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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 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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Winnebago County premises liability lawyersAs Illinois residents prepare to turn their calendars over to December, the cold and snow have arrived. While snow is no surprise to those who live and work in the region, winter weather conditions bring a number of safety concerns, many of them related to road travel and highway safety. Winter storms can also cause serious problems for those on foot, making getting from the car to the house rather treacherous. There are, however, some things you can do to reduce the danger of a slip and fall accident and the resulting injuries that such a fall can cause.

Dress Appropriately

As you make your way into the office, do you wear your dress shoes or heels? Consider carrying your fancy footwear with you or leaving them at your desk and trade them for winter-appropriate boots. Be sure to find something that fits properly and that has an aggressive tread to grip slippery sidewalks. It is also important to make sure that your pants are not so long that they could be caught under your shoes or boots. A momentary stumble could have devastating consequences on snow or ice.

Alight With Caution and Three Points of Contact

A large number of slip and fall accidents occur while trying to get out of the car, as a single foot on icy pavement can leave you quite vulnerable. When you reach your destination, take your time and exit your car carefully, placing two feet firmly on the ground and a hand on the vehicle before attempting to stand. If you can only put one foot out, for whatever reason, be sure to keep both hands on your vehicle to help maintain your balance.

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