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When Is a Homeowner Liable for a Fall Injury Caused by Ice?

Lake County premises liability lawyersIllinois is known for its harsh winter weather, and homeowners are constantly battling the accumulation of snow and ice on driveways and walkways. Serious slip-and-fall injuries can occur when a person slips on an icy area, but a homeowner is only legally responsible for these injuries under certain circumstances. Read on to learn more about homeowner liability in slip and fall cases involving winter weather and what you should do if you have been injured because of a property owner’s negligence.

Illinois Law Regarding Injuries Caused by Icy Conditions on a Residential Property

Not every slip and fall accident caused by ice is the fault of the property owner. In order to bring a successful premises liability case against a homeowner, your injuries must have been caused by the property owner’s negligence. Property owners and property managers have a legal obligation to keep their property reasonably safe and free of dangerous conditions. This includes clearing driveways and walkways clear of snow and ice. However, if the icy condition is not caused by negligence but is simply a product of Mother Nature, the homeowner may not be liable for injuries caused by the icy condition.

The Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act states that homeowners are not liable for injuries ensuing from a slip and fall on an icy sidewalk unless "the alleged misconduct was willful or wanton." However, the homeowner may be legally responsible for a fall injury if the icy area was an "unnatural accumulation.” For example, if the homeowner knew that a leaky pipe was leading to an accumulation of ice, and he or she did nothing to fix the problem, he or she may be considered negligent and therefore liable for injuries.

Bringing a successful premises liability lawsuit against a homeowner for failure to remove snow or ice can be very difficult. Proving that a homeowner allowed an unnatural accumulation of snow or ice to form may require a careful review of the situation and, possibly, the opinion of outside experts. Legal assistance from a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who is experienced in premises liability cases is crucial to bringing a successful claim.

Contact an Illinois Premises Liability Lawyer

An ice-related slip and fall can cause substantial injuries that result in expensive medical bills and terrible pain and suffering. If you were hurt in a slip and fall caused by a property owner’s negligence, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to learn about your options for compensation. Call us today at 847-662-3303 and schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled Waukegan personal injury attorney.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2084&ChapterID=58

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/IL_IPI_Civil.pdf

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