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Every year thousands of people are injured when they slip and fall. Many of these slip and fall cases happen on someone else’s property and subsequently become premises liability cases. Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere from a hotel to a grocery store to the front sidewalk at a person's home. Getting the compensation you deserve from a slip and fall case can be difficult.
You are not permitted to recover damages for an accident you caused yourself. But, often the cause of a slip and fall accident is not clear. Illinois courts use a modified comparative negligence approach for cases when both you and a third party share responsibility for an accident that injured you.
If you are 50 percent or more responsible for an accident, than you cannot recover damages from another party. If you are less than 50% at fault for an accident, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 10% at fault for an accident and your damages were $10,000, you would only receive $9,000 once the comparative negligence rules were applied to your case.
The insurance companies for public companies and other places where slip and fall accidents often happen understand the law. They will generally investigate carefully to determine if the injured person is, in any way, to blame for the accident. This could reduce the amount they have to pay out to cover the claim.
Who Knew What and When
Another potential obstacle to successfully getting the compensation you deserve in a slip and fall claim is the issue of knowledge. If you slipped on a puddle left from some spill in a mall food court, for example, the mall may maintain that they had no way of knowing about the spill.
Under the law, the mall, in this hypothetical case, cannot be liable for something they could not have foreseen and did not know about. Demonstrating knowledge and foreseeability requires showing the answers to some important questions, including:
All of these questions help establish who knew about the spill and what they did with that knowledge. If you knew or should have known about the spill before you fell because of a posted wet floor sign or an employee in the process of mopping the floor, you may share in the liability for your accident. But, the more the mall knew or should have known about the hazard, the more likely it is that they were negligent and owe you some compensation.
As commonplace as slip and fall accidents may be, they can also be extremely serious, leading to long-term and, even permanent injuries. If you have been injured in such a fall, contact an experienced DuPage County personal injury attorney today for a free initial consultation. We will help you seek the damages you deserve and need to put your life back on track.