Illinois residents experience falls every day. While some may lose their balance and cause harm to their bodies through their own clumsiness, others may lose their footing and suffer falls because of the negligent actions of others. Slip and fall injuries can be painful, debilitating and sometimes even fatal.
The legal theory of premises liability allows people to recover compensation for their damages after they have been injured due to the negligence of a property owner who failed to protect them from dangerous conditions.
One common example would be a customer who slips on a spill at a grocery store, falls and is injured. In such a case, the grocery store owner may be found to have acted negligently in not cleaning up the spill in time to prevent the accident.
In the past, Illinois law recognized several categories of lawful entrants, and held property owners to different levels of duties for different categories. These categories have now been abolished. Today, a property owner owes a duty to all legal entrants to keep the premises reasonably safe.
Property owners have much less of a duty toward trespassers. Generally, property owners must merely avoid willful or wanton conduct that endangers adult trespassers. However, in cases where they may expect children to trespass on their property, they may have a greater duty to keep the premises reasonably safe.
A bad fall can lead to enormous medical expenses and lost income from the time the victim is unable to return to work. A personal injury lawsuit can help them to recover compensation for these and other damages, and can encourage property owners to keep their premises more safe. A lawyer with experience in premises liability and other personal injury issues can help the injured and their families to understand their rights and legal options.