Abels & Annes
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Poor Design Leads to an Injury From a Fall

Injury from a fall can be caused by many things, including poorly designed structures. This is a basic tenet of premises liability, which implies that landowners have a duty to maintain and keep their property in a reasonably safe condition to avoid injuring those who are on the property. If they do not do so, injuries can occur and the injured parties may be able to sue the landowner for damages.

Common premises liability cases include instances where:

  • Someone has received an injury from a fall
  • Snow removal was negligent
  • A porch collapsed
  • Stairs were broken or defective
  • Sidewalks were broken or defective

The injuries that often result from premises liability cases can be very severe, ranging from traumatic brain injuries, to broken bones that require surgical repair, to severe back and neck injuries.

A key factor for determining the potential of a premises liability case is the legal status of the visitor. The status of the visitor is generally broken down into four categories:

  • Invitee
  • Social guest
  • Licensee
  • Or a trespasser

The reason that status is important when assessing a premises liability claim is because a trespasser is unlikely to be compensated for a premises liability case. Therefore if a trespasser status is determined, a premises liability case is usually dead in the water.

An Injury from a Fall

Chicago lawyer Gary Annes recently settled a premises liability case for a north suburban resident. He was able to seecure a $125,000 pay out for his client.

The claim arose out of an injury from a fall that occurred in August, 2010.  The plaintiff was a resident of a mobile home park located in the north suburbs of Chicago. At that time the property was managed by a woman whose office was located at her trailer in the park.

On the date of the occurrence the Abels & Annes client had gone to the manager’s office to make an inquiry. She ascended the steps up to the small deck outside the front door to the manager’s trailer and knocked on the door. When there was no response she began to descend the steps to leave.

As a result of the poor design, construction and maintenance of the steps, as the plaintiff began to walk down the steps she lost her footing on the uneven steps and began to stumble. As she began to fall she attempted to grab for a handrail to steady herself. Again, due to the poor design, construction, and maintenance of the handrail, it was not located where it should have been and she was unable to grab it. As a result she fell, severely injuring herself.

Shortly after the occurrence, the attorneys at Abels & Annes had the steps inspected by an architect. The architect found the steps and handrail to be in violation of several sections of the local village building code and the 2003 International Residential Code (IRC).  

Emergency room x-rays revealed fractures of the right medial malleolus and of the right distal fibula, and possible fracture of the posterior malleolus and the ankle mortise appeared to be disrupted.

Due to the severity of her ankle fracture the injured woman underwent an open reduction internal fixation surgery. With the attorneys at Abels & Annes on her side, the case settled out of court, saving her the cost of a lawsuit.

This case illustrates the type of value a personal injury attorney can bring if you have sustained an injury from a fall. If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, request a Free Case Consultation to speak with a lawyer.

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