Cook County Slip and Fall Attorney | Buttafuoco & Associates
Slip and falls cause hundreds of injuries every year in the Chicago area. Some end up as premises liability cases which can often be a complicated challenge for injured victims and their lawyers.
For example, if you slip and fall on an icy public sidewalk on your neighbor’s property, who handles your injuries? What about if you were clearly warned of the possible dangers? This is just one of several questions that must be explicitly addressed a civil premises liability claim or case by your Cook County slip and fall attorney and yourself.
Injured victims of slip and fall accidents can experience any, or a combination of, the following.
- Broken bones
- Brain injury or some other head trauma
- Neck, spinal cord or other nerve injuries
- Shoulder injuries such as dislocations or separations
- Knee, elbow, foot or wrist injuries
Determining Legal Liability for a Slip and Fall Accident
Successful premises liability cases must have a property owner who did not take “reasonable” safety precautions to assure the safety of visitors. Defendants can be a homeowner, a business owner, or a renter of an apartment or business space.
To be successful in your slip and fall lawsuit, your lawyer must prove the following.
- The defendant caused (or was aware of) dangerous conditions that caused your accident
- The defendant did not correct the unsafe situation in timely fashion
- The accident could have been reasonably anticipated by the defendant
Of course, “reasonableness” (or common sense) also applies to slip and fall victims as well. Property owners or legal occupants are not automatically at fault for a slip and fall accident. If the injured victim knew of the unsafe conditions but made no effort to avoid them, might this have played a part in the accident. Horseplay or an intoxicated victim often means less of a payout from a claim.
Was the injured victim in a place where he or she did not legally belong? Many premises liability claims and cases hinge on who was – and was not – behaving reasonably as well as an implied invitation to enter the property. These intricacies of premises liability law are why you should contact a Cook County slip and fall lawyer before considering any legal action.
Types of Negligence and How They Factor into Slip and Fall Civil Cases
Understanding the two forms of negligence, and how each might factor into your slip and fall case, determines the nature of your Illinois injury lawsuit; as well as some damages you might be awarded.
Contributory negligence refers to which party is more at fault than the other. Usually, if the injured victim paid a significant part in the accident, the odds of collecting damages diminishes. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible for the defendant to avoid liability in a slip and fall accident if he or she can prove an “injured” plaintiff is 50 percent or more at fault for the accident. The purpose is to discourage people from the extreme practice of “staging” an accident to collect damages.
Comparative negligence applies if you were at partial (less than 50 percent) fault for your injury. If this applies and you were one-third to blame, you only collect 75 percent of the damages you seek.
Finally, under Illinois joint severability laws, if more than one party caused your slip and fall accident, you can file individual claims against each one for his or her percentage of fault.
Slip and fall accident scenes can change quickly as defendants work to avoid liability by fixing hazards or cleaning spills. If you have suffered a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property, Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced premises liability attorneys offer a free consultation.