Our team of personal injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. is highly experienced in handling premises liability claims arising from all types of dangerous conditions. From icy walkways that cause slip and falls to dangerous rides at amusement parks, we are here to help you hold negligent property owners responsible for the harm they cause and pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
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What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is the legal concept through which property owners may be liable for injuries suffered by guests, customers, or children. Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, 740 ILCS 130/2, property owners owe the people on their property a duty of reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the condition of the premises and the acts performed or not performed on them.
In some states, premises liability law requires property owners to uphold different duties to guests depending on their status, such as whether they were a social visitor or a business customer. However, Illinois law specifically states that the distinction between “invitees” and “licensees” has been abolished. All property owners owe the same duty of reasonable care to all people who are on their land with implied or explicit consent.
What Is a Premise?
A common question our Springfield premises liability attorneys get is what constitutes premises? We are not talking about a premise to an argument. Instead, “premises” are a house or building, the land it sits on, and any other buildings on that property. Premises may be a person’s home, yard, front walkway, or backyard pool or trampoline. Premises for businesses may constitute the interior of their store, the walkways for the entrances and exits to the store, and the parking lot. In other words, premises are real property.
Common Premises Liability Claims in Springfield, IL
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we have handled many types of premises liability cases. Our Springfield premises liability lawyers are here to help after:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: One of the most common types of premises liability claims is a slip or trip and fall because of a dangerous condition on the property. These accidents may occur because of spilled food or liquids, overly or recently waxed floors, slick floors from water tracked in from outside, and rugs without non-slip backing. If you or a loved one fell at a business or another person’s house because the area was not properly cleaned and cared for, call us right away.
- Stairway Accidents: Stairwells are potentially dangerous areas if they are in disrepair and not well lit. If you fell down another person or business’s stairs because of a missing or loose tread, loose or ripped carpet, a lack of a handrail or loose rail, or poor lighting, let us help you pursue compensation.
- Elevator and Escalator Accidents: Elevators and escalators at business’s need to be routinely maintained. When businesses fail to keep them in proper working order or bypass inspections, they place you and other guests at risk. After an elevator or escalator accident that causes you harm, call a premises liability lawyer in Springfield, IL.
- Falling Merchandise: At many businesses, the best way to utilize the space is to store extra merchandise and inventory on high shelves out of customer’s reach. When those objects are not properly stored or secured, they create a hazard. If some object fell from above and struck you, contact us right away to discuss pursuing a premises liability case.
- Food Poisoning: When you purchase food at a store or restaurant, it should be safe to eat. If you develop food poisoning that requires medical attention or hospitalization, call us right away.
- Trampoline Park Accidents: Trampoline parks have grown in popularity in recent years. However, they are not regulated and are often poorly maintained. Many children and adults suffer injuries at these gymnasiums because of improperly maintained equipment, lack of safety equipment and padding, and inadequate training and supervision.
- Amusement Park Accidents: Amusement and theme parks are another place where there is a high risk for injury. If you or a loved one was injured on a rollercoaster ride, during a show, in a fall, or during any other type of incident, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. as soon as possible. Amusement parks typically have you agree to waivers printed on the ticket. However, that does not mean they are never liable for accidents and injuries.
- Pool Accidents: If you were injured or a loved one was injured or drowned in another person, business, or municipality’s pool, call us right away. We have handled cases in which individuals are injured by sharp edges in pools or because of uncovered filters. We also handle cases involving slip and falls around pools because of improper flooring and for drownings related to lack of adequate supervision.
- Dog Bites and Animal Attacks: If you or your child were bitten by another person or business’s dog or other domesticated animal, call us right away. So long as you or your child were not the aggressor, you have the right to hold the animal’s owner responsible for your injuries.
- Negligent Security: Property owners are required to take reasonable steps to keep their customers and guests safe, which includes installing and maintaining appropriate security measures. The level of security needed for a property depends on the type and level of criminal threats in the area. If you were the victim of a crime, and you believe the property owner did not take adequate precautions, give us a call.
