Once again, our Chicago personal injury lawyers' efforts have paid off. Just this month, Chicago personal injury attorney, John J. Perconti, obtained a $1.2 million settlement against an adult social club and day center after an 87 year-old man fell and hit his head, suffering a serious brain injury that led to his death five days later.
The fall was captured on a surveillance video on the property, which revealed that employees of the defendant facility failed to properly supervise and assist the man despite the fact that they knew he required assistance, and that the property owners failed to maintain a safe and properly-designed curb ramp on the property, as well as failed to warn users of the dangers of the curb ramp.
At the time of the injury, the man was leaving the club to be transported home on one of the facility’s waiting busses. He had a care plan in place that required employees to help him with ambulation, but none of the employees were nearby to help the man as he walked to the bus.
Additionally, the curb ramps on the sidewalk in front of the bus were improperly designed; the curb ramp’s slopes were at a greater incline than the permitted ratios set forth by the building code standards, and the curb ramp was also not properly marked with any designation to warn users of its location, size, or shape.
As a general rule, when an accident or injury occurs to a visitor or tenant on another person's property, the owner of the property may be liable if it can be proved that their negligence led to the injury. Property owners may be legally responsible for injuries that occur on their properties if there are potential hazards on the land and the landlord fails to correct them, or if the landowner fails to warn people who come onto the land about the danger.
In cases involving Illinois premises liability law, plaintiffs must be able to show one of the following things:
• That the property owners either failed to maintain the property
• That the landowner created unsafe conditions which caused the injury;
• That the property owner knew about the unsafe hazard but didn't alert visitors or tenants to this fact;
• That the property owner was not careful concerning unsafe conditions which might attract children; or,
• That the landowner took actions, or neglected conditions on the property, that ultimately caused damage to a neighboring property.
Here, the building owners failed to have a sidewalk that was safe for people entering and exiting the building, and failed to warn visitors about the dangerous curb.
Because the man’s devastating injury tragically led to his passing, the building owners were held liable for causing his death as well. 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 corporation. Because the death was caused by the fall, and the fall was caused by the negligence on the part of the owners of the club, they were held to be legally responsible for the man’s death.
In Illinois wrongful death cases such as this one, family members can file claims 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, as well as having to experience grief and sorrow as a result of losing a loved one.
Though a lawsuit can never bring a loved one back to life, it is a step in the right direction, both for achieving justice, and making those at fault pay for their careless actions. Contact an attorney if you have lost a loved one due to another’s actions; you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering.