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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 accident lawyerProperty owners and possessors have a duty of care to keep their property reasonably safe for invited guests to the property. This includes properly maintaining the property, taking reasonable steps to remove environmental hazards, and providing adequate security. When a property owner or possessor fails to uphold his or her duty to maintain a safe property and someone is injured or killed as a result, a premises liability claim can help the injured person or surviving family members recover compensation. Although many people typically think of things like broken staircases or wet floors when they think about premises liability, inadequate security can also lead to a premises liability claim.

Insufficient Building Security Can Lead to Injuries

Understandably, property owners cannot be held responsible for acts of violence that are unforeseeable. However, when a person is injured in an attack and that attack could have been prevented through better security, the property owner may be considered negligent.

For example, imagine the following scenario: A hotel owner is notified that many of the locks on the hotel doors do not actually work. However, he ignores the problem and continues to rent the rooms with defective locks to hotel guests. A guest is sexually assaulted when an attacker easily gains entry into her hotel room. In this scenario, the owner who failed to maintain adequate security could be held liable for the woman’s damages.

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Lake County boat accident attorneysSummer weather has finally arrived in Illinois which means that many people will be enjoying the sunshine out on the water. Boat accidents are less common than car accidents, but the results are often just as disastrous. Over 600 individuals lost their lives in boating accidents in 2018, and thousands more were injured. 

There are many different reasons that a boat accident can occur, but many boat accidents resulting in death or serious injury are the result of operator negligence. If someone else’s recklessness caused a boat injury in which you or a loved one were seriously hurt, you may have a valid personal injury claim. You or your loved one could potentially be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Some people do not take the responsibility of operating a boat nearly as seriously as they take the responsibility of driving a car. While roads are often congested with vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians, lakes and other bodies of water may appear nearly empty. A boat operator may feel a false sense of confidence based on this perceived emptiness and make reckless decisions as a result. For example, people who would never think to drive under the influence of alcohol may justify operating a boat drunk. Alcohol use is the top known contributor to fatal boat accidents. Boaters may also operate the boat at excessive speeds or in an erratic manner. This combined with improper lookout and operator inattention can lead to catastrophic collisions and other boat-related injuries.

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Lake County personal injury attorneyThe companies that design and manufacture consumer products have a legal obligation to ensure that these products are reasonably safe and do not pose an unnecessary risk to consumers. Unfortunately, carelessness and mistakes can cause some products to have dangerous and even life-threatening defects. If you or a loved one were injured by a defective product, you may be wondering what your legal options are. A product liability claim is a personal injury lawsuit involving injuries caused by a flawed or dangerous product. Through a product liability claim, an injured person or the loved ones of a deceased person may be eligible for financial compensation.

Types of Product Liability Lawsuits

Product liability claims may involve defective medical devices such as insulin pumps, automotive parts such as air bags or tires, children’s products such as sleepers or toys, food, drugs, and much more. Some product liability claims are based on the fact that the product’s design was already dangerously flawed before the product was even manufactured. The product may be structurally unstable, excessively flammable, contain toxic substances, represent a choking hazard to children, or is otherwise dangerous to the intended consumers of the product. 

Other product liability claims are based on mistakes made during the manufacturing or assembly process. Some examples of manufacturing defects include contaminated food or medication, products that are missing pieces, or products that are not assembled correctly. Product liability claims may also be a result of defects in the way the product is marketed to the consumer. Marketing defects most often involve products that do not contain sufficient warnings or instructions for proper use.

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Lake County personal injury attorneysThere has been a sharp increase in the number of vehicles affected by safety recalls in recent years, not just in Illinois, but across the country. The number of such recalls sharply increased from almost 13 million recalls in 2011 to over 51 million in 2016. Vehicles are recalled if there is new information that shows a vehicle has a safety issue or problem that must be fixed. It is important to have the problem fixed because failure to do so can lead to a serious motor vehicle accident.

Vehicle Recall Procedures

A recall may be issued by an automaker on the manufacturer’s own initiative or by operation of law. A recall usually means that the vehicle in question has a design, production, or operation flaw. This decision is often based on the manufacturer’s own studies or data from accidents involving the vehicle subject to recall. The latter, meaning data from accidents, is gathered and shared by agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which can order recalls without the manufacturers’ concurrence.

If a recall is ordered by the NHTSA, the manufacturer is required to send instructions on what should be done in a letter via first-class mail to all owners, dealers, and outlets which sold or is selling the vehicle subject to recall. The letter must also include directions for resolving the safety issue. Any required repairs must be offered at no expense to the owner.

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