Premises Liability | Slip And Falls
“Slip and fall” is a term for a type of personal injury case where you get hurt, like major lower back pain, that’s caused when you have slipped and fell as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition on someone else’s property. The legal name is a premises liability case. These types of cases center on the question of a property owner’s duty to care for the property.
Slip and fall cases are governed under negligence law. This means if the owner didn’t maintain the property as they’re legally required to, and that led to your slip and fall then the owner is at fault for your injuries. It can feel complicated, but we have a lot of experience in this type of law so just give us a call and we can hear the specifics and give you free legal advice today.
Have you slipped on a surface and taken a fall resulting in lower back pain, whiplash injury, or even a concussion or other serious head injury? Maybe it was ice that had not been cleared properly, broken pavement, or perhaps even liquid from a leak in the grocery store that led to your slipping and falling. Regardless of the reason – if you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property you may be eligible for compensation.
A slip and fall claim, like other personal injury lawsuits in Illinois, has a statute of limitations, which means that any case must be before that timeline is reached. If you had a slip and fall accident on property owned by a private person or company, such as a fall at a business or in a private home, the statute of limitations is 2 years.
However, if the slip and fall accident or trip and fall accident happened on property owned by a local governmental entity, such as on a city sidewalk or in a public school or government building, the statute of limitations is only 1 year.
There is a second consideration the legal system looks at when evaluating a slip and fall case as well. As we mentioned the first is the statute of limitations deadline for filing a slip and fall lawsuit, and the second is to determine if there is “shared fault”.
Shared fault rules affect both your right to recover compensation if you bear some amount of responsibility for the slip and fall that occurred and how much compensation could be rewarded. If you’re deemed more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, under Illinois law, you may not recover any compensation at all.
The Law Offices of Shuman Legal® aggressively represent victims of slip and fall accidents to help ensure that they receive full compensation for their injuries.
Illinois Slip and Fall FAQ
What counts as a Slip and Fall case in Illinois?
A Slip and Fall accident is when someone slips or trips and falls on another person’s property and suffers an injury from the fall. This could be, among other possibilities, because of a slick surface, failure to maintain a section of their property open to the public, poorly lit areas, or debris or other obstacles left in places where people are expected to walk.
How long do I have to make a claim in Illinois after I slipped and fell?
Slip and Fall accidents fall under the category of personal injuries and are given a period of two years – referred to as the Statute of Limitations – in order to file a claim seeking compensation for the injuries caused by the accident. Claims made after the two-year period will almost always be dismissed, so it is a good idea to make preparations, such as contacting a Slip and Fall accident lawyer to help you investigate and build your case, as soon as possible after the time of your accident.
How do you determine who was at fault in a Slip and Fall accident in Illinois?
The responsibility – or fault – for an accident is determined by negligence. In other words, one or more of the parties involved must have had a responsibility to prevent the accident and failed to meet it, and there must also be evidence to prove that your injuries were caused by the accident.
For example, if you were injured in a fall in a stairway that was poorly lit, or some of the stairs were damaged or uneven in a building available to the public, the owner of the building would be responsible for failing to insure that the stairs were safely illuminated.
The other guy is saying I’m partially at fault for my fall. Can I still get anything?
The other party will often attempt to claim that you bear some of the responsibility for your Slip and Fall accident. This may or may not be true.
The State of Illinois follows a system referred to as “modified comparative negligence”, which means that if you are partially responsible for an accident, up to 50%, you can still receive compensation for the accident, but it will be reduced by the percentage of your responsibility for your slip and fall.
For example, if you were found to be 30% responsible for your accident because there was signage warning of a slick surface, and your damages from your injuries came to be worth $20,000, you would still be able to receive up to 14,000, or 70% of the original value.
What should I do after a Slip and Fall Accident in Illinois?
Your first concern after a Slip and Fall accident is to receive medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you will want to have yourself examined and treated by your family doctor or to go to an emergency room for more severe injuries. Falls, often resulting in blunt impacts, can often result in head injuries or internal injuries that are not immediately visible, so you want to receive treatment as soon as possible to avoid letting your condition worsen.
If you are in a condition to do so, take photographs of the scene as evidence. Do not worry if you are too hurt to do this. Photographs are only one part of your case. You will also want to keep proof of your medical bills and other related expenses and to report your accident in writing to the appropriate person, such as the landlord, or the store or property manager. Get a copy of the report for your own records.
Keep a journal of your recovery, but keep it between yourself and your attorney, who you should get in touch with as soon as possible after receiving medical treatment. Don’t engage with social media, as this can often be used against you.
Do I really need a Lawyer for a Slip and Fall in Illinois?
If you are concerned about the cost of an attorney to handle your case, don’t worry. The majority of personal injury attorneys do not charge any fees unless they successfully help you to win your case.
An experienced Attorney will be able to help you in many ways with your Slip and Fall case, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Some of these things include:
- Investigating your slip and fall accident to provide a full picture and build a strong case
- Speaking with experts to understand the cause of your accident, the care you’ll need, and who should be responsible
- Making sure that your claims are filed properly and are promptly completed.
- Negotiating to help seek an appropriate settlement, or to take your case to court if needed.
I didn’t see a hazard that made me fall. Am I responsible?
The answer to this question is a little complicated. Did you fail to notice a hazard, such as oil causing a slick floor, because you were distracted by your phone or a general failure to pay attention to warnings such as a safety sign or cones marking an area? The other party may claim that you were at least partially responsible for your slip and fall accident.
On the other hand, if you failed to notice a hazard because of some failure on the part of the other party, such as an obstacle preventing you from reasonably being able to see the hazard before you run into it, the other party would likely be responsible.
What kind of injuries can you get from falling?
Unfortunately, falls are one of the most common causes of head injuries, leading to as much as 40% of the traumatic brain injuries that require emergency attention in the United States. These kinds of injuries are especially common in the elderly and the very young.
Other common kinds of injuries from falls include
- Hip fractures
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Shoulder injuries
Have you had lower back pain or other injuries from a Slip And Fall Accident?
If you receive injuries in a slip or fall accident on someone else’s property, be careful not to simply assume that you’re the one at fault, especially if there are costs associated with your recovery from that slip and fall incident. Consulting with an experienced attorney will surely save you time, money, and stress as they will address the case on your behalf, including with insurance companies. This allows you to recover peacefully from your injuries and begin moving forward after your accident.
At Shuman Legal®, our experienced attorneys understand that achieving a favorable outcome through verdict or settlement is of utmost importance to slip and fall victims. If you were hurt on someone else’s property, like a retail store, then you may be entitled to a store injury settlement. Don’t hesitate to call our injury lawyers. We offer a free consultation regarding your case.
Since 1996, the Law Offices of Shuman Legal® have been helping Slip and Fall Accident victims, all injured victims and their families, navigate the complex legal process. As experienced personal injury, worker’s compensation, and wrongful death attorneys, we can help you evaluate the facts, assess your options, navigate the legal challenges, and advocate on your behalf.
Shuman Legal® has over 77 combined years of experience advocating for over 25,000 injury victims and their families. We advocate on your behalf, so you can focus on the task of recovery.