Can I file a claim for my slip and fall?
The truth is that slip and fall accidents are incredibly common, and some of these accidents are not major events, allowing people to quickly get back on their feet and go about their days without any lingering issues. In many other cases, however, individuals suffer serious injuries that can lead to several weeks, months, or even years of health problems.
Victims can often be entitled to file slip and fall lawsuits, but these types of actions almost always face immediate resistance from property owners who claim that the victims were actually the parties at fault for their accidents. The success of any slip and fall claim in Illinois is going to hinge on two things: the cause of the fall and how long the property owner allowed the hazard involved to exist.
Considering the weather we are subjected to Illinois, weather conditions are certainly one of the most common causes of these incidents. It is important to understand that Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions § 125.00 establishes that property owners have no duty to remove natural accumulations of snow, ice, or melted water from their premises, and there is no liability for clearing off snow under which there is a natural accumulation of ice.
Recovery for falls on icy sidewalks or parking lots may be based on negligent design or maintenance of the underlying pavement, but a cause of action has been recognized for negligent removal of ice and snow because of “unnatural accumulation.” There is no duty to warn customers or invitees of the danger of natural accumulations, and property owners have no duty to clean up ice, snow or water that is tracked in by customers.
“Although common carriers are under no duty to remove natural accumulations of ice or snow from their premises or vehicles, the absence of such a duty does not rest upon the notion that the conditions presented by such accumulations are safe,” the First District, Fourth Division Appellate Court of Illinois wrote in its decision in Trevino v. Flash Cab Co., 272 Ill.App.3d 1022, 1029-30, 209 Ill.Dec. 545, 651 N.E.2d 723 (1995). “To the contrary, the hazards presented have always been acknowledged, but the imposition of an obligation to remedy those conditions would be so unreasonable and impractical as to negate the imposition of a legal duty to do so.”
The other critical element of a slip and fall case is proof that a defendant was aware of a hazardous condition on their property. You will not have to prove such knowledge, however, when you have been injured as the result of a property owner or their employee’s activities.
The duty of care an owner or occupier of any premises owes to entrants under 740 Illinois Compiled Statute § 130 is a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the state of the premises or acts done or omitted on them. This duty does not include a duty to warn of, or otherwise take reasonable steps to protect entrants from conditions known to the entrant, in open and obvious conditions, or conditions that can reasonably be expected to be discovered by the entrant; a duty to warn of defects or dangers unknown to the owner or occupier of the premises; or a duty to warn entrants about dangers or protect entrants from misuse of the premises, or anything affixed to or located on the premises.
If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a slip and fall accident in Illinois, take action quickly so you can be sure that you get justice. Spiros Law, P.C. has offices in Kankakee, Champaign, and Danville.
Our firm has been helping victims and their families all over Illinois since 2005. Call (815) 929-9292 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.