Were you hurt in a fall on someone else’s property? Every year, too many slip and falls are caused by hidden dangers on residential and commercial properties. You don’t have to shoulder the cost of these injuries alone. The property owner or another party might be liable for not keeping you safe from the dangerous property condition. To learn more about when you can file a premises liability claim after a slip and fall accident, call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900. You can schedule a free consultation with a Chicago slip and fall accident attorney.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we’ve handled slip and falls caused by all manner of property defects, from loose stairs to poorly covered holes outside. Call us right away if a condition on someone else’s property caused you to fall and get hurt.
Common defects that cause slip and falls include:
Slip and falls are one of the most common types of premises liability accidents, and they can happen anywhere, including:
When you slip or trip, you could fall to the ground or fall from a height. In either case, you can suffer a serious or catastrophic injury.
Common slip and fall injuries include:
Broken Bones: The simplest bone fracture still needs a cast and weeks to heal. More complex breaks might need surgery to insert pins, screws, or plates. You also might need months of physical therapy to regain strength and a better range of motion in the affected area. In the most serious cases, broken bones can lead to long-term issues. A broken hip in a senior can drastically reduce their mobility and quality of life. A broken vertebra can lead to permanent back problems.
Dislocated Joints: Depending on how you land, you could dislocate a joint in your wrist, arm, or shoulder. This injury and treatment are very painful. Dislocations also can be associated with soft tissue injuries that might need surgery to repair.
Soft Tissue Injuries: A sprain refers to a stretched or torn ligament, while a strain refers to a stretched or torn muscle or tendon. You can recover from a minor sprain or strain with time and rest. But if you tear a ligament, muscle, or tendon in the fall, like tearing your ACL, you’ll probably need surgery to repair it.
Traumatic Brain Injuries: If you hit your head in the fall, you can suffer a mild, moderate, or severe TBI. A mild TBI is a concussion, and you can fully recover in months. Although concussions can lead to long-term complications, like sensitivity and headaches. Moderate-to-severe TBIs are much more serious and are associated with long-term issues. The more severe the TBI, the more likely you are to suffer a permanent disability. It also can lead to a coma, vegetative state, or death.
Back Injuries: A serious fall can cause soft tissue injuries in your back, a herniated disc, fractured vertebrae, or a combination of these injuries. Your recovery might be slow and painful. Many people’s backs never fully return to normal. You could experience discomfort and physical limitations for the rest of your life.
Spinal Cord Injury: One of the most catastrophic injuries you can suffer from a fall is a spinal cord injury that causes paralysis. In addition to a loss of movement and sensation, you might deal with respiratory issues, blood pressure and circulation problems, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, and a high risk of infections.
Under Illinois premises liability law, property owners are responsible for making their premises reasonably safe for visitors. But they aren’t responsible for making their premises perfect. In rare cases, someone other than the property owner or no one is liable for your injuries.
There could be defects the owner wouldn’t reasonably know about. For example, there might be a latent defect caused by a contractor. Latent defects can’t be discovered through a reasonable inspection of the property. If you were hurt by a latent defect at someone’s home or office, your attorney might recommend demanding compensation from the party responsible for that dangerous condition.
Owners also aren’t responsible for keeping you safe from open and obvious conditions. There might be defects on the property that are risky but are easy to see and avoid. If you slipped and fell because of an observable condition, the owner can defend themselves against a premises liability claim.
When you’re injured in a slip and fall, it’s important to talk with an experienced premises liability attorney. A lawyer will thoroughly investigate the underlying cause of the slip and fall. Once your lawyer identifies the defect, they’ll look into whether the owner knew or should have known about it and done something to fix it or warn you.
After a thorough investigation of your slip and fall accident, your attorney can advise on who is liable for your injuries. It could be an individual homeowner, commercial property owner, commercial tenant, contractor, or another party. In many cases, the liable party is covered by insurance. That’s why the first step is sending a demand letter to the liable party and their insurer and starting the claims process.
If we can’t resolve your claim through the insurance claims process, we’ll recommend filing a premises liability lawsuit. Going to court is important, even if you’re wary of going to trial. The most important phase of litigation is discovery. We can use several legal tools to gain more information from the other party or parties responsible for the property.
Further investigation helps us strengthen your claim or identify the weaknesses. After discovery, a majority of injury claims settle. In some cases, a fair settlement isn’t possible, and then we might recommend going to trial.
If you’re hurt in a slip and fall, we highly recommend talking with a lawyer. There’s a lot of information you need before you can demand compensation from a property owner or their insurer. We have experience investigating these types of incidents and working with insurers to reach fair settlements. For example, we obtained a $215,000 settlement for a woman who fell when a flight of stairs collapsed and $485,000 when a senior woman tripped and fell from a plywood board covering a hole. Review more of our results.
Here are some additional resources that may be of help.
Premises Liability Practice Areas