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Chicago Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers

Taking a fall can lead to serious accidents. And if your fall was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have rights. Stores, employers, and businesses have the obligation to have safe facilities for the public and employees. If you’ve been injured in a fall, you should talk to an attorney after you get the medical care you need.

The Lamber Goodnow team helps clients after falls. We’ll work with you to investigate what happened before your injury, assess who was negligent and/or liable, and work with insurance companies and defendants to get the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents

Accidental fall cases – what attorneys sometimes refer to as “premises liability” can come in a variety of forms. They include:

  • Retail stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Shopping centers and malls
  • Stadiums
  • Hotels
  • Theme parks
  • Cruise ships
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Other properties and structures

Private homeowners also have the responsibility to protect their guests and/or renters. Slipping and falling on a crack in the sidewalk could result in broken bones and more serious injuries. Failure to maintain a private swimming pool could result in catastrophic injury.

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to get compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages you might have encountered.

Legal cases for falls often get a bad reputation, but the fact is that falls are extremely serious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 30 percent of adults who fall suffer serious injuries, including hip fractures or head trauma. These injuries – even the ones that are initially superficial – can lead to more serious injury.

When an older person falls, he or she is less mobile while they heal. And that can create a domino effect of injuries and illness. A simple fall can lead to death.

In fact, CDC data shows that since 2000, 4,611 people have died as the result of a fall. In Cook County, that number is 1,800 – far too many families who’ve lost someone they love as the result of a simple loss of balance.

Contact our law firm today at (312) 757-777. Speak with a lawyer right away — before speaking with any auto insurance provider if possible. Other steps you can take now!

You Have Trip & Fall Accidents Questions – We Have Answers

What constitutes premises liability under Illinois law?

Premises liability refers to the body of law, which holds a landowner, or possessor of real property, liable for injuries to others on their property.

Under the Premises Liability Act, a plaintiff has the burden of proving six elements in order to recover in a premises liability action: “(1) a condition on the property that presented an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises, (2) the defendants knew or should have known that the condition of the property posed an unreasonable risk of harm to persons on the premises; (3) the defendants should have anticipated that persons on the premises would fail to recognize the danger or fail to protect themselves from it; (4) some negligence on the part of the defendant; (5) injury to the plaintiff; and (6) the condition of the property was a proximate cause of the injury to the plaintiff.”[1]

What special duties does a landowner owe a trespasser, licensee and invitee?

Landowners, or possessors of real property, have different duties of care depending on the type of person who is on their land.  If the person is a trespasser (one who enters the property without permission or invitation) the landowner owes no duty of care, or duty to warn, of concealed dangers. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 130/3. The owner of land owes a duty to refrain from willful and wanton conduct toward a trespasser and to use ordinary care to avoid injury trespassers after they are discovered in a place of danger. 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 130/3. However, the Illinois Supreme Court created an exception if the trespasser was a child.  This exception states that if the owner of land knows or should know that young children habitually frequent their property where there is a dangerous structure, they have a duty to exercise due care to remedy the condition or protect the children from injury resulting from it (this abolished the attractive nuisance doctrine in place of negligence based on foreseeability).[2]

If the person was a licensee (social guest) or an invitee (a person who goes on the property to transact business) the landowner, or possessor of real property, owes them a duty “of reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the state of the premises or acts done or omitted on them. The duty does not include any of the following: a duty to warn of or otherwise take reasonable steps to protect such entrants from conditions on the premises that are known to the entrant, are open and obvious, or can reasonably be expected to be discovered by the entrant; a duty to warn of latent defects or dangers or defects or dangers unknown to the owner or occupier of the premises; a duty to warn such entrants of any dangers resulting from misuse by the entrants of the premises or anything affixed to or located on the premises; or a duty to protect such entrants from their own misuse of the premises or anything affixed to or located on the premises.” 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 130/2.

What is a slip and fall accident?

Slip and fall describes the type of injury suffered on someone else’s property as a result of some type of a defect, a slippery substance or other dangerous condition. These injuries may occur at supermarkets and restaurants and are due to food or liquid on the floor. They may also occur when inadequate steps are taken to remove ice and snow from sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways.

