Thousands of people become injured after slipping and falling on the uneven pavement every year. Gaps, cracks, and differing pavement heights develop over time, and property owners have a legal obligation to inspect and correct any dangerous uneven conditions. When property owners fail to maintain and repair pavements, the uneven pavement conditions can become more hazardous for pedestrians.

If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident on uneven pavement, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. One of the best things you can do is consult with an experienced Chicago slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Stein & Shulman, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can help you pursue the financial compensation you deserve.

Causes of Uneven Pavement Accidents

Chicago is highly populated, and in many cases, residents must maneuver through large crowds to get to and from work and run errands. Crowded sidewalks often prevent pedestrians from noticing defects and holes on the ground, including dangerous, uneven pavement. 

Uneven pavement is far too common in the greater Chicago area. Our extreme winter weather conditions take a toll on the pavement, and as a highly populated city, our streets undergo a significant amount of wear and tear. There are many causes of uneven pavement in Chicago, including the following:

  • Large pavement cracks from freezing and thawing
  • Tree roots lifting pavement and creating an uneven surface
  • Sinking sidewalk slabs due to changing soil conditions
  • Un-repaired pavement crevices 
  • Crumbling pavement crevices
  • Poor road maintenance
  • Improperly laid pavement slabs
  • Poorly designed roads or sidewalks
  • Loose slabs of pavement
  • Missing slaps of pavement
  • A sloped slab of pavement that retains water, snow, or ice
  • Holes in the sidewalk 

Injuries Caused By Slipping and Falling on Uneven Pavement

Tripping and falling on uneven pavement may seem like a minor accident. However, the injuries caused by an uneven pavement accident can be serious, life-threatening, or even fatal. Uneven pavement is especially dangerous for children, adolescents, and elderly individuals. The cracks and uneven pavement can cause a child to be thrown from his or her bicycle or scooter, suffering serious injuries.

Elderly individuals have a higher risk of suffering serious injuries after tripping and falling on uneven pavement. Hip fractures are more common among elderly individuals who fall on uneven pavement. Unfortunately, recovering from hip fractures can be difficult for the elderly population. Many cannot fully recover from hip fractures and continue to live with symptoms for the rest of their lives. In addition to hip fractures, slip and fall accidents on uneven pavement can cause the following injuries:

  • Head injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Sprained ankles
  • Knee injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Head injuries, including concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Cuts and scrapes
  • Lacerations 
  • Contusions (bruises)
  • Fractures 
  • Pulled muscles

Illinois Premises Liability Law

According to the Illinois Premises Liability Act, the victims of a slip and fall accident can obtain compensation when another person or business has negligence caused their injuries. The first step in bringing a premises liability lawsuit is determining who was at fault for your injuries. Responsibility for uneven sidewalks varies. Depending on the location of your slip and fall accident, a private property owner, business owner, or the city of Chicago could be liable for your injuries. 

Property owners owe customers, visitors, and guests a duty of care. Property owners must fix potential hazards on their property that could result in injuries. If the property owner knows that a dangerous condition exists, he or she must either warn people about the dangerous condition or fix it promptly. As the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove the following elements:

  • The pavement was unreasonably dangerous
  • The property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the dangerous uneven pavement on the sidewalk or asphalt where you were injured
  • The dangerous uneven pavement caused your injuries 

Property owners often claimed that they weren’t aware of the uneven sidewalk on their property. You will need to prove that a reasonable person should have known about the uneven sidewalks. For example, suppose the property owner walked past a massive crack in his or her sidewalk every day when coming to work. This type of evidence will help you prove that the property owner should have known about the dangerous condition. 

Establishing Liability for Publicly Owned Uneven Sidewalks

Municipalities and cities are responsible for maintaining their public sidewalks in Illinois. Victims of uneven pavement accidents in Illinois can hold cities responsible for injuries that occur on public sidewalks. However, there are special regulations that protect municipalities from premises liability lawsuits. 

Filing a lawsuit against a municipality is possible in certain circumstances, but you only have two years to file a civil action against a government entity in Illinois. You’ll need to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you file your “notice of claim” in time. At Stein & Shulman, LLC, We can help you determine whether your accident occurred on a public sidewalk or a sidewalk owned by a homeowners association or residential building. After determining who is at fault, we can help you bring a premises liability claim for compensation.

Damages Available in a Chicago Uneven Pavement Lawsuit

Successful plaintiffs can recover economic and non-economic damages in a premises liability lawsuit. Economic damages include any quantifiable financial loss the victim has suffered due to his or her injuries and compensation for past and future medical bills, and past and future lost income. 

Economic damages also include property damage, the cost of medical equipment, and expenses associated with traveling to and from medical appointments. Successful plants are also entitled to non-economic damages for the pain and suffering they have injured due to their slip and fall accident.

Contact a Chicago Uneven Pavement Lawyer Today 

If you become injured after slipping and falling on uneven Pavement in the greater Chicago area, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. The premises liability Attorneys at Stein & Shulman, LLC, have a proven track record of obtaining their clients’ compensation. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation to learn how we can advocate for you.