Common Injuries in Premises Liability Cases
When property owners or occupiers fail to make or keep their premises safe from hazards, the consequences for guests or visitors can be serious. Holes in concrete where people walk, exposed electrical wires, unattended swimming pools, broken stairs, or failing structures all can result in life-altering injuries.
Some common types of injuries seen in premises liability cases include:
Head and Brain Injuries
Head injuries such as concussions, skull fractures, or traumatic brain injuries can happen as the result of a slip-and-fall accident, stairway accident, or porch, deck, or balcony collapse. Head injuries are serious and can result in lasting brain damage that permanently impairs functions. Very serious head injuries can be fatal.
Back and Neck Injuries
Slipped discs or broken vertebrae may be caused by serious slip-and-fall injuries, stairway accidents, or porch, deck, or balcony collapses. Both are painful conditions that are likely to require surgery. Broken vertebrae may result in paralysis or loss of function when the spinal cord is damaged. Recovery time for back injuries and neck injuries tends to be lengthy, and some people never fully recover. Instead they experience pain and impaired functions for the rest of their lives.
Torn Ligaments and Muscle Strains
A torn ligament such as the meniscus in the knee or rotator cuff in the shoulder are very painful and affect your ability to move normally or do everyday tasks. You may lose time from work and be unable to help around your house because of the pain and loss of range of motion. You may need surgery and have a lengthy recovery time. Torn ligaments are not uncommon in slip-and-fall injuries when the body twists abnormally as you slip.
Broken and Dislocated Bones
Broken arms, legs, ribs, or other bones, or dislocated knees, hips, or shoulders, are extremely painful. You may need surgery to have pins or rods inserted to keep the bone in place while it heals. You also may need physical therapy to regain function after suffering a broken or dislocated bone. These injuries can be expensive and require weeks or months of recovery.
Sometimes cuts heal on their own, but deep cuts may require stitches and leave disfiguring scars. If you suffered cuts on your face or some other part of your body that would routinely be visible to other people, you may be experiencing emotional and psychological trauma in addition to the physical pain.
Dog Bites or Animal Wounds
Bites or wounds from a dog or animal attack shouldn’t be taken lightly. Dogs and other animals — even house cats — can make powerful attacks on unsuspecting people, resulting in deep lacerations or wounds from jaws or claws. The wounds from animal attacks can be painful and disfiguring, particularly since an animal may lunge for a person’s face or other vulnerable parts of the body.
Drowning is an all-too-common consequence when swimming pools are left unattended or have inadequate staffing or security measures. It only takes seconds for a child or adult to drown, and only a small amount of water. When drowning is not fatal, it can lead to brain damage and permanent impairment of function when the drowning person is deprived of oxygen for too long.
When water and live wires or electrical devices mix, the results can be disastrous for any person who encounters them. Electrocution is a common injury in and around swimming pools.
Even a slight burn can be painful and scarring. Serious burns can require lengthy hospitalization and skin graft surgery, and can result in nerve damage or other permanent impairments. Burns may be caused by fire, electricity, chemicals, or scalding liquids such as overheated coffee.
An infection can result when someone swims in a pool that hasn’t been properly cleaned and treated by the owner or person responsible for maintenance. If you have a cut or open wound, bacteria in the water can get into your blood stream and make you sick. If the infection progresses rapidly or isn’t treated in time, infected wounds can lead to tissue loss, amputation, or even death.
Patrons of restaurants, bars, markets, food stalls, banquet halls, or anyplace food is served can become sick with foodborne illnesses when the people who prepare or handle the food are negligent. Negligence could encompass staff not following sufficient hand-washing or hygiene practices, letting food sit out at room temperature for too long, undercooking food, or storing food in malfunctioning refrigerator or freezer units. When cooks or food handlers don’t practice good hygiene, illnesses such as noroviruses can easily be spread. Food stored, cooked, or served at the wrong temperature can allow bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella to survive and make the person who eats the food sick.
If you suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you may have a claim. If you have questions, we suggest that you consult an experienced Chicago premises liability lawyer to determine if you have a claim and how that might proceed. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we offer free legal consultations. You can reach us at (312) 236-2900.