Illinois property owners and those who operate businesses have a duty to maintain the property or premises in a reasonably safe condition for those who are there lawfully. If that duty is breached, very often people will get injured.
If you slip and fall and injure yourself on unsalted ice at the entrance to your apartment building, the building owner may be at fault. If someone is injured at a swimming pool or, tragically, drowns, the pool owner could be liable if they didn’t comply with the required rules and regulations that could have prevented the accident.
There are countless potential premises liability scenarios. Did the premises have uneven stairs or flooring, was it poorly lit, or not up to code? If the owner knew of a safety issue did they post signs or put up barriers around them?
If you have been injured on someone’s property or place of business and it wasn’t your fault, consult with a premises liability attorney as soon as you are able. You may be able to seek compensation for any damages suffered, like medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
In most cases, you will have to go through the owner or operator’s insurance company to receive a monetary settlement. You will want an experienced attorney by your side through this often contentious process.
Proving Negligence by Property Owner or Business Operator
To prove premises liability, you must demonstrate that there was a dangerous condition on the property, that the property owner should have known about it, and that there was no way you could have known about the danger before you were injured. Further, you must prove that the property owner failed to protect you from the conditions on their property and that you suffered your injuries as a direct result of that failure.
How do you go about proving your case? First, acquire as much evidence as you can. The more documentation you can provide to your attorney, the stronger your case can be. Any pictures and videos of the scene of the accident would also be extremely helpful. Report the accident to the manager or authority on site and try to obtain a copy of their written report detailing the accident.
Once you hire a lawyer, they can help you accumulate more evidence. They can interview any witnesses to the accident and check if there were any previous liability issues at the same location. An experienced premises liability attorney will use safety experts and former safety compliance officers in building your case. These experts will help in determining what safety codes or regulations the building operator or property owner failed to comply with as required by law.
Comparative Negligence is a Factor in Illinois
The gathering of evidence can also come into play when a court assesses if an injured party was comparatively negligent. In Illinois, the amount of compensation you receive may be reduced based on your behavior at the time of the accident.
Let’s say you are found to be 20% at fault for an accident because you were walking and texting when you slipped on a wet floor at a local store. If you were given an award of $100,000, that number will drop down to $80,000.
Call a Chicago Premises Liability Attorney for a Consultation
If you have been injured on someone’s property or place of business, you may be feeling overwhelmed with medical bills and stressed if you are unable to work. Don’t hesitate to call an experienced premises liability lawyer for help. They can assess the facts of your case and advise you on how to best proceed.