The places that you frequent as a part of everyday life, such as shopping centers, gas stations, and restaurants should be free from hazards that pose risks to your health and safety. You put trust in the hands of establishments and shopkeepers to maintain safe premises. If they fail to, you or a loved one may be at risk of harm.
If you or a loved one fell and became injured due to unsafe conditions on another’s property, a Normal slip and fall lawyer could help. Navigating personal injury law can be difficult without an attorney. Legal counsel could support you in settlement negotiations or advocate for your rights in a courtroom.
Common Causes of Falling Accidents
Slip and fall incidents can happen for several reasons. They are generally environmental or surface conditions, both indoor and outdoor. Some of the most common include:
- Debris or cords in a walkway or aisle
- Poor or bright lighting that obscures vision
- Transitions such as unmarked steps or change from one surface to another
- Uneven surfaces without warning signs
- Recently waxed or cleaned floors
- Unattended spills
- Loose floorboards
There are many more hazards that landowners need to prevent. However, under Illinois law, the natural accumulation of ice, snow, or rain that causes a fall is usually not the responsibility of the landowner. A lawyer in Normal could determine if a property owner is responsible for someone slipping and falling.
Liability in Trip and Fall Cases
Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, a landlord owes a visitor, except someone who is trespassing, a duty of reasonable care regarding the state of the premises. Failing to meet the duty of care is the first of four elements a claimant must prove to prevail in a negligence-based suit.
Reasonable care means that a landowner must prevent foreseeable harm. Foreseeable harm is a dangerous condition that the property owner knows or by the exercise of reasonable care would have discovered.
It could also be a hazardous condition that the landowner should expect that a visitor will not notice or will fail to protect themselves against. If a dangerous condition falls into one of these categories, and the property owner fails to exercise reasonable care in safeguarding a visitor against the danger, they have breached their duty of care. With the help of an experienced Normal attorney, a plaintiff must prove that the landowner’s failure proximately caused their slip and fall injury and that they have damages to show for it.
Defendants can and do raise defenses to remove liability in premises liability cases. One commonly relied on is comparative negligence.
Comparative fault occurs when the claimant acted carelessly and played a part in creating or failing to avoid the dangerous situation that caused their fall and subsequent injuries. A jury will often assign a percentage of fault to both the claimant and the defendant. An experienced attorney could build a trip and fall claim minimizing a claimant’s percentage of fault.
Contact a Normal Slip and Fall Attorney Today
A severe fall can have a serious impact on your life. You may be unable to work and require medical treatment. With the help of a dedicated attorney, you could explore your best options for legal recovery. An attorney could empathize with what has happened and offer you insight as to what your case is worth. Reach out to a Normal slip and fall lawyer today to discuss your case.