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Lake County premises liability lawyersA serious fall accident can happen to anyone. Something as simple as an unsecured rug, spilled liquid, broken step, unstable handrail, or loose floorboard can cause an individual to fall and be seriously hurt. Fall accidents can cause injuries that require extensive hospitalization, surgery, and long-term physical therapy. A person who suffers a fall can also be left unable to work or enjoy life as he or she could before the accident. When a party’s negligence causes an individual to experience a fall accident, the party may be liable for the injured person’s damages. If you ever suffer a serious fall, there are three steps you should take.

Step 1: Go to the Emergency Room or Visit Your Doctor As Soon As Possible

Elderly individuals and those with disabilities are at an increased risk of being hurt in a serious fall.  However, even if you are a relatively healthy person, a slip and fall accident can cause you significant physical harm that results in long-lasting consequences. Traumatic brain injuries and spine injuries caused by a fall are especially concerning. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury are often subtle and the injured person may not immediately realize how hurt he or she actually is.

If you fall and hit your head or suffer any other bodily injury, get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Not only will getting medical treatment help prevent your injuries from worsening, it may also protect your ability to collect compensation in the future. Medical records detailing your injuries are almost always needed for a successful personal injury lawsuit.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_winter-shoveling-work-injury-snow-ice.jpgThere is no doubt about it: Illinois winters can be harsh. Snow and ice accumulation can make something as simple as going to the grocery store or walking through a parking lot a treacherous excursion. Icy walkways, sidewalks, and parking lots are especially dangerous because of the potential they have to cause slip and fall injuries. Slipping on ice and falling can cause broken bones, serious back injuries, and even traumatic brain injuries. If you or a loved one have slipped on ice and fallen on a commercial property, you may be wondering whether or not you can sue the property owner for damages. Illinois personal injury cases involving snow or ice-related injuries are especially tricky due to a special law regarding snow and ice accumulation.

Natural vs. Unnatural Accumulation of Snow and Ice

Unlike other types of property maintenance, most property owners are not obligated to remove “natural accumulations” of ice, snow, or melt water. One exception to this rule is if a lease or contract obligates a property owner to remove natural accumulations. This means that a property owner is typically not liable for injuries caused by the accumulation of snow or ice caused by the weather. However, if an individual slips and falls on an “unnatural accumulation” of ice or snow, the property owner may be liable.

Consider the following scenario: In order to clear his parking lot of snow, a business owner arranges for the snow to be plowed and piled in the corner of the parking lot. As the weather changes over the next few days, the snow from the pile melts and refreezes creating a very icy patch near the entrance to the business. A patron entering the business slips on the ice and suffers a major head injury. In this situation, the property owner may be liable for the patron’s injury because the icy patch on which the patron slipped was an unnatural accumulation of ice caused by the property owner’s actions. Differentiating between natural and unnatural ice accumulation can be extremely challenging and will require guidance from an experienced attorney.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysAlthough dogs are referred to as “man’s best friend,” dog attacks do happen. Severe injuries including deep lacerations, broken bones, and nerve damage and can result from a dog bite. Because dogs’ mouths are filled with bacteria, wounds from a dog bite can quickly become dangerously infected. In some cases, a dog bite can also cause terrible disfiguration. Dog attack victims may require an extended hospital stay, antibiotic medication, and surgery to correct the damage. The physical and emotional scars caused by a dog attack can last a lifetime. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog attack, you may be wondering who will be responsible for the medical bills incurred by the attack. The answer depends on several factors.

Illinois Law Regarding Dog Bites

In some situations, the owner of the dog can be held legally responsible for any injuries caused by the dog. Illinois statute 510 ILCS 5/16 states that a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by a dog attack when the following conditions are present:

  • The dog attacked, tried to attack, or otherwise injured the person
  • The injured individual was in a place that he or she should lawfully be when the attack occurred and
  • The dog was not provoked

A dog owner is not liable for injuries caused by someone trespassing. So, if the injured person was walking through someone else’s backyard when he or she was attacked and did not have permission to be there, the dog owner is not liable. It should be noted that the Illinois dog bite law covers dog bites as well as other injuries caused by a dog. For example, if a dog pushed someone to the ground and that person sustained a head injury, the law still applies.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysImagine this scenario: You are invited by a neighbor to party at his house. As you are walking up the stairs to the bathroom, the handrail breaks, and you fall down the stairs. You are seriously hurt and require emergency surgery for a broken bone. In a situation such as this, who is responsible for the costs associated with your injury? Read on to learn about how a premises liability claim can help you pursue compensation after an injury on a private residence.

When is a Homeowner Liable for Injuries on His Property?

Many, if not most, premises liability cases hinge on the concept of negligence. A property owner is negligent when he or she fails to uphold a “duty of care” owed to guests. Illinois law says that property owners and occupiers must take reasonable steps to prevent guests to the property from being injured. If a property owner fails to maintain a reasonably safe home and a guest is injured as a result, the property owner could be liable for the expenses incurred by that injury. Examples of unsafe conditions which could result in a premises liability claim include but are not limited to:

  • Inadequate security
  • Poor lighting
  • Broken stairs or handrails
  • Slippery or icy walkways
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Broken flooring
  • Inadequate smoke detectors or fire extinguishers
  • Failure to property contain hazardous or toxic materials

If a property owner has an unsafe condition on his or her property, he or she has a duty to warn guests of this danger. For example, if a homeowner is doing construction in a certain part of the house and there are unsafe electrical hazards, he or she must tell guests so they can avoid these hazards.

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Posted on in Premises Liability

Lake County dog attack lawyer

On April 19, a 9-year-old boy suffered serious injuries in a dog attack that resulted in his hospitalization. The attack occurred in Rosemoor on the Southside of Chicago, and the boy was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital. Fortunately, the child was not fatally injured in the attack, but the incident served as a reminder throughout the greater Chicago area of the dangers of dog attacks. If you or a member of your family suffer a dog bite injury, speak with a skilled personal injury attorney as soon as possible. 

Dog Bite Injuries

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), around 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs on an annual basis. While the vast majority of dog bites are non-fatal (only 61 people were fatally injured in dog attacks throughout 2016), the injuries associated with dog attacks can be severe.

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