Our readers may have heard of the term “premises liability” in the news, but most outside of the legal field do not have a grasp of how this legal theory may apply to their everyday lives. Oftentimes during winter months, we talk to friends or family members who experience or witness falls or other physical accidents during their everyday errands and routines.
Laws are put in place to protect both patrons and business alike. According to Illinois law, someone who is going to a store for purchases (“doing business”) is owed the highest level of legal protections because they are viewed under tort law as an “invitee.” Consequently, business owners and store operators must maintain safe premises for those shopping at their commercial buildings. Where it is proved in court that an injury, such as a slip and fall, on the owner’s premises was due to negligence and therefore preventable, the owner of the building may be held liable and owe the victim compensation for injuries suffered. To obtain compensation and hold owners liable for injuries, plaintiffs must suffice a legal test by proving that the property owner failed to maintain the premises, or created or failed to remedy unsafe conditions (ex: such as failing to clean in a spill in a grocery store) that were known to the owner.
Recently, Chicago area retailers have faced lawsuits for slip and fall accidents on their properties due to extreme winter weather conditions. According to the Cook County Record, one victim sued TJ Maxx claiming she sustained injuries in a fall near the entrance of the chain’ Palatine location. She accused the store of negligence by causing an unnatural accumulation of snow and ice, failing to remove it, and failing to warn her of the accumulation. The lawsuit also names the store’s property management company and property owner.
In the past, our attorneys have successfully represented victims of slip and fall accidents, among other premises liability lawsuits, and have achieved a number of notable verdicts and settlements. In one such case, we recovered an $850,000 settlement for the family of an older man who died following injuries suffered in a fall at a Chicago area service station. If you or your loved one has suffered substantial injuries on commercial property, our firm would be happy to hear from you to discuss your case and potential legal options with you. Please call us for a free consultation, and we may be able to help you obtain the compensation and justice that you deserve.