Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

Slip and fall accidents are an unfortunately common yet often preventable when property owners take proper precautions. Despite the knowledge that one needs to protect visitors on property from known dangers or foreseeable harms, our attorneys frequently file lawsuits involving slip and fall accidents on behalf of injured clients.

Premises liability tort law surrounds the rule that landowners are liable for the injuries of visitors or customers (legal invitees) suffered on the property, and that landowners have a legal duty to make the premises safe, warn of dangers, and immediately fix and remedy known dangers. Also, this legal duty is not new but has been knowledge to landowners since the middle of the 20th century. The legal standard for negligence and premises liability comes from a federal case from 1947 called United States v. Carroll Towing Co. Judge Learned Hand created the famous standard and balancing test of negligence in this case, known as the “BPL Test,” in which a landowner must weigh the burden (B) to fix a known danger on the land, the probability (P) that injury will occur, and the actual injury that occurs (L). This algebraic formula measures liability: If B is less than L multiplied by P (ex: B < PL). In this balancing test, if a landowner's burden is less than the cost of injury and the probability of an injury's occurrence, then the landowner has not met the legal standard of care owed to invitees. For example, a pot hole in a parking lot, or a cracked tire is a much lesser burden to repair than the ultimate cost and probability of someone falling from the known danger.

According to recent reports by the Cook County Record, a suburban bar is being sued for allegedly breaching this legal duty of care and causing a slip and fall injury. The Cook County bar, Celtic Corner, is the subject of a lawsuit after a man suffered injuries after falling over a board in the bar. The victim tripped and fell down in the walkway of the bar in Elmwood Park. According to the claims, bar patrons were playing a game in which a board with a hole is propped up on the ground, and he alleges that the board was left sitting after a game, which caused his fall.

Our attorneys have previously discussed premises liability lawsuits involving injuries suffered on commercial property, such as slip and falls at grocery stores or in parking lots. However, you may not know that premises liability law also extends to protecting individuals inside residential property, such as apartment buildings. Landlords and building owners have a legal duty of care to provide safe premises and fix known dangers to prevent injury and death to tenants and visitors to the property.

According to a recent article by the Cook County Record, two Chicago property owners have been named as defendants in an injury lawsuit. The plaintiff filed suit after being injured on a sidewalk on the defendant’s property. The victim filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court with a claim of negligence and premises liability. In her complaint, the victim, a tenant of the Chicago property, was walking along the sidewalk of the building entrance when she tripped on uneven, detached, and cracked sidewalk. She is seeking damages over $30,000.

Our lawyers have successfully advocated for injured victims and the families of those wrongfully killed as a result of unsafe living conditions in Chicago apartments and have obtained fair and just verdicts and settlements for clients in these cases. In the case A.R. and A.R. and M.R. v. Marshway Limited Partnership, Marshway, L.L.C. and Cig Management L.L.C., our attorneys obtained a $6 million settlement for the families of 6 children who died in an apartment fire on Chicago’s north side. In this case, we proved that the landlords failed to have proper working smoke detectors, which was in violation of the Chicago Municipal Code. As a result of this negligence, the children were not able to escape the building in time. Furthermore, in L.S. v. Chicago Housing Authority, our lawyers obtained a $2.3 million settlement for a Chicago fire injury. In this case, two boys were severely burned in an apartment fire.

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.

With winter getting into full swing in Chicago, fall injuries become more common. Winter conditions make slip and falls occur more regularly. According to the Huffington Post, slip and fall accidents are one of the top causes for injury on commercial property.

However, there are steps that area businesses should take to lessen your and other patrons’ risk of falling and getting injured. Just as changing weather increases risks, your shopping centers and grocery stores should increase the steps they take to lessen your risks. First, these stores should begin with outdoor maintenance. If a business hasn’t taken prompt action to remove ice from areas like outdoor steps, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots, they put their patrons at risk of injury. This is especially true for parking lots and driveways that are blacktop, because ice is often invisible to most people who are not aware that it is there. In that way, a store owner who is regularly around would realize its presence, but not a customer who is just stopping by. Proper lighting is also helpful for store patrons to see any potential hazards. Also, stores should have salt on hand, as well as signs or safety cones to warn of slippery and dangerous conditions.

