To win a Chicago slip and fall case, the law requires proof of negligent actions by the property owner that resulted in the accident victim’s injuries.
Winning a Slip and Fall Case
In America, slip and fall accidents cause 8 million injuries each year. Slip and falls that happen in hotels, shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, offices, and even private residences send at least one million Americans to the hospital for emergency medical care every year. While injuries range from minor to severe, most slip and fall cases have one thing in common – negligent actions of another party.
Slip and fall cases handled by slip and fall accident lawyers commonly involve premises liability laws and negligent actions of property owners. These cases often hinge on the interpretation of several important factors.
- Was the owner aware of dangerous property conditions?
- Did the owner know of dangerous conditions and fail to make repairs?
- Did the owner warn people on the property of safety hazards?
- Did property safety hazards result in injuries?
- Were visitors invited to the property?
Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, property owners have a legal duty to provide a safe environment for people on their property. Illinois laws require property owners to protect invited guests and visitors from harm by regularly inspecting their property and making necessary repairs.
Chicago slip and fall accident lawyers assert that premises liability cases often examine whether a visitor falls under the legal definition of an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. This determination carries significant weight in determining the outcome of a case.
Invitees include people invited to the property for some type of economic benefit to the property owner. For commercial properties, invitees may include retail customers, office workers, police officers, firefighters, delivery drivers, and independent contractors doing work or repairs. For private properties, invitees may include caterers, cleaning services, and babysitters.
Licensees include social guests and those who come onto the property for their own benefit. While invitees are there for business purposes, licensees are there for social purposes unrelated to business. Licensees may include guests at social events, house guests or friends, or people who enter a retail establishment to use the restroom.
Premises liability cases involving injuries to invitees and licensees may result in a lawsuit and court trial or an out-of-court settlement between the plaintiff’s slip and fall accident lawyers, the defendant’s lawyers, and the property owner’s insurance company.