Get Legal Help If You've Lost Your Loved One In a Slip & Fall
Fatal slip and fall accidents often leave no one to tell the victim’s side of the story. Compensation awards to the next of kin can depend heavily upon a full investigation into the facts, forensics, and legal evaluations to establish liability in a wrongful death claim. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a single year more than 15,000 people over the age of 65 died as a result of a fall. For people aged 65-84 years of age, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death.
Who Is Liable in a Fatal Slip and Fall Accident in Chicago?
Premises owners are not automatically liable when someone is fatally injured on their property. For a successful wrongful death claim, it must be clearly established that the accident was the result of a property owner’s carelessness, failure to resolve an existing hazard, or that they acted in a reckless manner, setting the stage for the accident to occur. In these cases, the family of the deceased may be able to take legal action, holding the owner accountable. A wrongful death claim or lawsuit could force the negligent party to pay specific family members compensation for economic and other damages.
Grounds for Establishing Liability in a Fatal Slip and Fall
Some grounds for establishing fault include:
- The property owner should have been aware of the dangerous condition that led to a fatal slip and fall accident because a reasonable person in his/her place would have known.
- There is evidence that the property owner or employee was aware of the dangerous hazard, and did not fix the issue in a timely manner.
- The dangerous condition was caused by the property owner or an employee.
- The dangerous condition was inadequately repaired and returned to its dangerous condition after the repair.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Slip and Fall?
Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by immediate family members, typically the living spouse of the deceased. If the decedent was a single adult, in most cases a more distant family member can file a lawsuit. If the decedent had a will at the time of death, in those cases the executor has the sole right to file a lawsuit. This is only a general guideline, and you will need to consult with our attorney for the exact legal and procedural rules for filing lawsuits for fatal slip and fall accidents in Chicago, as each case is unique.
Generally, you have at least a year to file a lawsuit but the statute of limitations can vary if the government or a government employee played a role in the fatal slip and fall. You might have to file a "notice of claim" with the governmental agency in a much shorter number of days. Your Chicago personal injury lawyer can tell you exactly what the time limits are for your particular case. The legal deadlines must not be missed in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Trials in Fatal Slip and Fall Accidents
As a fatal slip and fall accident can pose challenges in establishing negligence, it is very important to enlist an experienced trial lawyer to manage your case. The opposing attorney may attempt to place blame elsewhere, and argue against liability. Your attorney must be capable of excellent case preparation, and have the trial skills to present persuasive, fully supported arguments at trial. Our firm can navigate the issues and help you pursue the maximum compensation for the death of your loved one.
Our Chicago slip and fall attorneys at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC are advocates for justice for families who have lost a loved one after a slip and fall. We have been representing families in wrongful death cases for more than two decades, and are proud of our many victories. Call today for a free case evaluation. You can reach us in person at (800) 996-4824.