In Illinois, property owners are legally responsible for ensuring their premises are safe and free of potential hazards. Unfortunately, too many property owners and occupiers do not adhere to minimum safety standards in maintaining their properties.
Unsafe conditions like broken lights, faulty wiring, and loose carpeting can cause avoidable injuries for third parties, including those that cause long-term disability, psychological trauma, or even death.
As a resident of Illinois, you have the right to compensation if you suffer an injury due to a property owner’s negligence. A premises liability attorney can help you get the financial compensation you deserve through a personal injury claim.
The experienced premises liability attorneys at Nessler & Associates will work with you to file an insurance claim against the negligent property owner or occupant who caused you injuries. Our attorneys will help you get the financial compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost income, and damages resulting from your accident.
What is Premises Liability in Illinois?
Premises liability refers to a set of legal rules around the responsibility of property owners to keep visitors safe from harm when on their premises. Premises liability laws apply to property owners or managers in charge of the property.
Under Illinois civil liabilities law, property owners are required to exercise a duty of care to maintain their property. This duty of care includes performing routine checks for safety hazards, such as broken railings or liquid spills, and taking the necessary actions to warn visitors of and repair the danger. If property owners do not correct a dangerous condition, they may be held liable for any injuries the hazard causes.
For example, businesses are responsible for ensuring that their floors are safe from slip hazards. If a business, such as a grocery store, knows a slip hazard exists and does not put up a sign or clean the liquid, they can be held liable for slip and fall injuries that occur.
You may be entitled to damages if you suffer an injury on another person’s property. These damages can include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages:
- Economic damages. Non-economic damages include compensation for medical bills you incur from hospitalization, doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and assistive devices resulting from the injury. They can also cover lost wages resulting from missed work.
- Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages refer to compensation for incalculable harm, such as pain and suffering or emotional suffering that you have endured due to your injury, including any adverse effects on your quality of life.
- Wrongful death damages. Wrongful death damages can help you pay for funeral costs or attempt to compensate you for the loss of a loved one due to an injury caused by another’s negligence.
- Punitive damages. These damages punish the negligent party and discourage others from similar conduct.
Statute of Limitations for Illinois Premises Liability Claims
Contact our law firm as soon as possible following your accident, so you don’t miss the deadlines for filing your claim. Generally, you must file a claim within two years from the date of the accident.
If someone you loved died as a result of the accident, you have two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
Common Types of Premises Liability Claims
Premises liability claims can fall under several categories of injury. At Nessler & Associates, we handle multiple types of premises liability claims, including the following:
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common sources of injury in premises liability cases. The National Safety Council reports that over 6.8 million emergency room visits each year result from falls. Unfortunately, falls account for 21% of fatal injuries in emergency room patients.
Slippery surfaces are a common cause of falls resulting in injury or death on a property. If a property owner fails to adequately warn visitors of a slippery surface or fails to remove slip hazards such as ice from a sidewalk, they may be legally liable for any slip and fall related injuries that result.
Trip and Fall
Trip hazards can include improperly maintained pathways, uneven paving stones, or objects left on a floor. Insufficient lighting, poor matting on a floor, or cracks in an improperly-maintained surface may result in trip and fall injuries. Falls resulting from trip hazards can cause long-term injury or disability.
According to the CDC, one in five falls results in a broken bone or a traumatic brain injury. These injuries are common sources of long-term disability, such as mobility issues or neurocognitive difficulties.
If a dog bites you on someone else’s property, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries you sustain. According to the Illinois Bar Association, Illinois law has some of the strictest rules for dog owner liability in the nation, resulting in $14 million in claims in 2016.
Dog bites are a common source of premises injury claims. In 2021, dog bite injuries accounted for around $881 million in insurance claims nationally.
How to Win Compensation in a Premises Liability Case
When you seek compensation in a premises liability claim, you will work with your premises liability lawyer to prove three main elements. You must submit evidence for each of the following to show that the property owner acted negligently and that their negligence directly caused your injuries:
The Property Owner Owed a Duty of Care
If you are injured by a hazard on a property, you must show that the owner owed you duty of care while on the premises. In Illinois, visitors, such as invitees or retail shoppers, are owed a duty of care by property owners.
Trespassers are owed a slightly reduced duty of care. For example, property owners must not willfully cause harm to trespassers but are not responsible for warning of hazards.
Your attorney can review your case to determine what level of care you were due from the property owner to seek compensation in your case.
The Property Owner Failed to Correct a Danger on the Property
Part of exercising reasonable care for a property is correcting known dangers. Legally, the owner is responsible if they are explicitly aware of a danger (actual notice) or if they should have known of the hazard (constructive notice).
If you are injured on someone else’s property, your Chicago premises liability lawyer can help you prove the owner was aware of the danger. This can include showing texts or messages alerting them to the danger. It can also include showing the danger should have been known if they had performed regulatory inspections.
The Property Hazard Caused You to Sustain an Injury or Other Damages
To win your claim, you and your attorney must show that your injuries were caused by the property owner’s negligence. This can include the use of video or photos of the injury occurring and medical records that state the cause of your injuries.
Keeping records of your medical treatment and follow-up care can help you prove the cost of your damages for your claim.
How Nessler & Associates Can Help
A skilled premises liability attorney from Nessler & Associates can help you build a strong case for your compensation claim. Our lawyers understand the nuances of premises liability and will fight for a fair settlement.
- Nessler & Associates will move quickly to investigate your claim. We collaborate with experienced investigators who can document the accident scene, speak with witnesses and locate other evidence like surveillance camera footage.
- Our legal team will determine and calculate all your damages. We gather your medical records and consult with healthcare professionals to determine the cost of future treatments.
- If you are unable to work, we collect your pay stubs, W-2s, taxes, and bank records to calculate your current and future lost income.
- We will then prepare a demand letter for compensation from the insurance company, and if necessary our skilled litigators will represent you in court.
Contact a Chicago Premises Liability Attorney for a Free Consultation
For any premises liability claim, you need an experienced law firm on your side that will protect your interests as an injury victim. At Nessler & Associates, you’ll get legal advice during your free consultation to discuss the details of your potential claim. Our Chicago premises liability lawyers have won millions for premises liability victims, including $1 million for a slip and fall victim.
If you live in the Chicago area and have been injured as a result of a property owner’s negligence, call us at (800) 727-8010 or fill out our online contact form for a no-obligation, free consultation.
We work on a contingency fee arrangement to ensure our clients receive the legal representation they deserve to get a fair settlement. We don’t charge a legal fee unless we win a verdict or settlement in your case.