Slip and fall accidents are challenging from a legal perspective. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in Chicago or anywhere throughout Illinois, call us at 312-848-9783 to discuss the facts of the accident. You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries.
However, be aware that not all slip and fall accidents are the result of “negligence” – meaning, it’s not always enough just to allege that there was water on the floor at a Walmart that you slipped on. Rather, you have to meet a few requirements to have a successful claim. These include:
- There has to be a “dangerous condition” that made you fall. We’ve received many calls from people who were not sure what they fell on, they just know they went down. If you can’t identify in some manner what you fell on, it will be very tough to prove your case. We recently spoke to a man who slipped and fell on pickle juice at a Walmart. Fortunately, he took photos of the juice and that made his case “viable.”
- The second question is whether the store owner knew or should have known about the substance. For example, if you are walking in Target and the woman in front of you drops her soda and you slip and fall on it, it is unlikely Target is going to be responsible for your injury as there is no way they could have known about the dangerous condition. If, however, the woman dropped her soda and the liquid is left on the floor for 30 minutes, Target might then be responsible because they should have known about the substance. Note that if a Target employee dropped the soda, then it is irrelevant how long it laid there and Target would be responsible.
- Finally, there needs to be an injury. The majority of slip and fall accidents don’t result in a serious injury. Most people who fall suffer sprains, strains, and bruises. These injuries can be painful of course, however, they may not rise to the level where you need a lawyer to be involved on your behalf.
Pursuant to the National Floor Safety Institute:
- Over 8 million emergency visits per year are caused by falls. This represents 21.3% of all E.R. visits
- 5 percent of all people who fall suffer a fracture
- 22 percent of slip and fall accidents resulted in more than 31 days of missed work
- More women than men will experience a slip and fall
We receive calls all the time from people who tripped and fell on a crack on the sidewalk. Sidewalks are usually owned and maintained by a city. Cities have some immunity from lawsuits for cases like this but if you can show the city had actual or constructive notice of the defect, the city may be held liable.
“De Minimis Rule”
One thing to keep in mind is that if the crack in the sidewalk is small, it may fall under the De Minimis rule which prevents claims for minor defects. So, if you tripped on a small crack in the sidewalk, it is unlikely you will be able to recover for your injuries.
Open and Obvious
If you can show notice and that the crack was significant, you also have to overcome the city’s objection that the crack was so large that it was “open and obvious.” It’s a double edge sword – the crack can’t be too small or too big.
Ice and Snow
We live in Niles or elsewhere in Illinois and as such, we have to deal with all sorts of weather conditions. The weather can range from humid to freezing cold. The weather is a large part of why our sidewalks are often cracked. It brings up another issue, and that is the responsibility of property owners to shovel the snow and ice in front of their homes and businesses. See my blog article on the Snow and Ice Removal Act.
Illinois Inadequate Security claims
An Illinois inadequate security claim normally occurs when a person is the victim of a crime at another’s place of business. These incidents often occur at banks, shopping malls, or schools. To prevail in an inadequate security claim, a victim normally must prove that the property owner had constructive knowledge that there was a likelihood that harm might take place on his or her property and did nothing to remedy the situation. If you have been the victim of a crime that was the result of inadequate security, contact our office immediately so that we can conduct an immediate investigation into the facts of your case.
Get more information on what to do after a slip and fall accident so you know what next steps to take.
Chicago Slip and Fall Settlement
We recently settled a case with co-counsel on behalf of a victim of a slip and fall accident at a major Chicago restaurant chain for an undisclosed sum.
Our client, a retired Illinoisan was walking on the pavement in front of a suburban restaurant when he tripped and fell over a pad of cement that had become elevated and uneven over time. Our client fell forward landing on his elbow. He sought immediate medical care. Over the next week, the pain and discomfort in his elbow increased. He sought medical care and eventually learned he had bursitis – inflammation of the bursa sac in his elbow. Our client underwent several procedures to drain the fluid from his elbow eventually undergoing a bursectomy, the removal of his elbow bursa sac.
The client had significant medical expenses and endured considerable pain and suffering. Our office conducted an extensive investigation, including speaking to the manager of the restaurant. In the process, we learned that the slip and fall accident could have been avoided if corporate for the restaurant had heeded its manager’s warning and repaired the cement pad.
An experienced Chicago slip and fall attorney is able to determine whether a plaintiff can prevail on a Chicago slip and fall case. “Slip and fall cases are tough. It takes a combination of the right plaintiff and the right set of facts and even then you could get defensed,” said attorney Barry Zlotowicz.
Contact a slip and fall attorney in Chicago attorney today! For immediate assistance, call us at 312-848-9783.