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IL injury lawyerGetting injured on someone else’s property can be a complicated situation. If it happens at a place of business, you may have no qualms about taking action to hold the property owner responsible for your damages. However, if it happens while you are visiting the home of a friend or family member, you may be more conflicted. Fortunately, there are ways of obtaining the compensation you need without causing financial hardship to someone you care about.

Common Causes of Injuries in the Home

There are a number of situations in which you may be injured at another person’s home. Some of these situations may be caused by a homeowner’s negligence, while for others, the fault is less clear. Common examples include:

  • Slip and fall accidents - Slip and fall injuries can happen on wet or cluttered floors, icy walkways, stairs, and in showers, and a variety of other areas in and around a home.
  • Dog bites - Unfamiliar visitors in a home can cause a dog to feel threatened, and even a dog with no history of violence can lash out and injure a guest.
  • Swimming pool accidents - In the summer months, swimming pool injuries are common due to falls, chemical contamination, unsafe use of slides and diving boards, and accidental drowning. Young children are especially at risk.
  • Collapsing decks or railings - When the structure of an elevated deck or balcony is compromised, or when the railing on a stairway or upper floor is unstable, serious fall and crush injuries can occur.

Sources of Compensation in Homeowner Liability Cases

Often, when an injury happens in someone’s home, the homeowner’s insurance policy will cover some or all of the damages. There are two types of coverage that may apply. One is medical payments coverage, which can take effect no matter who is at fault for the injuries, but usually has a relatively low policy limit. The other is liability coverage, which tends to have a significantly higher policy limit but requires you to demonstrate that the homeowner is liable for your injuries.

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IL injury lawyerNow that the weather is getting warmer, parents and child care providers will likely be spending more time outside with children, including on the many playgrounds throughout Illinois. Playground equipment can be a great way to keep children active and entertained, but unfortunately, it can also lead to injuries, some of which are serious. If your child is injured on a piece of playground equipment, it may be possible to recover compensation if there is evidence of negligence that contributed to their injuries.

Common Cause of Playground Injuries Among Children

Children can be injured on playground equipment in many different ways. Some common causes and contributing factors in playground injuries include:

  • Lack of proper supervision - Without a responsible adult keeping watch, children can easily injure themselves even on reasonably safe equipment.
  • Falls - Children using swings, slides, jungle gyms, and other equipment are often high off the ground, and if they fall, they can suffer broken bones, concussions, and other injuries.
  • Sharp edges - Especially with playground equipment made from wood or metal, sharp points, edges, or protruding parts can cause puncture and laceration wounds if children step on them or run into them.
  • Loose or rusted parts - Unsecured or weakened parts can cause equipment to break while in use and create an immediate injury risk.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

Some playground injuries are truly accidents, but in many cases, one or more parties are liable due to their failure to ensure the equipment is safe. Depending on the circumstances, negligent parties could include:

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IL injury lawyerMost parents vividly remember the first day that their child went to school. Placing your child in the hands of teachers and other school staff and trusting them to keep your child safe is no easy task. Unfortunately, serious injuries and even deaths do occur in school. In some cases, a child’s injury is directly caused by the school’s negligence or even the intentional acts of a teacher or other staff member. If your child was injured in a school bus accident, playground accident, or another incident at school, it is important to know your rights. You may be able to hold the school or other at-fault party answerable for your child’s injury and recover damages via a personal injury claim.

Determining Liability in Personal Injury Lawsuits for School Injuries

Children are often rambunctious, energetic, and prone to injuries. However, when a child’s preventable injury is caused by the negligent or wrongful acts of another party, that party should be held accountable. A personal injury lawsuit may be used to hold a school liable for intentional abuse or injuries caused by the school’s negligence or carelessness.

