Though government officials and healthcare professionals have urged everyone to stay home this holiday season, many people in the Chicago area are still planning small gatherings with their friends and family members. When you accept such an invitation, you are accepting the risk that you may be injured — or this year, contract COVID-19 — at the party. Does this mean you are 100% responsible for any medical costs you may incur?
Premise Liability Basics
When a business owner or homeowner invites you on to their property they are promising you that you will be reasonably safe while visiting. If you happen to suffer an injury while visiting, you may be able to seek compensation if you can show:
- The property was unsafe;
- The property owner was aware the property was unsafe;
- The property owner failed to take steps to correct the unsafe condition; and
- You were injured as a result.
The Stein & Shulman team has decades of experience helping Chicago area residents prove these factors and seek compensation for their injuries. Over the years we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. However, we understand that money is not the only important factor in many premise liability cases.
We know it can be very difficult to figure out what to do if you have medical bills piling up, but you are worried that asking for help paying your expenses will ruin the relationship you have with the person whose property you were injured at. Hiring an experienced attorney can help you navigate this tricky situation.
The key thing to remember is that most property owners carry some sort of insurance that they can claim when someone is injured at their home or business. You aren’t asking them to pay you out of pocket. An attorney from Stein & Shulman can help you make the initial ask, then do all the hardball negotiating with the insurance company so you and your friend or family member can maintain your existing relationship.
The second thing to remember is that your friend or family member probably feels horrible that you were injured on their property, and wants to do whatever they can to help you heal. Take a moment to imagine yourself in their shoes and how you would react if a friend or family member asked you to claim your insurance because they were injured at your house. Most people would not hesitate to do everything they could to help their loved ones, yet are hesitant to ask for assistance themselves. You can rely on Stein & Shulman to help you work through these worries.
A Big COVID Question Mark
This year, people are also trying to figure out what their options are if they contract COVID-19 at a holiday gathering. We know the medical expenses related to a COVID diagnosis can be staggering. What we don’t yet know is who can be held liable for them.
Liability for knowingly spreading illnesses is an evolving area of law, and COVID cases are adding in an additional level of uncertainty. The Stein & Shulman team is closing monitoring developments in this area, and doing what we can to assist Chicago area residents who reach out to us with potential COVID claims.
Experience You Can Trust
If you have been injured or taken ill this holiday season because you visited the home or business of a friend or loved one, you can count on the Stein & Shulman team to assist you if you choose to make a legal compensation claim. Please contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.