Illinois has adopted a set of laws that pertain specifically to a plaintiff’s ability to seek damages for the injuries they sustain while on another person’s or business’ personal property. These are known as premises liability laws. Thousands of Chicago residents find financial relief for their injuries every year by invoking their rights to these claims.
Under current premises liability law, property owners are required to maintain their property and keep it free from potential dangers that others may face when visiting the property. If they fail to do so and someone is injured as a result, that person is legally able to pursue a claim against the property owner. However, if a property owner has passed on control of the property to another party, such as a contractor or property management company, the entity or person with control may be held legally liable for the accident instead. This would also likely be the case if the property was rented to another business.
In order to prove that a property owner or controlling party was negligent and thus responsible for the damages that were sustained as a result of the accident, plaintiffs must prove that the owner or controller knew or should have known about the dangerous conditions on the property that led to the accident. Plaintiffs are also responsible for proving that the property owner did or should have known that the accident victim would not be aware of the danger, yet neglected to take the necessary steps in order to prevent an accident from occurring.
To satisfy all of the premises liability requirements, plaintiffs must prove the following:
- The defendant is the owner of the property on which the injury happened.
- The defendant had a legal duty to maintain his property for the safety of those entering the property.
- The defendant breached his legal duty to the plaintiff.
- As a result of the breach, the plaintiff sustained injuries.
- The injuries that plaintiff sustained caused him or her to incur damages.
When these requirements are met, plaintiffs can often have successful claims for compensation for the damages they sustained during an accident, medical bills associated with their injuries, and other damages, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment.
Exceptions to the law
In some cases, the regular liability laws do not apply. Trespassers are not included in these protections, however they are afforded a lesser set of protections under the law. Additionally, landowners who offer their private land for public recreational use are not held to the same liability standards as regular private land.
Whether an injured party has endured a slip and fall, a dog bite, or another injury on private property, they may be entitled to receive damages. Those who have been injured in this manner should contact a Chicago personal injury attorney immediately.