Were you or someone you love injured because of a defective or dangerous condition on someone else’s property? If so, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and damages. Our team of premises liability lawyers at Drake & Collopy, P.C., will carefully review the facts of your case to determine whether you may have a viable claim.
Our legal team is committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve because a property owner or business owner failed to ensure their property was safe for visitors. The first step is to contact us to discuss your situation.
Understanding Illinois Premises Liability Law
Premises liability claims are one specific type of personal injury claim. However, there are several different types of cases that fall under the category of premises liability.
Under the law, property owners and business owners have certain obligations to ensure that their premises is in a reasonably safe condition for visitors to the premises. A visitor is classified as either as an “invitee” (someone visiting the property for the benefit of the property owner),“licensee” (a guest visiting the property for their own benefit), or a “trespasser” (someone without permission to be on the property).
With respect to invitees and licensees, property owners owe these visitors a duty of care to ensure that the premises is in a reasonably safe condition and free of known defects or hazards. Property owners do not owe a duty of care to adult trespassers unless the owner can be shown to have engaged in willful or wanton conduct. However, the law may impose a duty on property owners with respect to child trespassers.
Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, a plaintiff is required to prove these elements in order establish liability:
- There was a condition on the property that presented some type of unreasonable risk of harm to anyone visiting the property.
- The owner knew or should have known of the defect or hazard that posed a risk of harm to visitors.
- The owner should have anticipated that a visitor would not identify the hazard or that they would not protect themselves from it.
- The owner failed to warn or protect the victim.
- The victim suffered an injury because of the dangerous condition.
However, property owners do not have a duty to do any of the following:
- Warn or otherwise protect visitors from dangerous conditions that are open and obvious or that any visitor should be able to reasonably discover on their own;
- Warn or protect visitors of defects or dangers which the owner is not aware of and should not have been expected to be aware of;
- Warn visitors of possible dangers that may arise from the misuse of the property; or
- Protect visitors from their own misuse of the premises.
Types of Compensation You May Be Entitled To in a Premises Liability Claim
The specific amount you can recover from your Illinois premises liability claim depends on the facts of your case, the legal issues, and insurance coverage. Some of the types of damages we can help you recover include:
Compensation for Medical Bills
All related past and future medical costs that you incur due to treatment required for your injury, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, assistive devices, rehabilitation, and medication, are included.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
Compensation for all mental and physical suffering you experience because of your accident can be recovered.
Compensation for Lost Income
All the past and future wages that you lose due to your injuries will keep you from being able to work and earn money to pay your expenses, and care for your family can be recovered. The compensation can include income, benefits, commissions, and bonuses.
Damages for Wrongful Death
If you have a family member who passes away because of a premises liability accident, it may be possible to recover for all related medical costs, pain and suffering by the decedent, as well as:
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Funeral and burial costs
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Some of the more common premises liability cases include:
Slip and Fall Accidents
This is the most common type of premises liability claim. Slip and fall accidents often result from damaged or broken walkways or debris or liquids present on interior floors for extended periods of time. If we can show that the property owner knew or should have known of the safety hazard that causes a fall, you may be able to recover compensation.
Escalator and Elevator Injuries
Escalator and elevator accidents often result in catastrophic or life changing injuries. Property owners may fail to properly maintain these systems, which can lead to serious accidents. In these cases, the owner may be held liable for injuries caused by the failure to properly maintain the equipment.
Owners, general contractors, and subcontractors have various obligations to keep construction sites in a safe condition for workers, and they may be liable to injured workers for failing to do so. Unfortunately, many construction site accidents result in severe, life-altering, or fatal injuries. These cases are very complex and often involve separate third-party claims against owners and/or contractors and a workers’ compensation claim against the victim’s employer. With these types of accidents, it is critical to ensure that the proper steps are taken as soon as possible to investigate the cause of the accident and to preserve any and all relevant evidence.
Property owners may have an obligation to take reasonable safety measures if there is a known risk that a crime may be committed on the premises. In some situations, crime victims may be able to recover compensation for injuries caused by a property owner failing to take proper security measures to prevent criminal acts.
Dog Bites or Animal Attacks
Dog bites often result in severe injuries that may lead to permanent scarring or disfigurement. The owners of dogs (and other animals), as well as property owners and landlords where the animal is kept, may be liable to victims who are injured as a result of being bitten or attacked by an animal, regardless of where the attack occurred.
Swimming Pool Injuries
Pool owners have certain obligations to ensure the safety of those on the property – especially if children are present or swimming. Pool owners may be held liable for accidents that could have been prevented by taking measures like securing the area around the pool, supervising pool activities, maintaining grates and drains, and having lifeguards present.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help with Your Premises Liability Claim
If you have been injured as a result of an accident on someone else’s property, we recommend that you contact us right away. Our team will review and investigate the facts of your case and, if we determine you have a viable case, get to work right away to build a strong case. You can be sure that we will fight aggressively on your behalf to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation possible.