‘Tis the Season for Slips and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are among the most common sources of personal injuries, often resulting in broken bones, sprains, and torn muscles or ligaments. These kinds of accidents are even more common in the Chicago winter, when sidewalks, roads, and building interiors become treacherous due to snow, ice, and slush. Simply slipping and falling is not enough to support a civil claim against a property owner; you must be able to prove both liability and negligence, which can be difficult. You need an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you and protect your rights.
While a slip or fall can be quite painful and result in serious injury, it is not always a situation of negligence, which is one of the requirements that you must be able to prove to win a civil claim. There are two basic components to a successful suit after a slip and fall injury: liability and negligence. Liability is usually pretty easy to prove, since it is a matter of determining who is responsible for the property where you were injured. This usually comes down to the property owner of a residence or business, or the city if you were injured at a public location.
Negligence, on the other hand, can be much more difficult to demonstrate in a civil case. In order to show that a liable party was negligent, you need to prove that the property owner knew, or reasonably should have known, about the dangerous condition that caused your injury and did not take reasonable steps to prevent your injury from occurring. For example, if you slip and fall on a wet floor inside a business, caused by melted snow tracked in by people’s shoes, then you need to show that the property owner knew about the wet conditions. This can be done by showing that an employee was made aware of the situation prior to your injury, or that it was plainly visible to the owner, who should have reasonably been aware of it.
You must then be able to demonstrate that the owner did not take reasonable steps to safeguard the area. For example, if the floor was wet, but the owner had provided floor mats to try to keep the area safe, then such action may be sufficient to demonstrate a reasonable attempt to prevent injury and defend against your claim. If, on the other hand, you can show that the owner knew the floor was wet but never tried to mop up the water or minimize the risk of a slip and fall, then you may have a strong case.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident due to someone else’s negligence, then protect your rights. Call Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today at (800) 996-4824 to speak with one of our experienced Chicago slip and fall attorneys and discuss your case.