If I fall and am injured in a public place, such as a sidewalk, who is liable?

It depends on where the sidewalk is located and who owns the property.  An owner or occupier of the premises is not liable for personal injuries incurred on a public sidewalk, street, or parkway under the control of a municipality.[3]  However, if the city or municipality owns the sidewalk they will be liable if they were negligent in the maintenance of the public place.

However, because Illinois law employs the doctrine of modified comparative fault, any damages you receive will be reduced by the amount that you contributed to the injury. 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-1116(c). Examples of a plaintiff’s (injured person) contribution to their injury are not paying attention while running, walking or texting.

Additionally, under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, a lawsuit against a local entity or its employees for any injury must be filed within one year of the date of the incident. 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. 10/8-101(a).

Are businesses responsible for removing ice and snow in order to prevent a person from becoming injured?

It is the law in Illinois that, in the absence of a contractual obligation, there is generally no duty on the part of the property owner to remove accumulations of ice or snow where the accumulation is natural and not caused by the property owner.[4]  Additionally, a landowner is not liable for injuries resulting from natural accumulation of ice, snow, or water tracked into its premises.[5]

However, liability may be incurred by a business when snow or ice is not produced from natural causes, but caused by an artificial condition, or by the landowner’s use of the area; and the condition has been there long enough that the business owner had notice and knowledge of the dangerous condition.[6]  Additionally, if a business voluntarily removes natural accumulations of snow or ice in a negligent manner, they may be found liable for a person’s injuries.[7]

Furthermore, Illinois law allows municipalities to require the owner or occupant of any premises to keep sidewalks abutting the premises free from snow and other obstructions.[8]

Who is liable if I am invited to a person’s home and I slip and fall?

The homeowner or possessor of real property may be liable for a licensee’s (social guest) injuries if they did not exercise reasonable care.  Under the Premises Liability Act, an owner of the premises must use reasonable care and caution in keeping the premises reasonably safe for the use of their social guests,[9] and in warning the invitee of any defects, which were not readily apparent.[10]  The duty applies to known defects, but also to defects that should have been known if the homeowner or possessor used reasonable care to inspect the property.[11]

If I fall in a business because the floors were poorly maintained, is the business liable, even if they did not know of the floors poor condition?

The business may be liable even if they did not know the floors were in poor condition.  Under the Premises Liability Act, an owner of the premises must use reasonable care and caution in keeping the premises reasonably safe for the use of licensees (social guests) and invitees (people doing business on the premises),[12] and in warning the invitee of any defects, which were not readily apparent.[13]  The duty applies to known defects, but also to defects that should have been known if the homeowner or possessor used reasonable care to inspect.[14]  If the floors have been poorly maintained, and the business would have discovered this with a reasonable inspection, they may be found liable for damages.

Is my landlord liable for injuries invitees or licensees sustain on his property?

Generally, a landlord is not liable for injuries occurring on a premises leased to a tenant and under the tenant’s control, whether the tenant or a third party sustains the injury.[15] The relationship between the tenant and the landlord creates no obligation on the part of the landlord to make repairs to the premises, unless the landlord agrees to do so.[16]  However, a tenant only has a duty to make ordinary repairs to keep the premises in proper condition, not repairs involving structural changes.[17]

There are, however, several exceptions where the landlord may be held liable for injuries. These exceptions are: “(1) where a latent (hidden) defect exists at the time of leasing, and the defect is known, or should have been known, to the landlord if they exercised reasonable care and could not have been discovered upon reasonable examination of the premises by the tenant; (2) where the landlord fraudulently conceals a known, dangerous condition; (3) where the defect causing the harm amounts to a nuisance; (4) where the landlord promises the tenant to repair the premises at the time of the leasing; (5) where the landlord retains control over the premises; and (6) where an injury results from the landlord’s violation of a statute or ordinance which makes it a duty for the protection and safety of a class to which the tenant belongs.”[18]

Our No-Fee Promise

If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall injury, or if someone you  love has been injured, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Once you’re taken care of, then you should contact an attorney.

