or torn carpeting, wet floors, impediments placed on the floor, or poor lighting can be considered hazardous and a danger to others. The blame for an accident lies with the property owner if negligent. Illinois law requires certain conditions be present in order for you to prove negligence and seek redress from the property owner:
- The property owner or manager had a duty to not cause you injury, but failed in this responsibility
- The owner’s violation of the duty led to your injury
- You suffer damages as a result of the injury
When Is The Owner Negligent?
A property owner obviously has no control over whether it rains, snows, or becomes icy on his property. The law requires that the owner take action in a timely manner to reduce hazards by shoveling snow, putting salt or sand on icy patches, removing puddles of water that may re-freeze, and perhaps using nonslip mats at a structural entrance.
Many municipalities have Ordinances mandating owners to maintain municipal property abutting their property within a reasonable time. For private sidewalks and parking lots, the law might put more responsibility on the owner or property manager to keep the area safe for the public.
Types Of Negligence In Illinois
In regard to these cases, the law also considers other types of negligence that can influence the outcome of the case:
- Contributory negligence applies if you are more than 50% responsible for your injuries. This can block the potential of collecting anything from a suit. For example, if you are running into a store on an icy day wearing high heeled boots, the store manager might successfully claim that you did not exercise the proper amount of caution given the weather conditions.
- Comparative negligence applies if you can be held partly at fault, but your fault might be assessed at less than 50%. If you are texting and walking to your car while crossing an icy, poorly lit private parking lot, the owner might claim that you were partly at fault.
- Joint and several liability laws also apply in the state, so you can sue anyone who contributed to your injury for the full amount of the damage regardless of what percentage they shared. If you were wearing boots guaranteed by the manufacturer to be slip resistant on a poorly maintained parking lot, your attorney might find a cause of action against the shoe manufacturer and the parking lot manager.
Do You Have A Strong Slip And Fall Case?
To determine complex liability issues that might be involved, a Naperville personal injury lawyer will examine the facts of the case as well as any documentation, such as contact information for witnesses who saw the occurrence, pictures, and medical records that document an injury. If your attorney properly presents evidence in support of your slip and fall claim, the property owners’ insurance company may agree to a settlement. If the opponent will not settle or claims that you are more responsible for the incident, the matter might go to trial.
Seek Out An Experienced Naperville Personal Injury Lawyer
The Greenberg Law Firm has successfully pursued slip and fall cases for over 35 years. Although you have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim, you should seek help as soon as possible in order to preserve evidence favorable to your claim. Your Naperville personal injury lawyer at the firm will help assess the facts of the case to determine if you are likely to receive compensation. For a free consultation, call us today at 630-416-4747 or fill out the form on our website.