- Snow and Ice Injuries: In Illinois, snow and ice are annual hazards. Personal and commercial property owners need to address snow quickly after it falls and take routine precautions against ice build up on their walkways. When you are hurt in a fall because of snow or ice that should have been cleared away, call a Springfield liability lawyer to discuss your rights.
- Toxic Mold: Not all types of molds will cause you harm. However, certain types of molds that develop in dim, damp, and poorly maintained residential and commercial spaces can lead to health issues and aggravate existing conditions, like allergies and asthma. If you or a family member are suffering due to toxic mold the property owner will not address, contact us to learn about your options.
Pursuing a Premises Liability Lawsuit Settlement
When you have been injured on another person, business, or municipality’s property, it is important to speak with a Springfield premises liability lawyer right away. By talking with an attorney who is knowledgeable regarding premises liability in Illinois, you can gain an analysis of your case, including whether the property owner in question owed you a duty of care and whether it appears they breached that duty. A breach of that duty would entail there being a hazard on the property that the owner knew or should have known about and failed to take care of or warn you about.
In order to pursue compensation through a premises liability claim, you must be able to show that:
- A dangerous condition existed on the premises;
- The party responsible for premises knew or should have known there was a dangerous condition on the property;
- The party responsible for the premises failed to use reasonable care to learn of, prevent, fix or warn visitors about the dangerous condition; and
- The result of the property owner or manager’s failure to use reasonable care caused you harm.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you may seek compensation for your injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced earning potential
- Loss of normal life or enjoyment of life
In many circumstances, you will need to file a premises liability lawsuit in your local courts. However, you may not take your case all the way through trial. Many premises liability claims are resolved through settlements. If you were harmed on a business’s property, that business likely has liability coverage for bodily injuries. If you were hurt at someone’s house, your claim may be covered by the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. If you are unsure of whether there is insurance available after an accident on someone else’s property, call our Springfield liability attorneys for help.
Exceptions to Property Liability
It is important that you know the property owner, or the party responsible for the property at the time of your accident, is not always liable for injuries suffered on their premises. There are several exceptions to premises liability in Illinois.
- Trespassers: If you were trespassing on someone else’s property when you were injured, the property owner may not have had any duty of care toward you, and therefore, may not be liable for compensating you.
- Open and Obvious Dangers: Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, property owners do not have a duty to warn people about dangers that are open and obvious or that they could reasonably expect you to discover yourself.
- Warning Signs/Disclaimers: If a property owner had a visible sign stating it was not responsible for accidents, then the owner may claim you accepted the risk of being on the property or participating in a certain activity. By accepting that risk, the owner may not be responsible for your injuries.
- Unknown Defects: The Illinois Premises Liability Act states the property owner does not have a duty to warn about latent defects in the property or dangers the owner does not know about. In other words, if you were injured because of a hazard that the owner could not reasonably have discovered, the owner is not liable.
- Misuse of the Property: Additionally, under Illinois law, property owners are not responsible for warning you or protecting you from your own misuse of the property.
All of these factors are potential defenses for property owners, and because of them, it is best if you are represented by a highly experienced and skilled attorney when you pursue compensation under Illinois premises liability law.
Premises Liability Statute of Limitations
For all types of bodily injuries and wrongful death claims in Illinois, there are time limits on how long you have to file. Typically, you have two years to file a lawsuit for a premises liability claim. You also have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit after a loved one is killed in a dangerous property accident. To ensure you meet this deadline, call our Springfield premises liability lawyers as soon as possible.
Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. Today
If you believe a Springfield business or individual property owner or tenant is responsible for your current injuries, never hesitate to seek legal advice. It never hurts to talk with a lawyer about your situation, your legal rights, and options. If you have a valid premises liability claim, then a Springfield liability attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can represent you during the insurance claim and litigation process.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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