Interiors should also be attended to. Ice and snow can easily be tracked into the entrances from the outside. This can create a build-up of water on the floor, causing a slippery surface and hazard to those walking through. Store owners often know in advance which areas this happens to, so they should make sure to mark the area with caution signs, have the area well lit, and have a regular clean-up crew to tend to any water build-up. Extra floor mats can also encourage feet-wiping as well as absorbing extra water that comes inside.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys just helped the victim of nursing home neglect recover $842,801 in damages from the nursing home responsible for the neglect and for the victim’s injuries. The nursing home is located on South Kenwood in Chicago and was known as Kenwood Healthcare Center at the time the victim was a resident, but now the facility at this address is known as Parkshore Estates.

The victim of the nursing home neglect slipped and fell back in December of 2008 while she was a resident at the nursing home. The nursing home was found liable for her injuries because when she was initially admitted to the nursing home she was able to move around on her own with a walker, then she fell and broke her hip because the nursing home failed to take the necessary safety precautions to insure that the resident did not suffer an avoidable fail. Our Chicago personal injury attorneys proved that nursing home did not take all necessary precautions to protect their residents from slips and falls.

Broken hips injuries at nursing homes are a very serious problem and can often be very severe for the resident injured. Elderly people typically have a more difficult time recovering from a broken hip, and the recovery process is very long and grueling, including surgery and a long recovery time. For residents that were previously mobile, being immobile for many months to recover from a broken hip can lead to an overall decline in the resident’s well being as well as their overall demeanor. Often times recovery for broken hips can lead to further medical complications and issues in these elderly patients.

Though, fortunately, the injuries suffered in this case aren’t likely severe enough to warrant a Chicago personal injury lawsuit, an incident this afternoon at Chicago’s Midway Airport affords an opportunity to consider the notion of, and considerations behind, Illinois premises liability law.

According to a report by NBC Chicago, an 8 year-old boy with Down Syndrome was injured when he fell more than 20 feet – the equivalent of 2 stories – at Midway Airport in Chicago. The child and his family were at the airport to catch a flight back home to Guadalajara; while the boy was playing with a plant near a glass railing, he fell from the ticketing area to the baggage claim below.

The boy was immediately transferred to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in “serious” condition with “non-life threatening injuries,” said Chicago Fire Department Spokesman Larry Langford. Fortuitously it turned out that the boy only suffered a cut lip, but the fact that the situation occurred is alarming unto itself.

The circumstances almost sound too tragic to be true. However, devastatingly, they are not.

A recently-widowed man has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the government and a corporation responsible for managing a public school after his wife suffered a deadly fall while paying her respects at the funeral of a fallen soldier.

The victim’s sister reports that the woman had walked across the stage at the school in which the funeral was being held, in order to speak to the soldier’s mother. She fell into the pit area in front of the stage, and suffered serious internal injuries from which she ultimately died during hospitalization.

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.

Our Chicago personal injury lawyers work tirelessly to get compensation for our clients after they have been harmed in dangerous circumstances. Nevertheless, as any Chicago personal injury attorney will attest, the best situation is the one in which the injury never occurs in the first place.

According to new research published in a study by the medical journal Pediatrics, on average, every six minutes a child younger than 5 is treated for a stair-related injury in a U.S. emergency department. Additionally, a parent or caregiver carrying a child on the stairs accounts for almost one quarter of those injuries. Though the study didn’t give data related to how many children have died as a result of these injuries, it did, however, find that nearly 932,000 children younger than 5 were hurt in stair accidents in the U.S. in the decade from 1999 through 2008; when averaged, that’s more than 93,000 kids a year, or about 46.5 injuries for every 10,000 children under age 5.

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, Illinois 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 were the campground owners. 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 campground owners had a duty to maintain the grounds and ensure that they were safe for campers.

As a general rule in Illinois premises liability cases, property owners and landowners are responsible for maintaining safe premises, and they can be liable for injuries that occur on their land as a result of either a failure to ensure safe conditions, or a failure to warn people who come onto the property of potential hazards on the land.

This principle also applies to Illinois workplace accident cases, which hold construction companies and their managing corporations liable for injuries that result because of unsafe working conditions at a construction site. Whether the injured victims are workers or not, the corporations are responsible for keeping the site free from hazard, and can be made to pay for damages that occur as a result of injuries that occur on the land.

That is exactly what happened to a woman who filed a case against Liese Lumber Company and Dumpster Dave, earlier this month. According to the Madison St. Clair Record, the woman filed the lawsuit after falling on mud near a construction site. The complaint alleges that the defendants failed to prevent mud from accumulating on the street, failed to clean the mud from the street, failed to properly supervise work performed at a construction site that led to the accumulation of mud, and failed to maintain safe premises. Although the woman wasn’t a worker on the site, the company responsible for maintaining the site may still be liable for the damage caused.

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