With winter approaching in Chicago, now is the time to increase our awareness of slip and fall accidents. These are potentially severe mishaps that can cause life-changing injuries and disability. Learn below about how to avoid dangerous slip and fall accidents. If you have been injured in one of these accidents, our Chicago slip and fall lawyer at SJ Injury Law can review your case to determine your eligibility for compensation.
What Are Slip And Fall Accidents?
Slip and fall accidents in the United States send over 1,000,000 people to the Emergency Room annually. Property owners should know if people fall on their premises because of a hazardous condition, they could be sued for damages.
This is why it is so important to photograph where the slip and fall accident happened. Slipping and injuring yourself in your home is not legally actionable. After all, you are responsible for keeping your home safe. But, if you fell in a store because of a puddle on the floor, that is another story.
In some instances, you also could have a claim if you slip and fall on ice, snow, or water on the sidewalk. It depends on the circumstances and where the accident happened. There also are other types of slip and fall accidents that you could experience in Chicago:
- Tripping hazards
- Poor lighting
- Missing or broken handrails
- Broken steps
- Broken pavement
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident in any of these situations, our Chicago slip and fall attorney can review the case for you today.
Premises Liability Laws In Illinois
The Illinois Premises Liability Act lays out legal principles that hold owners and tenants liable if someone is injured on their property. A premises liability claim may be filed if a person is injured because of a property owner’s negligence to keep a property safe. Keeping a property safe involves keeping the property in good condition inside and out. It also generally means maintaining parking lots, sidewalks, and similar outdoor areas free of ice and snow in winter to avoid slip and fall accidents.
Use Care When Ice And Snow Is Present
Snowfall in Chicago can be beautiful as you walk through Cricket Hill, Busse Woods, or Horner Park and other popular spots. However, whether walking in a parking lot, crossing the street, or on a sidewalk, take more precautions when walking on snow, ice, or water. Do not try to run or walk too fast on slick surfaces. Instead, choose where you tread carefully and do so slowly to maintain balance.
Next, testing the surface with one foot to see how slippery it is can also avoid a slip and fall accident. Black ice can be almost impossible to see, so step carefully when going where it could be present.
Even after you walk into a public space, such as Millennium Park or Grant Park, continue to be careful where you step. Hard floors and carpeting can be slippery from melted ice or snow being tracked inside. Water also can form on hard floors, creating a severe slipping hazard.
Choose The Correct Footwear
Wearing non-slip shoes is another critical safety tip this winter. Wearing shoes with leather soles or high heels is hazardous because of the slipping hazard. Instead, choose sturdy shoes or boots featuring a neoprene composite or rubber sole. These options will enhance stability as you go through snow and ice this winter. Your feet also will stay warm and dry.
Non-slip shoes are even better if you only walk in areas cleared of snow and ice. If you try a shortcut and walk on an uncleared sidewalk, you could take a fall. Try to stick to walking routes that have been shoveled and salted.
Look For Handrails
Another way to avoid a slip and fall mishap in the ice and snow is to always look for a handrail, wall, or stationary object for additional support. You can lessen the fall risk by keeping your hands free of objects while walking on slick surfaces. That way, if you start to fall, you can catch yourself before hitting the ground.
What Damages Can You Get In A Slip And Fall Claim?
If you were hurt in a slip and fall and someone else was liable for the condition that caused your injuries, you could be eligible for compensation. First, you could receive economic damages, usually money for medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost earnings. Your attorney will help you to gather proof of your injuries, medical expenses, and lost wage information to present to the at-fault party’s insurance company. You could be entitled to past lost wages and future lost earnings as you continue to move toward a full recovery.
Second, you can get compensation for non-economic losses, which include pain and suffering. Many severe slip and fall injuries could lead to weeks or months of pain and discomfort, so you should be compensated. Pain and suffering damages are subjective, so the amount you may receive will vary based on the seriousness of your injuries and case facts and circumstances. You also could receive money for disability, emotional suffering, and loss of quality of life.
Our SJ Injury Law slip and fall lawyer will advocate for the highest possible pain and suffering compensation. If the insurance company does not offer a fair amount of compensation in settlement negotiations, we can take the case to a jury trial.
In limited cases, you may be eligible for punitive damages. If the property owner was particularly negligent or reckless in causing you harm, the court could order them to pay additional damages to punish them.
Speak To Our Chicago Slip And Fall Accident Lawyer Today
Remembering the above tips can be critical to avoiding many Chicago slip and fall accidents. However, a slip and fall serious injury can happen if a property owner is negligent. If you were injured on someone else’s property recently, speak to our Chicago slip and fall accident lawyer at SJ Injury Law at (847) 434-3555 today. Our attorneys have many years of experience obtaining compensation for slip and fall accident victims. We could assist you with obtaining critical compensation to ensure a full recovery.