Chicago Premises Liability Lawyer
Anyone who is hurt while on someone else’s property, at a public place, or in a business may have a claim to recover medical and other resulting expenses, which could be substantial depending upon the seriousness of the injury.
Taking legal action is the method toward recovering those expenses and a Chicago premises liability lawyer who is well-versed in this area of law is ready to help.
Illinois Premises Law
Property owners and controllers, people who live on or manage the property, have a legal duty to keep their premises in a safe condition under Illinois’ premises liability law. If they know about an unsafe condition and do not correct it they are, under law, responsible for compensating someone who is injured because of their failure to correct the condition. This is called “constructive knowledge.”
However, if the property owner or controller did not know about the condition and did not have any reason to know it existed they are not liable because they could not foresee any harm coming.
But not just anyone can make a claim.
Legal Right to Receive Compensation
To have a legal right to sue, the person who is injured needs to have had permission to be on the property. Achieving permission can happen in several ways under what the law calls “licensees,” which are invited guests and visitors:
- Public invitee: Anyone who enters a place that is open to the public for a specific purpose, such as a hardware store, a Bears game, or park-and-ride locations.
- Business invitee: People buying or selling on a property, or workers who are there to perform a task.
- Licensee by invitation: This is a friend, neighbor, or other guest who is there for a social reason.
- Uninvited licensee: These are people who step onto a property for their own reasons without the owner’s or operator’s permission, such as solicitors.
How to Prove Premises Liability
Liability hinges on someone behaving carelessly or negligently, which is failing to act in a manner that a reasonable person would act in a similar situation, resulting in causing or contributing to an injury.
In premises liability litigation five elements comprise the law and the plaintiff must prove each of them by a preponderance of the evidence:
- The injured person had authorization to be on the property when the injury happened;
- The property owner or controller had constructive knowledge of the unsafe condition;
- The property owner or controller did not repair, remove, or give warning about the unsafe condition;
- The unsafe condition caused the injury;
- Monetary damages resulted.
When a trespasser comes onto a property any injury that happens is not the responsibility of the owner or controller because trespassing is a crime.
School children who take shortcuts across property on the way to and from school are “known trespassers.” If the owner or controller knows the children use the shortcut, then liability for their safety while on the property may be formed because the owner or controller has constructive knowledge.
Illinois law recognizes that children are attracted to things that can be dangerous, such as a construction site with heavy equipment parked there secured but unattended, called in the law an “attractive nuisance.”
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled a property owner or controller owes a duty of care to children for latent harms, but not for obvious harms.
To find out if a case is valid, contact a Chicago premises liability lawyer for a free, no obligation consultation. The attorney can explain the applicable law, the legal system’s processes, and evaluate the strength of the case.
The attorney can work on contingency meaning if the case is lost the lawyer does not charge a fee, and if it succeeds the fee is paid from the damages awarded.
Legal Action Your Chicago Premises Liability Attorney Can Take
If the Chicago premises liability lawyer’s letter demanding compensation is rejected a lawsuit may be filed seeking fair damages.
In bringing a lawsuit against the property owner or the controller, the lawyer will develop physical, documentary, and testimonial evidence to prove liability and document the injury’s medical and other expenses.