Understanding if Your Slip and Fall Case was Caused by Negligent Actions
While a slip and fall may sound like a slapstick routine, these accidents are often extremely serious and can lead to significant injuries. Illinois property owners owe their visitors a duty of care that amounts to affording those visitors safe passage through the property in question. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, it’s in your best interest to retain legal counsel – such claims are often complicated, but your rights and your rightful compensation matter.
What is a premises liability claim?
Slip and fall accidents come fall under an area of law known as premises liability, and every case is unique to its own set of circumstances. To bring a successful slip and fall claim, you must be able to prove negligence on the part of the property owner (or manager or occupant), like a store owner or the manager of a supermarket.
What is negligence in a slip and fall claim?
Slip and fall negligence consists of several distinct elements:
- The property owner had a duty of care to you;
- The property owner failed to live up to this duty of care;
- You wouldn’t have sustained an injury if the property owner had lived up to this duty of care;
- The property owner’s failure to live up to this duty of care – not something else – caused you to be injured; and
- Your injuries have caused you to suffer actual damages (such as medical expenses and lost wages).
In other words, the property owner must have either created the dangerous condition or known about the dangerous condition that caused you to be injured but did not take the necessary steps to mitigate that danger or to warn you about that danger, or the property owner must not have exercised the reasonable amount of care it would have taken to know about the danger in the first place.
If you’ve been injured in a Chicago slip and fall accident, seek immediate medical attention and then consult with a slip and fall attorney. If someone else’s negligence has caused you to be injured, you’re entitled to just compensation. The slip and fall lawyers at the Law Firm of Abels and Annes are committed to fighting for your rights and for your rightful compensation, and we’re here to help.
How do slip and fall accidents occur?
When you enter a business or another property as a customer or welcome guest, you have the right to entertain a reasonable expectation that you won’t become injured by random hazards or dangerous conditions. There are, however, several property conditions that commonly contribute to slip and fall accidents:
- Entryways, sidewalks, or walkways that are cracked, uneven, broken, slippery, or crooked;
- Wet and slippery surfaces;
- Common areas that incorporate hazardous or dangerous components;
- Surfaces that are snow packed or icy;
- Flooring or carpeting that is rough, torn, bunched, or loose;
- Spills related to the business’s operation that go unchecked;
- Unsafe merchandising displays; and
- Insufficient lighting for allowing safe passage.
Any of these conditions can cause a slip and fall accident. If you’ve been injured under such circumstances, it’s very natural to want to blame your own clumsiness – out of misguided courtesy or embarrassment. Resist the urge to claim the blame. It’s your right to walk through a business or property unmolested by dangers that are attributable to negligence.
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident at a business or private property that was caused by the property owner’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Slip and fall accidents can lead to serious injuries that have overarching negative health, financial, and emotional consequences. Your rights matter.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Every slip and fall accident is unique and can lead to any number of physical injuries. There are, however, certain injuries that are most closely associated with such accidents:
- Head, face, and other traumatic brain injuries;
- Broken or fractured bones;
- Shoulder injuries;
- Cuts, bruises, and abrasions;
- Back and neck trauma;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- Soft tissues damage (including joint and ligament injuries).
Such injuries can lead to long-lasting negative consequences and expenses, including initial and ongoing medical costs, lost wages and earning potential, and other financial damages.
What should I do after a slip and fall to strengthen my claim?
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, you are no doubt overwhelmed and possibly at a loss regarding what to do next. Your most important first step is to seek necessary medical attention – your health and safety should always be your top priority. While slip and fall accidents are often harrowing, there are steps you can take at the scene to strengthen your claim (enlist someone at the scene to carry these steps out for you if you are unable to complete them):
- File an accident report with the property owner or manager where you were injured and/or file a police report (as appropriate). Don’t forget to retain copies of these reports for your slip and fall attorney.
- Use your phone to take photos and/or videos of where the accident happened, of how the accident happened, and of any factors that co>ntributed to the accident. Now that virtually everyone is packing a smartphone, there’s no reason not to take plenty of evidentiary photos.
- Gather eyewitness statements in corroboration of your claim, and don’t forget to get your eyewitnesses’ contact details. It’s also a good idea to ask eyewitnesses for any photos or videos they may have taken at the scene.
- Compile a comprehensive collection of the medical expenses that emanate from your slip and fall accident.
- Each of these will help to corroborate your slip and fall case and allow your attorney to better defend your claim.
If You’ve Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident, Consult with a Chicago Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
Slip and falls are far more serious than their name would imply. If you’ve suffered an injury in a slip and fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At the Law Firm of Abels & Annes, we understand how difficult such accidents can be and we’ll aggressively fight for your just compensation. We’re here to help, so please contact or call our office at 312-924-7575 for a free consultation today.