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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 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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Winnebago County personal injury attorneysMost people never expect to suffer an injury while they are enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant. Fortunately, restaurant patrons in Illinois who have been injured due to negligence are often able to recover compensation for damages. Read on to learn about premises liability suits for injuries that occur in restaurants and what you should do if you were injured due to another party’s carelessness.

Slip and Fall Injuries Sustained at Restaurants

There are several different ways that a person could be injured while out to eat. One of the most common injuries sustained by restaurant patrons is a slip and fall injury. For example, when staff neglect to clean up spills, they create an environmental hazard that could cause a customer to slip and fall. Sometimes falls result in nothing but a bruise or two. However, if the injured person hit their head or spine when they fell, the resulting physical damage could be much worse.

Slip and fall accidents are especially concerning for elderly or disabled individuals. A fall which would only result in minor injuries to a healthy person could result in broken bones or worse in an elderly, sick, or disabled person. Poor lighting, uneven surfaces, icy walkways, and broken stairs contribute to falls as well.

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Winnebago County personal injury lawyersMany working parents send their children to daycare, before and after school programs, summer camps or another type of childcare. These programs can be wonderful tools for working parents or for parents who want their children to have some extra socialization and education. Unfortunately, not every childcare organization meets the expectations parents have regarding health and safety. Some daycares are not kept to a high standard of cleanliness and others are staffed by undertrained or underqualified employees. If your child suffered an injury or illness because of negligence on the part of a daycare or childcare facility, you may be able to seek compensation for medical bills and other damages through a personal injury suit. 

Always Get Injuries Evaluated by a Medical Professional 

As with any injury claim, the person bringing the claim, called the claimant, and his or her legal team must prove that the injury caused damages. The best way to show proof of this is with medical reports and bills. Bringing a successful personal injury suit without an official medical report can be nearly impossible. Do not hesitate to talk your child to the doctor or emergency room if he or she is injured at while under the supervision of a daycare or childcare facility. You may also be able to seek compensation for your child’s pain and suffering in addition to medical bills.  

Daycare Center Duty of Care 

Not every injury that occurs at a daycare is the result of negligence. Sometimes children simply get hurt when they are playing. However, it is the duty of the daycare facility to minimize the chances of injury as much as possible. In the law, the term “due care” is used to refer to the degree of care that a reasonable person would exercise to prevent foreseeable harm. The question of liability or blame for a child’s injury usually comes down to whether or not the daycare facility or staff failed their duty of providing appropriate care.

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Rockford personal injury attorneyA slip and fall accident can devastate a person’s life in mere seconds. If you have been injured after falling and the fall was a result of another party’s negligence, you may be considering seeking compensation through an injury lawsuit. The success or failure of a personal injury claim almost completely relies upon the question of liability. To win a personal injury case, a claimant and his or her legal team must prove that another party is liable, or legally responsible, for his or her injuries.

Elements of a Premises Liability Injury Lawsuit

If you are considering pursuing financial compensation for injuries through a lawsuit, identify the potentially liable parties. In many slip and fall cases, responsibility lies with the property owner. For example, a shop owner who knowingly exposes customers to danger via unmarked spills or broken stairs may be legally responsible for any injuries caused by these conditions. Property owners have a duty to maintain the property in a way that minimizes the threat of injuries. Property owners who ignore potential dangers are considered negligent.

Not every slip and fall accident is the result of negligence, however. Sometimes a sequence of unlucky circumstances can lead to a freak injury-causing accident. Therefore, in order to bring a successful injury claim, the claimant must prove that negligence led to the dangerous situation which caused the injury.

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