April 10, 2012

Illinois Premises Liability Claim May Arise After Chicago Man Killed by Falling Debris

by Levin & Perconti

A devastating accident occurred last week on Chicago’s far South Side when a piece of debris fell from a construction site; tragically, the rubble hit a 37 year old-Chicago man and killed him instantly. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the man was struck by the falling debris late in the afternoon, and was taken to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island where he was pronounced dead.

Though police officers investigating the man’s death don’t yet know what the man was doing at the construction site, this type of situation may trigger a Chicago wrongful death lawsuit based on landowner liability.

Illinois land owner liability, otherwise known as Illinois premises liability law, is a significant branch of Illinois personal injury law that allows victims to recover after they have been injured on another person’s property, and the negligence of the property owner was the cause of that harm. In order to apply to a set of circumstances, premises liability law requires a number of factors to be satisfied: the defendant must be the owner or possessor of the land, or “premises” – in this case, the defendants are the company responsible for maintaining the construction site. Additionally, the person or persons on the land of another must be injured by negligence or a different wrongful act; in this particular situation, the corporation had a duty to maintain the site.

Illinois premises liability law may be triggered if it can be shown that the property owners or managers either failed to maintain the property, created unsafe conditions that caused the injury, or knew about the unsafe hazard but didn't alert visitors or tenants to this fact. Illinois law holds construction companies and their managing corporations liable for injuries that result because of unsafe conditions at construction sites. Whether the injured victims are workers or not, the companies responsible for construction on the property are tasked with keeping the site free from hazard, and can be made to pay for damages that occur as a result of injuries that occur on that land.

Under Illinois law, wrongful death is the legal concept that arises when a person’s death has been caused by the fault or negligence of another person or business. In cases of wrongful death, such as this one, family members and loved ones of the decedent can file a claim to potentially make the wrongdoer pay damages for things such as the loss of companionship, monetary damages to cover the earnings the deceased person would have provided, and expenses associated with the death such as funeral and burial costs. Because the man was only 37, damages will likely be incurred for future lost wages, and his family may be entitled to compensation for having lost time with him, as well as having to experience grief and sorrow.

Our Illinois personal injury lawyers have handled numerous cases and recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the families of victims who were wrongfully injured or killed because of someone else's negligence. In fact, our attorneys obtained a $5.7 million settlement for a 27-year-old Joliet, IL roofer in a workplace injury case who was paralyzed when he fell from a roof as a result of the general contractor's failure to provide appropriate safety devices, and an $850,000 settlement for the family of an 88-year-old man Chicago man who died after suffering serious injuries in a fall at a Jiffy Lube service center.

If you or a loved one have been injured on the land of another because of the landowner’s negligence, contact an attorney to discuss your rights under the law. You may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.