If you were a guest in a store, a client at a business office, or a visitor in someone’s home and received an injury, you’ll likely be able to pursue compensation for damages. The area of the law that deals with these cases is premises liability, and its purpose is to determine whether a property owner or occupant is responsible for your injury.

The laws that are involved in premises liability are complex and highly nuanced with a number or special details and exceptions that must be considered. You need a skilled personal injury attorney to evaluate your claim and help you pursue appropriate action. Hart & David can assist you in the event that you have a premises liability case.

Common Injuries and Causes

Premises liability, simply put, occurs when there is a hazard on a piece of property that the owner or occupant should have prevented. For example, if there’s a hole in a stairwell that would pose a risk to visitors, the occupant has a responsibility to put up warning signs and repair it promptly. Injuries can occur on any kind of property, including office buildings, grocery stores, construction sites, streets, etc. Common causes of injuries in premises liability cases include:

  • Slipping, falling, and tripping
  • Construction accidents
  • Broken stairways or escalators
  • Elevator accidents
  • Swimming accidents
  • Poor security and third party crimes
  • Dog bites
  • Structural collapse
  • Injuries from loose or poorly maintained equipment

An injury can involve structural hazards, failure to maintain the property for safety, poor security leading to an attack from a third party, and even poor maintenance of the sidewalk outside. If these types of circumstances led to your injury, you could get a settlement or pursue a lawsuit.

Determining Liability

Premises liability in Illinois depends on the cause of the injury and whether you were invited onto the property. Generally, you need to be on the property legally to be able to recover damages for premises liability. If you are trespassing, the property owner or occupant does not owe you liability except when your injury results from wanton or intentional actions, such as if they attack you.

In addition to being on the property legally, you must be able to prove the following to recover damages:

  • There was a defect on the property.
  • That defect resulted in your injury.
  • The defendant was the owner or occupier.
  • The defendant should have recognized the defect and either fixed it or warned you, but did not.

The owner will often claim that a defect was obvious or that they couldn’t have been aware of its presence, so it’s important to have enough evidence to prove that the defect was a real threat.

Getting a Settlement

To recover damages for a premises liability case, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. You also need to accumulate as much evidence as possible, including any possible documentation or photographs of injuries, property defects, expenses, and anything else that can demonstrate that you were injured as a result of the property owner’s neglectfulness.

Many personal injury lawyers treat premises liability as a common, straightforward matter, but the laws can actually be highly complex. We recognize that great care is needed to get a good settlement, so our attorneys put in the effort and planning necessary to make that happen. To recover what you deserve, contact Hart & David today.