Slip and Fall Attorney
“Slip and fall” is a term that applies to personal injury cases in which someone has slipped or tripped and fallen, sustaining injuries, on someone else’s property. When you visit a business or private residence, it is reasonable to expect the property will be maintained in a way that minimizes the risk of slip and fall crashes.
If a slip and fall crash is caused by property owner negligence, our Chicago slip and fall lawyers can help. You may have a premises liability claim for compensation.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Crashes
Many different hazards on a property can cause slip and fall crashes, including:
- Floors that have been recently mopped or waxed
- Spilled liquids that are not cleaned up immediately
- Splashed grease or oil left on a floor or walk
- Ice in parking lots and on sidewalks that has not been salted
- Loose rugs, mats, or floorboards
- Uneven surfaces with no warning signs
- Trash or debris on the floor
- Cords that run across walkways
- Poor lighting that makes it difficult to see obstacles
- No handrails in stairways
- Potholes in parking lots
Every slip and fall injury is unique. Some of the injuries you may suffer in a fall include:
- Brain and head injuries. A skull fracture or traumatic brain injury can occur if you hit your head during a fall or something penetrates your skull. The resulting injury can be life-changing.
- Spinal cord injuries. Falls are a common cause of spinal cord injury. The impact of a spinal cord injury on your life depends on what part of the spinal cord was hurt. Permanent paralysis may result.
- Broken bones. A fall can result in any bone in your body being broken. Some commonly broken bones include:
- Hip bones. Broken hips may require surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
- Tailbones. A coccyx fracture can be painful and impact your ability to work or go about your regular activities.
- Arms and wrists. While a broken arm or wrist may heal with surgery, casting and rehabilitation, the process may be long and painful.
- Legs and ankles. Broken legs and ankles may also heal with medical treatment, but may significantly change your life during the recovery process.
- Dislocated shoulders. The pain of a dislocated shoulder may keep you out of work and away from your regular activities.
- Eye injuries. Eye injuries from falls can result in a wide variety of injuries ranging from a minor and temporary scratch to permanent blindness. Falls are the most common cause of crashal eye injuries in the United States.
- Facial and dental injuries. Pain, disfigurement, and significant financial costs can result if your teeth, nose, jaw, or other parts of your face are hurt in a fall.
- Death. Unfortunately, some falls are fatal. A death may occur soon after the fall or later because of a complication from a fall injury.
Any of these injuries can occur whenever a property owner is negligent.
Liability for Slip and Fall Crashes
Liability for injuries in slip and fall crashes is based on negligence. Property owners have a legal duty to use reasonable care to prevent injuries to others on their property. The type of legal duty owed by the landowner depends on the status of a person on the property.
In Illinois, landowners owe a duty of reasonable care to both licensees and invitees. Licensees are social guests. Invitees are other visitors on the property with permission, including business customers, contractors, window washers, etc. Property owners are not required to ensure the safety of visitors. This being said, they may be held liable for injuries sustained in slip and fall crashes if it can be proven that:
- The owner or occupier knew about the hazardous condition or would have discovered it with reasonable care.
- The visitor could not discover or realize the danger.
- The owner or occupier failed to use reasonable care to protect the visitor from harm.
A trespasser is someone who enters a property without invitation or permission. Generally, property owners are not held accountable for injuries sustained by trespassers, unless a property owner willfully and wantonly injures a trespasser. If you need help navigating these areas of the law or have questions, contact us for a free consultation.