The term “premises liability” is a fancy way of saying that sometimes, the owner or operator of a premises can be responsible for harm that occurred on the property. In Illinois, thousands of people each year are injured because stores, restaurants, parking lots and owners of sidewalks fail to maintain their premises in a safe condition. As an example, pretend that you are walking down the street in front of a store. You trip and fall because a doormat outside of the store has flipped up and folded over. You may have a claim against the owner of the store, or the individual who placed the mat where it was. As another example, pretend that you are walking into a store at night. You trip and fall due to a deviation in the parking lot. In addition, the lighting in the lot is very dim. You may have a claim against the owner of the lot, the adjacent stores, the property management company, and others. It can be hard to pinpoint exactly who is responsible for a condition on a premises that causes harm right out the gate. For example, if you trip and fall as the result of a deviation in a parking lot, you may automatically think that the store is responsible. However, what if a contractor recently repaved the lot and failed to repair the divot? Or, what if a snow plow did a bad job and caused the concrete to displace? It’s very important to reach out to an attorney right away when a trip and fall or slip and fall at someone’s property occurred – the more time your lawyer has to find the correct and culpable entities, the better.
In Illinois, in order to hold an entity responsible for a condition on the premises, the following must be proven: 1) a dangerous condition existed on the premises, 2) the entity in possession or control of the premises knew or should have known of the condition, 3) the entity in possession or control of the premises failed to use ordinary care to discover the dangerous condition, remedy the condition or warn others about it, 4) as result of the entity’s failures, the injured party was injured.
Please call us if you or someone close to you has suffered an injury on another’s premises.