If you recently suffered an accident on someone else’s property, you may be able to hold the owner or manager of that land responsible for your resulting injuries. Filing a successful premises liability lawsuit can be difficult, but retaining a professional personal injury attorney could increase your chances of obtaining maximum compensation.
The qualified Elgin premises liability lawyers at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could help you understand the laws surrounding property accidents and determine whether you have valid grounds to file suit. A member of our team could also assist in cataloging your injuries and losses, demanding appropriate compensation, and contesting any allegations of contributory fault made against you.
When Are Elgin Property Owners Liable for Accidents?
Unlike the laws in some other states, the Illinois Premises Liability Act does not differentiate between invitees and licensees in determining a duty of care owed by property owners. Regardless of whether a visitor is on the premises for the owner’s benefit or their own, landowners and managers must exercise reasonable care to inspect their property regularly, fix any known hazards, and provide proper notice about any dangers which they cannot remedy in a timely manner.
To have a valid claim for damages, an injured visitor must show that the property owner or manager knew or should have reasonably known about the dangerous condition that caused the accident and violated their duty of care by failing to address it promptly. Once this is established, a claimant must demonstrate that they suffered compensable losses to successfully pursue compensation for the value thereof.
A variety of different property conditions could be considered unreasonably dangerous, from loose carpeting to broken stair railings to patches of untreated ice on a sidewalk. However, it is often harder for plaintiffs to recover compensation for injuries caused by open and obvious hazards because defendants can argue that they should have reasonably avoided them. A local property liability attorney could explain these nuances in further detail and help determine who could be held accountable for your accident.
Compensation for both economic and non-economic damages can be factored into a successful premises liability claim. Examples of potential damages include:
- Medical expenses for emergency treatment and future rehabilitative care
- Missed income
- Cost of damaged personal property
- Loss of function due to a new disability
- Physical pain and suffering
Defending against Comparative Fault
A plaintiff may have their final damage award proportionately reduced if a court finds them partially liable for their own injuries. For example, a plaintiff found 15 percent responsible for an accident on someone else’s property would be limited to recovering a maximum of 85 percent of their total losses.
Per 735 ILCS §5/2-1116, any civil claimant who is found more than 50 percent at fault by a local court will be barred from seeking any compensation at all. Given the significant role comparative negligence can play in Elgin premises liability claims, it is a good idea to get help from one of our lawyers who can defend against accusations of shared fault.
Talk to an Elgin Premises Liability Attorney
Accidents on private property can be tricky to litigate and even harder to receive compensation for. However, if a landowner’s negligence directly caused you harm, legal action may be the best way for you to recover your short-term losses and protect you from long-term consequences as well.
An Elgin premises liability lawyer from our firm could clarify your legal options and help you settle on the best course of action for your unique circumstances. Call today for a consultation to discuss your potential claim.