Filing of Financial Claim for a Fall on Snow and Ice
The winters in Chicago are harsh and many years the accumulation of ice and snow just keeps piling up until the first days of spring. The slick conditions often create dangerous and slippery areas, which increases the potential of individuals sustaining injuries from a slip and fall. While falling down on snow or ice might appear trivial, in many cases, the accident causes serious injury, which requires intensive medical care to heal.
Snow and ice falls often result in extensive medical bills, lost work, pain and suffering. When the victim is injured through another’s negligence, it is often a bitter pill to swallow knowing the accident could have been prevented.
Slip and fall claims involving snow and ice are common in Illinois. Victims can seek financial compensation from any individual or company responsible for their injury. However, establishing negligence for a snow or ice fall can be a legally complicated problem. Because of that, it is essential to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability claims.
Icy and Snowy Areas in Chicago
Common areas in the Chicago Metropolitan area where people injured by slipping on accumulated snow and ice include:
- The parking lot and sidewalks of their workplace
- Retail stores, grocery stores, markets and malls
- Open public stairways
- The driveways and sidewalks of private homes
- Areas when entering and exiting taxis, trains and buses
- The sidewalks and parking lots of apartment complexes
- Playgrounds, city sidewalks and parks
- The common areas managed by townhouse and condominium associations
Every pedestrian must use caution while a visitor on another’s premises. However, dangerous conditions can be lurking when slippery ice remains hidden beneath accumulated snow. In many incidences, an unsuspecting pedestrian sustains serious injury simply walking by an establishment while believing the sidewalk or roadway was safely maintained.
In general, a property owner, management company or business tenant has a legal responsibility to keep the condition of the property in safe condition. They must exercise reasonable care to keep the public protected against forces that could cause them harm while on the premises. A skilled personal injury lawyer will need to prove the basic elements of neglect to show how the defendant is legally liable for the accident with injuries. These elements include:
- The property owner, management company, business tenant or their assigns failed to remove the snow and ice within a reasonable timeframe
- The individual or company in control of the premises failed to salt the driveway or walkway before the storm to decrease the potential of a dangerous walk or driving path
- Those in control of the property neglected to inspect the parking lot or sidewalk during the storm or afterwards
- The injuries sustained by the victim occurred on the premises during business hours
- The victim at the time of the accident used reasonable care while on the premises
Establishing negligence is complicated. The attorney will need to show the unreasonable or reasonable conduct of the property owner while the storm was in progress. The lawyer working on behalf of the victim will need to overcome a common defense to divert blame by showing they could not correct the dangerous condition while the storm was in progress or for some time afterwards.
However, Illinois law states that any hazardous condition on the premises must be corrected or barricaded within a reasonable time frame. Because of that, if an individual is injured at the site, they have the right to file a premises liability claim or lawsuit to cover their losses.
Hiring an Attorney
If you believe you have a valid claim for financial compensation because you sustained injuries in a snow or ice fall, you need to seek the advice of a skilled Chicago personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability claims. A skilled lawyer can determine if those in control of the property failed in their duty to clear the ice or snow in reasonable time or are otherwise at fault for your injuries.
Contact the Chicago Injury Center to speak with an experienced attorney. Reputable lawyers can assist you in understanding all of your legal options concerning a claim. You can schedule a free initial no obligation consultation to discuss ways to seek the financial compensation you deserve for the injuries you sustained by someone else’s negligence.