Chicago Retail Store Accident Attorney
Retail store owners, like all property owners and operators, are obligated to take reasonable precautions to ensure that customers and visitors are not injured on their property. If a person is injured due to unsafe conditions in the store, the store owner, or other parties, may be liable in a premises liability lawsuit. A retail store accident attorney with Ankin Law can help you build a case to recover compensation that reflects the true cost of your injuries. Our law firm has over 100 years of combined experience protecting the rights of the injured, and we take your case personally.
Contact an experienced Retail Store Accident Attorney at (312) 600-0000 to get started with your case.
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What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is the legal cause of action victims have when they are injured on another party’s property. Premises liability laws hold property owners, business operators, landlords, and other parties responsible when their negligence causes injuries to tenants, consumers, and visitors. In a premises liability case, the following elements work together to establish liability and provide the foundation for a claim:
Property owners owe visitors a duty of care to prevent harm from occurring on the premises. This means they are responsible for resolving present hazards, identifying and preventing potential hazards, and providing proper warnings to visitors regarding hazards that cannot be immediately corrected.
When property owners violate the duty of care by failing to monitor and resolve known and anticipatable hazards, they can be held responsible for resulting injuries. This is because the breach of the duty of care in these cases qualifies as negligence on the part of the property owner.
A premises liability case does not exist simply because a hazard is left unattended on a property. There must be a direct tie between the hazard present, the injuries caused, and the damages suffered by the victim.
Even when a property owner is found to have acted negligently, there is no basis for a premises liability claim if the negligence did not result in damages. Instead, there must be a visitor who, as a result of the hazard, sustained injuries.
Premises liability laws extend to residential facilities, shopping malls, restaurants, retail stores, and other public places.
Common Causes of Retail and Grocery Store Accidents in Illinois
Retail stores are a consistent culprit in premises liability cases. Although a variety of hazards can cause injuries in a retail store, the most common cases seen by retail store accident attorneys are caused by:
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall accidents in retail stores are a common occurrence, posing risks to both customers and employees. Spills, poorly maintained flooring, and cluttered aisles are typical culprits. Retailers must prioritize safety measures, like regular maintenance and warning signs, to reduce the likelihood of these incidents and potential legal liabilities.
- Products Falling Off Shelves: Injuries caused by products falling in retail stores can be severe, leading to bruises, fractures, or head trauma. Poorly stacked shelves, unstable displays, or improperly secured merchandise are common causes. Retailers should implement rigorous safety protocols, staff training, and regular inspections to prevent such accidents and protect shoppers and employees.
- Escalator and Elevator Accidents: Elevator and escalator accidents in retail stores can result in injuries ranging from minor bruises to severe accidents like limb entrapment or falls. Poor maintenance, mechanical failures, or user errors can contribute. Retailers must prioritize routine inspections, maintenance, and clear signage to ensure the safety of customers and employees while using these facilities.
- Unmaintained Walkways, Stairwells, and Sidewalks: Unmaintained walkways, stairwells, and sidewalks in retail stores and malls can lead to accidents. Cracked pavement, uneven steps, or poor lighting can cause slips, trips, and falls, resulting in injuries. Regular maintenance, repairs, and adequate illumination are crucial to ensure the safety of shoppers and visitors in these areas.
Determining and documenting the cause of retail store accidents can help you build a case against a negligent property owner or operator.
Did you slip and fall in a retail store? Call Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to evaluate your case today. Free consultation.
How to Prove Liability in a Retail Store Accident Case
Proving liability in a retail store accident case is accomplished by demonstrating the four essential elements of premises liability cases through evidence. These essential elements are duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation, and damages. They can be proven by using evidence such as photos of the hazard, security camera footage, expert testimony, witness reports, accident reports, medical records, and other forms of documentation. By compiling this evidence and retaining a retail store accident attorney, you can build a strong premises liability case against the at-fault party.
How Long Do I Have to Sue for a Retail Store Accident?
The statute of limitations for premises liability claims in Illinois governs the amount of time you have to sue for a retail store accident. Under this statute, the deadline set for Illinois retail store accident cases is two years. The clock starts ticking for these claims on the day the accident occurs, or the day that injuries associated with the accident are discovered. Although this deadline applies to most premises liability cases, there are exceptions to the rule that would allow for the tolling, or pause, of the statute of limitations.
Special circumstances allow for the tolling of the statute of limitations. First, the deadline will be paused if the injured victim is a minor. In these cases, the statute of limitations resumes when the victim turns 18. The deadline will also be tolled if the victim has a legal disability or is incapacitated after the accident. It will resume once the incapacitation is resolved or the victim is capable of bringing a case. Finally, the statute of limitations is tolled in cases where the defendant is absent, in which case the clock resumes once the defendant returns.
