Slip and fall accidents are quite common. Most of the time, they’re simple mishaps that don’t result in significant injuries. Other times, someone’s negligence leads to serious injuries and the victim needs help from Chicago slip and fall lawyers. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls result in over 8 million visits to emergency rooms each year. Slips and falls account for more than one million of these incidents. The Institute points out that while slips and falls are not a major cause of deadly workplace injuries, they’re the main reason people miss days from work.
This shows just how serious these accidents can be even though they often seem minor. Victims of slip and fall accidents often have to deal with pain and discomfort, high medical bills, and lost wages, among other losses. If you slipped and fell on someone else’s property and you were not primarily at fault, you need to seek legal representation. This will greatly improve your ability to get compensation.
Common Causes of Slip and Falls Accidents
Several situations can cause an individual to slip and fall. Sometimes, its a naturally occurring hazard like an icy sidewalk. Typically, you can’t blame anyone for that. However, other times, the accident is caused by someone’s negligence and the victim needs Chicago slip and fall lawyers to help them recover their losses. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- A freshly mopped or polished floor
- Broken stairs or stair rails
- Bunched rugs or loose carpets
- Uneven sidewalks
- Spilled liquids
- Loose cords
These hazards lead to a range of injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Duties of Property Owners in Chicago
Generally, property owners have a duty to ensure their properties are safe. If they know about a hazard, they should fix it or give individuals adequate warning about its existence. If a property owner breaches this duty and someone suffers harm, they may be held liable for damages.
However, not every injury that happens on another entity’s property is a result of negligence. Property owners are held to a standard of reasonableness when determining liability. This means that the individual or business can only be deemed negligent if:
- A reasonable property owner would have known about the condition; and
- A reasonable property owner would have made the condition safe, but this person failed to do so.
It’s important that you seek advice from Chicago slip and fall lawyers soon after the incident so you can find out whether you have a valid case. No matter how upset you may be, you may not be able to hold the property owner liable if these standards aren’t met. If the standards are met, you’ll need to know about your rights under the law. Your attorney will help to ensure you get maximum compensation for your losses.
Proving negligence can be difficult. If a property owner has a record of exceptional maintenance, it may be hard to show that they didn’t follow the standard procedures. However, if the owner has repeatedly failed to promptly address problems, it may be easier to show that they aren’t a reasonable property owner.
That being said, everything rests on the specifics of the case. A property owner who is usually responsive can slip up and one who has been negligent in the past can do the right thing on occasion. Each case needs to be thoroughly investigated. If you suffered serious injuries because you slipped and fell, you must contact an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer.
Time Limits for Filing A Personal Injury Claim in Chicago
Under Illinois’ laws, victims usually have two years from the date the injury occurred to file a personal injury lawsuit. The courts are highly unlikely to allow you to take legal action if the statute of limitations has run out. If your claim is against a government entity, you may have a much shorter time. In order to ensure that you file your suit in time, you should contact a lawyer at the earliest opportunity. The longer you wait, the harder it may be to get a satisfactory outcome.
As time passes, evidence can get damaged or destroyed, witnesses can move away, and memories will fade. Even if you had solid grounds for getting compensation, you may no longer have the proof you need. Another thing to consider is that having the ability to file a lawsuit gives you leverage. If time is running out and you haven’t yet reached a settlement, the other party’s insurance company will know that you don’t have many options. It’s always best to contact an attorney and let them advise you of the relevant deadlines.
How the Modified Comparative Fault System May Affect Your Case
One of the things that will come up is whether you were in any way responsible for your injuries. In Illinois, you can still claim compensation if you were partly at fault. That’s because the state practices what is known as modified comparative fault. Even though you’ll be able to recover damages, the amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault. Therefore, if an insurance company or court determines that you were 25 percent responsible, you would only receive 75 per cent of the damages to which you were entitled. You won’t be able to claim compensation if you were more than 50 percent at fault. This is only allowed under pure comparative negligence systems.
Let the Chicago Slip and Fall Lawyers at TorkLaw Help You
We have represented several clients in Chicago who suffered injuries when they slipped and fell. We know many property owners don’t live up to their duties and we believe they should be held accountable. If you suffer serious injuries, your medical bills will quickly pile up and you may not be able to work for a long time. If you were not primarily at fault for your injuries, you shouldn’t have to bear this hardship alone. Reach out to our attorneys today and set up a free consultation. We’ll review your case and let you know more about how we can help you. We want you to get full and fair compensation.