Chicago Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
All Chicago property owners, from landlords to store owners, have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe. Unfortunately, not all owners respond to hazards in a reasonable timeframe—leading to painful slip and fall accidents.
If you or a family member slip and fall on someone else’s property, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. In these situations, our Chicago slip and fall attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC can help. We will advocate aggressively for your right to maximum recovery . Give us a call today at (312) 586-1700. Our team offers free consultations, allowing you to discuss your situation without any financial obligation.
Why Choose Us
- Our law firm represents people, not insurance companies or corporations. We are dedicated to obtaining justice and preventing future injuries due to property owner negligence.
- We have a proven track record of successful settlements and record-breaking verdicts, recovering over $400 million on behalf of our clients.
- Our attorneys bring decades of experience to our clients, ensuring that we have the knowledge, skills, and resources to advocate for your right to compensation.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident?
A slip and fall accident occurs when you trip, slip or stumble over a hazard on someone’s property. These accidents can lead to serious injuries, including spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. Whether it involves a trip in a public place or a slip on a hazardous surface, our personal injury attorneys aim to secure fair compensation for our client’s injuries and will consider factors like emergency room visits and the impact brain injury can have on a victim’s quality of life.
Many hazards can contribute to a slip and fall, including the following:
- Failure to remove snow and ice
- Wet floors without hazard signs
- Protruding objects
- Holes and uneven ground
- Stairway and porch defects
Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The National Safety Council states that falls are the number one cause of death for older adults, though we recognize that slip and fall injuries can happen to anyone. When these incidents occur, the cause is often pinpointed on the careless or negligent actions of property owners, not the person who sustains the fall injury.
Some of the most common causes of slip and fall accidents in and around the Chicago area include:
- Ice or snow that has not been removed from pedestrian pathways
- Wet surfaces inside of a building caused by spills or leaks
- Cluttered pedestrian pathways
- Electrical cords or other types of wires running across the floor
- Missing handrails on stairways
- Carpets or mats that are bunched up or slippery on the floor
- Inadequate lighting in any pedestrian pathway
- Loose gravel or broken curbs in a parking lot
- Uneven walking surfaces caused by shifting or settling
These are certainly not the only causes of slip and fall accidents in Chicago, and we strongly encourage you to reach out to an experienced Chicago slip and fall lawyer who can help assess your particular situation and then determine the best steps moving forward. Our team specializes in premises liability cases and understand injuries can result in substantial medical bills. Our team offers a free consultation regarding these claims, so please call us today.
Proving Liability in a Slip and Fall Accident
Determining liability after a Chicago slip and fall accident can be challenging, but ultimately revolves around proving the negligence of another party. In these cases, we will typically look to the property owner or property manager and any of their agents or employees. After a slip and fall accident, our team will examine the four elements of negligence to ensure they are in place for a successful claim:
- Duty. It must first be established that the defendant (the entity or person who allegedly caused the incident) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the person who sustained the injury). Typically, this revolves around a property owner ensuring that their premises is safe and always for those who have a right to be there. This may involve regular inspections and maintenance of the premises as well as placing adequate warning signs when they cannot quickly remedy a hazardous slip and fall situation. If a patron is in an area where they have a right to be, then the property owner has a duty of care to ensure their safety.
- Breach. After establishing that a duty of care was indeed present, it must be shown that the defendant breached that duty of care in some way. This could include failing to regularly inspect and maintain the premises, failing to clean up an obvious slip and fall hazard, or failing to place adequate warning signs about a hazard.
- Causation. After establishing that a breach of duty did occur, it has to be shown that the breach is what led to the plaintiff’s slip and fall injuries. After showing that the breach occurred, it is often not too difficult to show that the breach is what caused the injury. However, there are sometimes other mitigating factors that could end up resulting in a shared fault scenario.
- Damages. The last element of negligence is showing that the plaintiff sustained monetary losses as a result of the slip and fall incident and their injuries. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
Although you may slip and fall on someone’s property, the owner may claim that you do not have a right to make a claim. He or she may use any of the following defenses to convince the court or insurance company to deny or reduce your award.
