Almost one-third of slip and fall accidents involving slippery or icy conditions at a business occur in the parking lot or parking garage of the property. Insurance companies set aside billions of dollars in reserves to pay settlements related to slip and falls at business premises and roughly 25% of these falls are related to icy and weather related conditions.
In Illinois these cases can be extremely difficult to win and, unlike auto injury cases, the potential client’s actions immediately following the fall are critical. At a time when you are in pain and surprised by your sudden fall it is imperative that you are taking immediate steps to identify the cause of your fall and the source of the slippery conditions. Is the presence of snow, ice or water the result of something the property owner did or is it simply wet or icy because of the inclement weather?
Is the water in the aisle of the store present because people simply have wet shoes and are tracking in moisture from the snowy conditions outside or is there a leak in the ceiling that is causing water to pool in the aisle of the store? The injured customer that just fell must take steps to protect and preserve their ability to seek compensation for their injury. Medical bills will begin to add up, as will lost wages and the unfortunate exhaustion of vacation and sick days from work.
- You must identify the cause of your fall.
- You must take pictures of the conditions which caused you to fall.
- You must report your fall to the store’s management and make sure an accident report is filled out.
- You must get the names of any witnesses to your fall.
Business owners carry insurance to compensate people that fall due to the stores negligence just as drivers carry auto insurance to compensate others in a crash. You are not being litigious simply because you take immediate steps to gather facts following a slip and fall.
Try to ascertain what caused the condition which led to your fall. Try to ascertain whether there were any witnesses to your fall and make sure your fall is reported to the store. Store owners do not have an obligation to remove snow and ice from their premises BUT if they undertake snow and ice removal efforts they must not act negligently in these snow and ice removal efforts.
Our law office will take immediate and aggressive steps to investigate your fall and visit the site of your fall to identify conditions on the premises which are unsafe. However YOU are in the best position to identify what the conditions were like at the exact time of your fall and therefore you need to be on high alert.
If you have fallen at someone’s place of business or an apartment building please call our office immediately for a free consultation. Do not wait or delay because it is imperative that the conditions which caused your fall be identified and captured on film before the weather improves or the leak is corrected.