Walmart stores in Illinois must keep their parking lots safe for visitors. All stores must make sure that their property is free and clear of debris that the store management knew about or would have found out about if the management conducted reasonable inspections of the Walmart premises. What is reasonable must be decided from all of the circumstances. If Walmart failed to maintain its premises free from defects and dangers, then the store would be liable for damages.
So, what would happen if a mother of three young children fell on some black ice that she did not see in Walmart’s parking lot and sustained severe injuries to her wrists? There are two issues at play. The first issue is whether Walmart is liable for ice in its parking lot. Of course, the answer is “it depends,” because understanding how the ice formed is vital to answering the question. If the ice was developed because of melting snowbanks that Walmart plowed after a snowfall and Walmart did not take precautions against ice even though it was reasonable for them to do so, then Walmart could be liable for any injuries a visitor to the store sustained from a fall on ice. In other words, the accumulation of ice must be an unnatural accumulation.
The second issue, assuming liability is proven, is damages. Documenting all of your medical appointments, medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs is vital to the success of your claim. But what if you are a stay-at-home mother? You document how the injury has adversely affected your ability to care for your children. You might be able to receive a monetary award if you have difficulty caring for your children, trouble sleeping, and have to rely on others to do your work as a mother. In other words, you can recover for all losses reasonably related to your injury, even if you cannot quantify the work in dollars.
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