Although victims have two years to bring a premises liability case against a retail store, they shouldn’t hesitate to retain a retail store accident attorney. The sooner the legal process is initiated, the more time an attorney has to gather sufficient evidence, calculate damages, and build a strong case.
How Much Is a Premises Liability Case Worth?
The value of a retail store accident case is influenced by the amount of damages the victim suffers and the percent of liability he or she contributed to the accident. The amount of lost wages, the severity of the injury, and the cost for medical treatment play a role in determining the sum of the damages suffered.
The Severity of the Injury
The severity of the injury suffered by the victim is one of the most substantial influences on the value of an accident case. This is because damages are calculated based on treatment costs, lost wages, and the impact of the injury on the victim’s life. The more severe the injury is, the higher the value of these losses will climb.
The costs for initial medical treatment, as well as long term care expenses, prescription costs, the cost of assistive medical devices, and any other medical expenses are compensable through a personal injury settlement. As such, the value of these costs influences the value of a case.
The Amount of Lost Wages and Reduced Earning Capacity
Lost wages and reduced earning capacity are also compensable in a premises liability settlement. When severe injuries cause victims to miss extensive amounts of work, or when they sustain a disability that permanently impacts their ability to work, the value of an injury case increases.
The Percent of Liability You Hold
Illinois uses a modified comparative negligence model when assigning liability in accident cases. This means a victim can still recover damages when he or she holds less than 50% of fault for his or her accident. However, the total value of the settlement will be reduced by the percent of fault the victim carries, making this another factor that influences a case’s value.
All of these factors need to be considered when determining the value of a retail store accident case. The retail store accident attorneys at Ankin Law have more than 100 years of combined experience handling cases like yours. We understand the true cost of your injuries. We will review the evidence from your accident, examine your degree of fault, and collect medical documentation explaining the lifelong impact of your injuries. By taking these measures, we can maximize the value of your accident case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability Cases
What Must a Plaintiff Prove to Have a Case for Negligence?
To have a negligence case against a property owner, a plaintiff must prove the four elements of negligence exist in the case. These are duty of care, breach of duty of care, causation of the injury, and damages resulting from the injury. These elements can be proven using evidence collected at the scene, medical records, wage statements, eyewitness testimony, and expert testimony.
Who Is Liable for a Retail Store Accident?
Liability for a retail store accident typically falls on the store owner or operator, as they are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for customers and employees. If negligence in upkeep, hazard prevention, or employee conduct is proven, the store can be held liable. Property owners or landlords may share liability in larger complexes or malls, especially for common areas. In cases involving third-party contractors or defective products, these entities could be held accountable. Ultimately, liability varies depending on the circumstances and may involve multiple parties.
Can the Statute of Limitations Be Extended?
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for premises liability cases is generally two years from the date of the injury. However, it can be extended in specific situations, such as when the injury is discovered later, the injured party is a minor or legally disabled, the defendant leaves the state, or if fraud or misrepresentation by the defendant conceals the cause of action.
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Helpful Resources From Our Chicago Retail Store Accident Attorneys
After a slip and fall accident in a store, victims may have a premises liability claim. Slip and fall injuries in crowded stores, icy parking lots, or during busy seasonal sales can lead to severe injuries like fractures, head trauma, and lacerations. Property owners, including large corporations that own malls, have a duty to maintain safe premises. Negligent property owners can be held liable for injuries sustained due to hazardous conditions. Proving negligence in a slip and fall case involves establishing a duty of care, breach of that duty, injury, and causation. Consultation with a slip and fall lawyer is crucial for gathering evidence, identifying witnesses, and seeking compensation for damages.
In Illinois, property owners owe a duty of care to ensure the safety of visitors on their premises. This duty includes maintaining a hazard-free environment, posting warnings where needed, and promptly addressing any unsafe conditions. Visitors are classified as invitees, licensees, or trespassers, with varying levels of care owed to each group.
Trespassers are owed the lowest duty of care, except in cases of willful and wanton conduct. Minors, even if trespassing, are protected under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine. To prove fault in premises liability cases, plaintiffs must establish a duty of care, a breach of that duty, sustained injuries directly linked to hazardous conditions, and damages.
To succeed in a slip and fall accident claim, four essential elements must be proven. First, it must be established that the property owner owed a duty of care to the injured party. Invitees, licensees, and trespassers each have distinct legal statuses in this regard. Second, there must be evidence of a hazard on the property that posed a risk to visitors. Third, causation must be demonstrated, showing that the injury resulted directly from the property’s hazardous condition due to the owner’s negligence. Lastly, the claimant must establish that a significant injury occurred, justifying compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.