What is Premises Liability?

In the state of Illinois, and in most states, premises liability can be a very serious subject.  When you own property, you are faced with many responsibilities.  These responsibilities not only include things like lawn care and general upkeep, but also making sure that the property is free of any hazardous or dangerous conditions that could lead to an injury.  However, there are also a few different requirements that must be met in order for a property owner to be held liable.

For an injured party to be able to seek compensation for an injury they had on somebody else’s property, they must be able to prove four basic things: existence of a dangerous condition, consciousness of the possessor, failure of the possessor to warn of the danger, and the occurrence of an injury.

  1. First, the person who is injured must be able to prove that there was some sort of dangerous condition that caused their injury.  Sometimes this could be a broken step or stair railing, but other times it can be a less obvious lighting issue or something of that sort.
  2. The injured party must also prove the consciousness of the possessor of the property.  It must be proven that the landowner was aware of the dangerous condition of their property.  Some examples of this could be an obviously broken stair railing or slippery sidewalks after a snowstorm.
  3. Third, the injured party must be able to illustrate that the possessor did not warn of any danger.  This includes situations such as not putting up a wet floor sign after a floor has been mopped.
  4. And finally, the injured party must be able to prove that they have in fact been injured because of a hazardous condition that the possessor did not previously warn them about.

The owner of the property is typically responsible for the injuries that occur on their property.  However, in some cases, the one in control of the property, such as a construction contractor or maintenance or rental company could be held liable for injuries.  Whoever is responsible for the property must make sure to regularly inspect it for conditions that could potentially cause injury.

If you have been injured on the property of another due to dangerous conditions, or are the owner of a property on which somebody was injured, be sure to contact an Illinois personal injury attorney to answer any questions you may have.

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