Illinois Slip and Fall Cases Can Turn on Open and Obvious Defense

Winning a slip and fall case in Illinois is not easy, even if you suffered terrible, life-altering, and debilitating injuries. Landowners and their insurance companies will fight hard to make sure you receive little to no financial compensation for your losses. Illinois law allows landowners to argue that your injuries were not their fault because the danger was “open and obvious.”

When a plaintiff sustains an injury in an Illinois slip and fall accident, the plaintiff has a tough, uphill fight on his or her hands. Experienced, insightful, and successful slip and fall lawyers in Illinois will understand how to argue that you were hurt because the landowner (or lessee) knew or could have learned about a condition on the premises if the landowner had exercised reasonable care which presented a risk of harm that was unreasonably high. Also, your Illinois premises liability lawyer will help you prove that the landowner should anticipate that no one will notice the hazard on the property or will see the danger but not do anything to protect herself or himself from it. Finally, your experienced Illinois slip and fall attorney will help you show that the landowner carelessly did nothing to protect the person who was hurt.

The landowner will use several arguments, including the “open and obvious defense” to try to defeat your case. The landowner will only be responsible for damages if the injured person had no way to know about the danger because it was hidden, or there was no way the injured person could have learned about the hazard. Thus, if the plaintiff can observe the potential risk, then he or she has a chance to guard against any possible harm.

There are at least two exceptions to the open and obvious rule in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a plaintiff has the chance to argue that he or she was distracted and therefore could not protect himself or herself. Additionally, the injured person can claim that he or she encountered the hazardous situation because doing so outweighed the chance of getting hurt and did not have much of a choice in the matter.


Stein & Shulman, LLC has over 45 years of combined experienced in Illinois Personal Injury Law. You can receive a free and instant case review by calling our office at 312.422.0500.

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