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WInnebago County personal injury attorneysSlipping and falling can cause devastating injuries in mere seconds. A person who falls and hits their head on concrete, for example, may suffer a traumatic brain injury which leaves them with agonizing pain and other adverse symptoms for months. Slip and fall injuries can also incur tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills. A serious fall can take away a person’s independence, their ability to work, and significantly decrease their quality of life. If you or someone you know was injured in a slip and fall accident, you may wish to pursue compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. In order to be awarded financial damages for injuries related to a slip and fall, you and your legal team must prove liability, or responsibility, for the accident.

Legal Responsibility for Your Injuries May Lie with the Property Owner or Manager

Property owners have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe for individuals who legally visit the property. For example, a store owner must endure that spilled liquid is marked as hazardous and cleaned up as soon as possible.  If the owner knows that a slippery substance is on the floor and does nothing to address the situation or warn customers of this danger, he or she may be liable for an injury caused by the environmental hazard. Similarly, a residential property owner who has a broken staircase can be held liable if a visitor to their property falls from the staircase and is injured. In some premises liability cases, the person or entity that manages or oversees the property is the responsible party instead of the property owner.

Proving Negligence is Required for a Successful Premises Liability Lawsuit

Not every slip and fall accident is the fault of the property owner or manager. Sometimes, a person is injured in a freak accident which is not caused by negligence on the part of the property owner. Negligence occurs when a party owes a duty to another and fails to uphold that duty. With slip and fall accidents, a property owner has a duty to ensure that his or her property is reasonably safe and free of danger before allowing visitors or patrons onto that property. A property owner who does not regularly maintain the property or who ignores potentially dangerous conditions will likely be considered negligent.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysImagine this scenario: You are at a friend’s house enjoying a party. While walking upstairs, you experience a horrible slip and fall. You are taken to the hospital where you learn you have significant injuries that will require thousands of dollars’ worth of medical care, corrective surgery, and physical therapy. Even worse, you will be out of work for months, so you will lose money this way as well. You may be asking yourself, “Would my friend’s homeowner’s insurance cover any of these expenses?”

Does the Property Owner Have Insurance?

The first question to consider if you have been injured at a friend or neighbor’s house is if the property owner even has homeowner’s insurance. Fortunately, most homeowners do. Mortgage companies require homeowner’s insurance, so if a person has a mortgage and is still paying off their house, they should have homeowner’s insurance. However, there is still the chance that a person who owns their home free and clear and has no mortgage might not have homeowner’s insurance.

Report the Incident to the Insurer Immediately

If the owner of the property on which you were injured does have homeowner’s insurance, you should report the incident to the insurer as soon as possible. Waiting too long to report the claim can make you lose credibility in the eyes of the insurer. There is no register of homeowner’s insurance information, so the only way you will be able to know the name of the insurer is to ask the property owner.

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Rockford personal injury attorneyIf you are a parent, you know how difficult it can be to leave your child in the care of someone else. Whether you are dropping the child off at school, daycare, or extracurricular activities, you likely worry about the quality of care and supervision that your child will receive. While the majority of childcare workers take pride in keeping children’s safety their top priority, some facilities employ staff who do not take the steps necessary to ensure the safety of the children left in their care. When childcare staff, bus drivers, teachers, nannies, and other individuals tasked with caring for children fail to properly do their job, the results can be deadly.

Three-Year-Old Boy Passes Away After Being Left in Hot Bus

A Houston bus driver has recently been indicted for “injury to a child by recklessly causing serious bodily injury or death” almost exactly a year after he allegedly left a young boy in a scorching hot bus. The horrific incident was first discovered when the boy’s father came to pick up his child from a Houston area daycare. When workers could not locate the child, the father started searching for his son. That is when he found his three-year-old unresponsive in the 113-degree daycare bus. The children had taken a field trip to a park, but not every child had disembarked the bus upon their return. Despite efforts to save the young boy’s life, he passed away.

Prosecutors Say Bus Driver’s Negligence Caused the Child’s Tragic Death

The issue of children being left in hot cars or buses is sadly not unheard of. According to Kids and Cars, a safety organization working to prevent incidents such as this, an average of 37 children die every year after being left in hot vehicles. Because of the heartbreaking frequency of child deaths related to hot cars, some buses are equipped with special safety measures to prevent children from being left unattended. Prosecutors say that although this bus had a passenger safety alarm designed to prevent passengers from being left behind, the bus driver had disengaged this alarm. The parents of the boy killed in the hot bus have filed a lawsuit against the daycare.

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Rockford playground injuries attorneySummer can be a wonderful time for adults and children alike to enjoy a break from school and spend more outside. The last thing a family enjoying a public park or playground needs to worry about is whether or not the equipment the children are playing on is safe. While most playground injuries are only small bruises and cuts, sadly, much more serious injuries and even deaths have occurred due to playground accidents. If your child has been hurt or has passed away because of a playground accident, you may have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Top Causes of Playground Accidents

Of course, sometimes playground accidents occur and are not caused by carelessness on anyone’s part, the accident is just bad luck. However, many serious or fatal playground accidents are caused by negligence. Improperly constructed or installed playground equipment can have pieces which are broken, unsecured, or are otherwise unsafe. Equipment which is not properly maintained can rust away and break, exposing children to hazards which can seriously injure them. Sometimes, a playground injury is caused by inadequate supervision of children.

Injuries Which Can Be Caused by Playground Negligence    

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), emergency room departments treat over 200,000 children under age 14 for injuries sustained on a playground every year. While some of these injuries are minor cuts and bruises, the CDC estimates that nearly a half of these injuries include serious internal injuries, fractures and broken bones, dislocations, concussions, and amputations. Some playground injuries can leave a child permanently disabled or disfigured. When negligence is the cause of a serious or fatal playground accident, the parents of the child injured or killed may be able to collect compensation through a personal injury claim.

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Rockford personal injury attorneysFor some, the thought of riding a huge rollercoaster at a theme park is exhilarating. Others avoid amusement park rides entirely. One reason people may hesitate before getting on an amusement park attraction is because they have seen footage of deadly amusement park accidents on the news. While major injuries and deaths at amusement parks are rare, these types of accidents can happen. Most theme park injuries are not related to malfunctioning rides but instead are caused by more mundane issues like uneven walkways and spilled liquids. When an amusement park is not adequately maintained and this negligence leads to a guest’s injury or death, the park and its ownership can be held liable.

Amusement Park Attractions Must Be Inspected

In Illinois, the Carnival and Amusement Rides Safety Act requires theme park attractions to be inspected before they are opened to the public and to be re-inspected annually. Every year, operators must obtain a permit from the Illinois Department of Labor that serves as proof of the inspection. If a ride or another theme park attraction is operated without a permit or inspection, the operator may face criminal charges. If someone is injured on a ride which was not properly inspected, this could give rise to a negligence claim and, in fact, a presumption of negligence on the part of the park operator.

An Environmental Hazard Can Lead to an Injury Claim

Most of the amusement park injuries we hear about on the news are catastrophic injuries or deaths caused by a malfunctioning ride or attraction. Many remember the tragic events which took place at the Ohio State Fair in July of 2017 when a piece of the “Fireball” ride broke off and sent riders plummeting to the ground. A young man was killed and several others were injured during this accident. It was eventually discovered that excessive corrosion had caused the ride to break apart.

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