When you work with the Lamber Goodnow injury law team, you benefit from our No-Fee Promise. With this, we guarantee that you won’t pay any expenses for our investigation or time handling your case. We only get paid if – and when – we recover money for you in the form of a settlement or a verdict in your favor.

Throughout the process, we’ll keep you informed of our findings. When we assess who was liable or negligent, which insurance company or companies we’re fighting, and the best strategy for your case, we’ll explain every step for you.

You shouldn’t agree to any settlement, or make any statements to a third party (like an insurance company) without first talking to an attorney.

Our process

When you suffer an injury after a slip or a fall, it might sound simple but it’s often quite complex. Many people suffer a lifetime of pain after taking a simple fall. That’s why it’s so important to work with an attorney – we’ll determine how the injury occurred, who’s liable, and work to get you the maximum compensation so you can heal comfortably.

Our team will conduct an investigation,  which may include looking at surveillance cameras and your medical records, talking to witnesses, and reviewing the safety procedures at the site of your accident. We’ll work to determine whether there was any negligence and to assess liability.

Contact Us Today

If you’ve fallen, you can call us at (312) 757-7777, 24/7, to speak to a member of the Lamber Goodnow team.

Your consultation doesn’t cost anything, and you’re under no obligation to hire us. It’s simply a conversation and an opportunity for us to help guide you through the process. We can help you get closer to feeling better.


[1]  Jordan v. National Steel Corp., 183 Ill. 2d 448, 701 N.E.2d 1094 (1998).

[2]  Kahn v. James Burton Co., 5 Ill. 2d 614, 126 N.E.2d 836 (1955).

[3]  Burns v. Kunz, 290 Ill. App 278, 8 N.E.2d 360 (1937).

[4]  Riccitelli v. Sternfeld, 1 Ill. 2d 133, 115 N.E.2d 288 (1953).

[5]  Lohan v. Walgreens Co., (1986, 1st Dist.) 140 Ill. App 3d 171, 94 Ill. Dec 680, 488 N.E.2d 679.

[6]  Bakerman v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., (1974, 2d Dist.) 16 Ill. App 3d 1065, 307 N.E.2d 449.

[7]  Stiles v. Panorama Lanes, Inc., (1982, 5th Dist.) 167 Ill. App 3d 896, 63 Ill. Dec 503, 438 N.E.2d 241.

[8]  Ill. Rev. Stat. Ch. 24 Par. 11-80-13.

[9]  Horn v. Urban Invest. & Dev. Co., (1988, 2d Dist.) 166 Ill. App 3d 62, 116 Ill. Dec 597, 519 N.E.2d 489.

[10]  Calvert v. Springfield Electric Light & Power Co., 231 Ill. 290, 83 N.E 184 (1907).

[11]  Blue v. St. Clair Country Club, 7 Ill. 2d 359, 131 N.E.2d 31 (1955).

[12]  Horn v. Urban Invest. & Dev. Co., (1988, 2d Dist.) 166 Ill. App 3d 62, 116 Ill. Dec 597, 519 N.E.2d 489.

[13]  Calvert v. Springfield Electric Light & Power Co., 231 Ill. 290, 83 N.E 184 (1907).

[14]  Blue v. St. Clair Country Club, 7 Ill. 2d 359, 131 N.E.2d 31 (1955).

[15]  Gridley v. Bloomington, 68 Ill. 47 (1873).

[16]  Forshey v. Johnston, 132 Ill. App 2d 1106, 271 N.E.2d 81 (1971, 4th Dist.).

[17]  Hardy v. Montgomery Ward & Co., 131 Ill. App 2d 1038, 267 N.E.2d 748 (1971, 5th Dist.).

[18]  Mangan v. F.C. Pilgrim & Co., 32 Ill. App 3d 563, 336 N.E.2d 374 (1975, 1st Dist.); Brewer v. Bankord, 69 Ill. App 3d 196, 25 Ill. Dec 688, 387 N.E.2d 344 (1979, 2d Dist.).

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