When you enter a private or public residence, the owner of that establishment generally owes you a duty of care to take reasonable precautions to ensure your safety. However, when a property owner deviates from this standard of care, and a person slips, trips, or falls on a wet floor or other hazardous surfaces, the injured party may have grounds for a civil claim against the owner.
If you or a loved one fell on another’s property, you should work with a Bloomington slip and fall lawyer who has experience handling these cases and could effectively represent your interests. A personal injury attorney familiar with the laws impacting Bloomington slip and falls could help assess your claim and fight hard to secure fair compensation for the losses you have endured.
Legal Duty to Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers
Slip and fall cases depend on the determination of whether the injured party is an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser. Invitees enter a property for the economic benefit of the property owner.
Licensees are social guests who come on a property for their benefit, rather than the interest of the owner. Trespassers are those who enter a property, even mistakenly, without the invitation or express permission of the property owner.
A property owner owes invitees and licensees a duty of reasonable care to protect them from unreasonable risk of harm while they visit the property. A claim for negligence essentially alleges that the property owner breached their duty to provide reasonable care to an invitee or licensee, and that breach caused an injury or harm to the invitee or licensee. A Bloomington lawyer could review the case to determine whether a property owner owed a claimant a duty to prevent them from injury.
Bloomington Slip and Fall Liability
Per the Illinois Premises Liability Act, under 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 130, property owners may be liable for slippery surfaces and other hazardous conditions if they:
- Know or should know of the dangerous condition
- Recognize that the condition poses an unreasonable risk of harm
- Expect that an invitee or licensee would not find the hazard
- Fail to use reasonable care to protect invitees and licensees from the dangerous condition
When a slip and fall victim is partially to blame for the accident that caused their injuries, 735 ILCS 5/2-1116 establishes how much compensation they could still receive. Under the legal doctrine of modified comparative negligence, any damages award received by a claimant may be reduced by their percentage of the blame.
However, if a court determines that a plaintiff in a slip and fall case is more than 50 percent to blame, they could be barred from financial recovery. A trip and fall attorney in Bloomington could help an injured victim assess the merits of their case and claim for compensation.
An attorney in Bloomington could help a claimant injured by a slip and fall pursue a range of damages for their injuries, including actual damages and punitive damages. Actual damages include costs such as medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain, and suffering. Punitive damages could be awarded in cases of gross negligence or egregious misconduct on the part of a property owner as punishment and to deter similar conduct in the future.
Statute of Limitations
There is a two-year filing deadline by which slip and fall victims must file a lawsuit for damages with the civil courts, or else be barred from pursuing a claim. This time limit begins the day of the incident. This limit may be extended for minors to two-years after they turn 18. To determine what limitations period applies to your specific situation, consult with an experienced Bloomington lawyer without delay.
Discuss Pursuing a Claim with a Bloomington Slip and Fall Attorney
If you are hurt from a slip and fall, a Bloomington slip and fall lawyer can evaluate the facts of your injury to determine whether you have a valid legal claim. An attorney could launch a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your fall and pursue all parties who may be liable for compensation. Get in touch now to schedule your initial consultation with a Bloomington attorney.