What Are My Options After a Slip and Fall Injury on the Sidewalk in Chicago?
Sustaining a slip and fall injury is a big deal. These injuries often lead to significant pain and suffering, and it is not uncommon for individuals to have to alter their day-to-day life or work-related activities as they recover. Here, we want to discuss your options after a slip and fall injury on a Chicago sidewalk. Can you recover compensation? Should you talk to a lawyer? We want you to be prepared for what comes next after your injury.
Always Seek Medical Care
Any person who sustains an injury on a public or private sidewalk in Chicago needs to seek medical care as soon as possible. If you have been the victim of a slip and falling tonight, your health and well-being are the number one priority. We also want to point out that the signs and symptoms of a slip and fall injury may not show up here until a few hours or even a few days after the incident occurs. Even if you feel no pain after a slip and fall incident, please go to an emergency clinic or hospital for an evaluation by a doctor.
Not only does seeking immediate medical care help uncover any possible hidden injuries you may not be aware of, but it also establishes a solid link between the slip and fall incident and any injuries that do arise. This will be important when it comes to filing an injury claim.
Can You File an Injury Claim?
You can almost always file an injury claim against the property owner where the slip and fall incident occurred. The first step is determining who is actually responsible for that particular sidewalk. Some sidewalks are on personal property, but others are located on business property. In these cases, you and your attorney may file an insurance claim against the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, or you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court. Cases against personal property owners or business property owners require the plaintiff to establish that the defendant (the property owner) was somehow negligent in their duties to ensure safe premises for guests.
Filing a claim against a municipal entity is more challenging. Individuals must show that the city or an employee working on behalf of the city violated their duty of care to keep them safe, and that this violation resulted in the injury. However, lawsuits against a government entity in Illinois are not as straightforward as typical personal injury lawsuits. Most government entities have some type of immunity from lawsuits.
However, in Chicago, this immunity does not extend to injuries on public property, so it is possible to file a claim to recover compensation. However, there are specific processes, time frames, and compensation amounts related to claims against a government entity. We strongly encourage you to work with a personal injury lawyer who can walk you through this rather complicated process.
The ultimate goal of a lawsuit against any other entity after a slip and fall occurs on a sidewalk is for a plaintiff to recover the compensation they need. This includes coverage of medical bills, any lost wages, property damage expenses, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering damages.