However, determining whether the school or another party is liable is often one of the most challenging parts of a personal injury case. For example, a school bus accident may be caused by negligent driving, poor bus maintenance, or another driver. The school may have acted negligently by hiring a bus driver who was unqualified for the position or was not trained properly. A playground accident may be caused by inadequate staff supervision or it may be the fault of the party who incorrectly manufactured or assembled the playground equipment. A personal injury attorney with experience handling cases involving child injuries at school can help you determine what party or parties are liable for your child’s injury.

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IL injury lawyerIllinois winters can be intense. Snow and ice can make something as simple as going to the grocery store or visiting a neighbor a treacherous journey. Slipping and falling on ice can lead to severe injuries – especially if the fall victim is elderly or has health concerns. Traumatic brain injuries, back and spine injuries, broken bones, and other debilitating injuries can result from falling on ice or snow. If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident involving icy or snowy conditions, you may wonder if the property owner is liable for the accident. In Illinois, the answer to this question is more complicated than you may suspect.

When is a Homeowner or Business Legally Responsible for An Injury Caused by Ice?

Clearing walkways and sidewalks of snow and ice is an important part of being a homeowner or business owner. You may be surprised to learn, however, that snow and ice removal is not mandated by Illinois state law. Although some local jurisdictions may require homeowners to clear sidewalks, steps, and walkways of snow and ice, there are no laws requiring property owners to remove snow and ice. In fact, state law specifically protects property owners from liability for ice or snow-related injuries. According to the Snow and Ice Removal Act, a property owner or property occupier is not liable for personal injuries caused by icy properties. However, there are important exceptions to this law. If the owner or occupier acted in a way that was intentionally malicious or especially reckless, he or she may be liable for ice-related injuries. If the injury occurred on a rental property or at an apartment complex and the landlord has specified in the lease that he or she will be responsible for ice and snow removal, the landlord may be liable if injuries result from his or her failure to remove snow and ice.

Unnatural Accumulations of Snow and Ice

Illinois law makes a distinction between natural accumulations of ice and snow and unnatural accumulations. Property owners may avoid liability for injuries caused by snow or ice that accumulated as a result of the weather. However, property owners may be liable for snow and ice injuries if their actions caused the snowy or icy condition. For example, if a business shoveled a parking lot and left a pile of snow near the business’s entrance and the snowmelt froze into ice, the business may be liable if someone is injured by slipping on the ice.

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IL injury lawyerIf you are like most people, you have probably fallen many times in your life. The unique thing about falling is that many fall accidents result in little more than small bruises while some fall accidents result in severe or even permanent injuries. Falling can lead to injuries to the head, brain, spinal cord, vertebrae, and more. Falls can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and life-long pain. Often, a major fall accident is caused by environmental hazards like spilled liquids or cluttered walkways. If you or a loved one were seriously injured in a slip and fall accident, you should know that you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Property Owners Have a Duty to Keep Premises Clear of Slip and Trip Hazards

According to Illinois law, property owners have a legal duty to keep their properties reasonably safe. These laws protect customers, clients, visitors, and anyone with a legal right to be on a property. Property owners cannot prevent every potential injury on their properties. However, they should take steps to reduce the chances of people being injured on their property to a reasonable degree. Environmental hazards that may lead to a slip and fall or trip and fall accident include:

  • Wet floors caused by spilled liquids, condensation, or leaks
  • Slippery floors caused by cleaners, soap, wax, or dust
  • Broken concrete and potholes
  • Uneven pavement
  • Loose or broken floor tiles
  • Torn carpeting and loose rugs
  • Debris or clutter in aisles, sidewalks, or walkways
  • Broken stairs and missing handrails
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Loose electrical cords

Seeking Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury Caused by an Environmental Hazard

A slip and fall or trip and fall accident may lead to painful injuries and considerable financial harm. If a property owner or property occupier’s failure to remedy environmental hazards leads to a person’s injury, the property owner or occupier may be liable for damages. If you were injured in a preventable fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost income from missed work, pain and suffering, and more.

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