- You were trespassing or in a part of the property that is not accessible to visitors.
- You were wearing inappropriate footwear.
- The owner could not have reasonably known about the hazard at the time of the accident and could not have responded to it.
- You were using your phone or otherwise distracted at the time of the accident.
- The owner took reasonable steps to warn you of the hazard, such as using cones and signs to mark off the area.
In these situations, you need an attorney to defend you against these accusations and provide evidence of the owner’s liability. The attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC will conduct an extensive investigation into your claim, gathering evidence such as surveillance footage and witness testimony to build a strong personal injury claim and craft a compelling case in your favor. This is especially important if the incident occurred in a nursing home, where the responsibility for maintaining a safe environment is crucial.
What to Do After a Chicago Slip and Fall Accident
The aftermath of a slip and fall accident in Chicago can be confusing, but there are various steps that you can take to help ensure your well-being along with the integrity of your claim.
- Seek medical treatment. After any slip and fall incident, we encourage individuals to seek medical care immediately. Even if the signs and symptoms of an injury do not appear right away, the individual needs to go to the doctor for an evaluation.
- Report the incident. The slip and fall incident needs to be reported to the property owner or their agent immediately. This could include an employee at the premises. Often, there is an official incident report process involved, and this report could be valuable.
- Gather evidence. It may be possible to gather some evidence at the scene of the incident, which could include using a phone to take photos or video surveillance of everything, including the causes of the slip and fall and the injuries. There may be additional types of evidence available in the aftermath, and your attorney can help you with this.
- Follow all doctor instructions. It is important to follow all doctor orders until you have fully recovered from your slip and fall injury. If you discontinue care against medical advice, the insurance carrier could use this as a sign that your injuries are not as severe as initially believed.
- Stay off of social media. Stay away from social media. Attorneys and insurance carriers for the other side could go through your profiles or the profiles of your friends and family members to look for evidence that you did not sustain as severe an injury as was believed.
When it comes to a slip and fall case involving a loved one who has suffered injuries, it’s crucial to consult a slip and fall lawyer who can walk you through your premises liability case. Our team understands the complexities of such cases and potential long-term consequences of severe injuries, such as brain injuries. We will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, gathering evidence to prove that the property owner knew about the dangerous condition but failed to take appropriate action.
Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us if we win the case. This allows individuals to seek the necessary medical attention for their loved ones without worrying about upfront legal fees. Hiring a slip and fall attorney increases the chances of holding the responsible party accountable and securing the compensation needed for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other damages caused by the incident.
Time Limit for Filing a Slip and Fall Claim in Chicago
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity, you will have a limited amount of time to file your claim in court. In these situations, the Illinois personal injury statute of limitations will apply. This means there is a time limit of two years for these claims. The injury victim must file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within two years, or they will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses.
It is important to recognize that there are often insurance carriers involved in these claims. If the property owner has an insurance policy, whether that be a commercial insurance policy or a homeowners’ insurance policy, the insurance carriers will have their own deadlines related to reporting the claims. We encourage you to report the incident and let the insurance carrier know that you are receiving medical treatment. Do not give a recorded statement to any insurance carrier, and let your attorney handle further communication.
Contact a Chicago Slip and Fall Lawyer
It’s essential to consult a skilled Chicago personal injury attorney if you’ve suffered injury from a slip and fall accident. We can help you explore your legal options and ensure your rights are protected. Whether you slipped on a wet floor in a grocery store or tripped on poorly maintained parking lots, we will make sure to thoroughly investigate your case.
If you are injured on someone else’s property, you could hold the owner accountable for your injuries. By seeking legal representation, you can increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and other damages incurred. The attorneys at Taxman, Pollock, Murray & Bekkerman, LLC can represent your claim and help you find your optimal path to recovery. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago slip and fall accident attorney.