The ending and beginning months of the year naturally tend to create more slip and fall accidents due to the dangerous change in climate conditions. Every winter, the attorneys and legal staff at Stein & Shulman talk to many shoppers who recently visited the Washington Square Shopping Mall and slipped and fell on a patch of ice or snow. In addition to feeling embarrassed, these clients soon felt frustrated that the shopping mall owed them a duty that they did not fulfill to protect them from the fall they incurred.
Washington Square Shopping Mall has a duty to keep its shoppers safe from “unnaturally accumulated” snow and ice, and if you were recently injured on their property you might be entitled to damages. The law in Illinois is complex and is applied differently to each unique slip and fall accident. Our attorneys understand the relevant factors that distinguish natural accumulation from unnatural accumulation and will be able to explain whether or not you can hold the Chicago shopping mall accountable for your fall.
Chicago Premises and Property Owner Liability Laws
Premises liability is an area of law that becomes more frequently addressed during the winter months in the Midwest. Chicago is one of the most affected cities in the nation in regards to snow, ice and other winter weather conditions. With drastically staggering temperatures and averages reaching upwards of 30 inches of snow each year, the Windy City is no stranger to hazardous conditions at shopping malls such as Washington Square. Snow and ice begin to block sidewalks, collect in parking lots and garages and create dangerous obstacles for pedestrians and shoppers.
If a property owner, such as Washington Square Shopping Mail, fails to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner, they may be liable for injuries that occur as a result of a slip and fall on their property. While they do not have a duty to shovel the snow that falls or salt the sidewalks, they do have a duty to perform non-negligently if they do decide to take action in either respect. For example, if snow is shoveled into large piles and that snow melts then later refreezes creating ice patches, this may be considered “unnatural accumulation” and Washington Square Shopping Mall may be liable according to Illinois law.
In addition, if a parking lot, sidewalk or parking garage on Washington Square Shopping Mall property has a leaking pipe or defective drainage system that is depositing water, slush or other precipitation onto surface areas that freezes and causes a slip and fall, they may be liable. This type of accident may be deemed to have occurred due to an “unnatural accumulation” of snow or ice, which Illinois considers actionable.
Discuss Your Slip and Fall Injury With an Experienced Chicago Attorney
Every slip and fall accident is different and requires subjective analysis in order to decipher whether or not Washington Square Shopping Mall can be held liable. Contact our law firm today to get the answers you need and the help you deserve.