Belleville Premises Liability Lawyer
Hipskind & McAninch, LLC: Holding Landowners Accountable
You’ve heard of people filing lawsuits after a store failed to warn them about a slippery floor with a “wet floor” sign or other posted notice, and they fell and injured themselves. In many cases, the business or landowner is found legally responsible for the person’s injury because they did not provide a safe environment. The body of law behind this concept is called premises liability.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal concept that makes landowners, business owners, and property managers responsible, or liable, for certain injuries suffered by people while on their premises. However, premises liability does not automatically apply whenever someone gets hurt on another’s property. The injury must be directly caused by a flaw or danger in the property that the owner either knew about or should have known about, and neglected to fix.
Slips and falls are arguably the most common premises liability injury. Slip-and-falls often occur on a wet floor or icy patch of ground, and can also happen on a defective staircase or uneven flooring or carpet.
Negligent security cases occur when someone is injured by a crime due to a business or property owner’s negligent security. Establishments like bars, nursing homes, and hotels have a responsibility to provide security services to ensure that patrons are not robbed or assaulted by a third party. Examples of negligent security include failing to have an adequate number of security guards on duty, ignoring a patron’s security concerns, or providing faulty security hardware such as unreliable locks.
Although not a feature of the property itself, dog bites or other attacks that occur on a landowner’s property can also fall under the premises liability umbrella. In these cases, the owner’s previous knowledge of the dog is especially important. A dog bite victim could bring a case against an owner who either knew the dog was dangerous and allowed it to stay, or disregarded regulations, like city-specific breed restrictions. Another type of case that we have seen is when an injury occurs due to having a faulty deck on the property.
Owner Negligence vs. Injured Person’s Carelessness
In all of these kinds of premises liability cases, liability depends on weighing the owner’s negligence against the injured person’s carelessness. While owners have a responsibility to maintain the safety of their property and must prove that they do so, an injured person must also prove that he was not careless.
When a person is injured, a property owner may have made a clear mistake in maintaining the safety of the property. For example:
- Owner did not enforce posted safety rules.
- Owner was warned multiple times about safety issue, given adequate time to fix it, and still did nothing.
- Owner did not warn patrons of a significant danger to their safety upon entering the building or property.
Sometimes, however, the injured person may have behaved in a careless way that undermines his or her premises liability claim. For example:
- Person trespassed onto the property.
- Person was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or otherwise unable to act with sound mind and body.
- Person was breaking a posted safety rule.
Illinois is a state that recognizes contributory negligence when it comes to personal injury claims. That is, if you are partially responsible for your accident, the amount of money you can receive in a lawsuit will be reduced. For example, if a jury finds you 15% at fault in a slip-and-fall case, the court will take away 15% of the final verdict awarded to you. Instead of $100,000, you get $85,000. But when you’re seriously injured, that $85,000 can go a long way.
Premises Liability Representation
If you’ve suffered an injury that could have been prevented by your landlord, a business owner, or a government entity, make a call to a Belleville personal injury attorney. When you call the attorneys at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC, we’ll sit down with you in a free consultation, discuss your case, and determine whether we can help you prove owner negligence and get compensation, or if there’s another answer for your situation.
You shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s carelessness. Give us a call at 618-641-9189 so that we can work together to get the settlement you deserve.