How To Document A Slip & Fall Accident Properly

slip and fall

Slip and fall accidents occur frequently in Illinois. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident, you could be overwhelmed with pain and unable to work, function, or enjoy your life. If another party’s negligence resulted in a condition that caused your slip and fall accident, documenting the incident will be critical to potentially receiving compensation. 

This article teaches how to document your slip and fall accident for a potential claim or lawsuit. If you have legal questions, our experienced Hoffman Estates slip & fall accident lawyer at SJ Injury Law can answer them.

Premises Liability Overview

An Illinois slip and fall accident is under premises liability law. Premise liability is a critical legal concept in personal injury law, alleging that the injury you sustained was caused by a defective or hazardous condition on another person’s property – such as a home or business. If the property owner or manager knew or should have known of the defective condition, they could be held liable for your injuries in a premises liability claim. The following elements must be proven in Illinois to win a premises liability case:

A Dangerous Condition Existed On The Property

Your slip and fall personal injury case hinges on showing a hazardous condition on the property when the injury happened. This could be a wet or oily floor, a loose rug or floorboard, rotting steps, or another defective condition.

The Owner Knew Or Should Have Known About The Condition

This element might be proven by showing evidence that the owner had a good reason to be aware of the dangerous condition. For example, if a spill in the store and a worker reported it to the manager, this is enough evidence to show the owner was aware of the hazard.

The Owner Did Not Take Reasonable Care To Fix The Hazard

If the owner was or should have been aware of the defective condition, but did not take action to fix or warn others, the owner may be liable for the injured person’s damages. Using the example above, if the owner knew there was a hazardous spill in the store for 20 minutes and took no action, he did not take reasonable care to remedy the situation.

Someone Was Injured Because Of The Owner’s Failure

Last, you need to show that you suffered injuries and losses related to the hazardous conditions on the property. For example, if you broke your wrist when you fell, you can show that you have medical bills, pain, suffering, and lost work time.

What Are Common Causes Of Illinois Slip & Fall Accidents?

Unless you have an underlying health condition, most people do not simply fall for no reason. Most slip and fall incidents happen because of a safety hazard on another person’s or business’s property. Common causes of slip and fall incidents in Illinois are:

  • Slippery and wet floors
  • Uneven sidewalks and parking lots
  • Poor lighting in apartment buildings and businesses
  • Damaged steps and handrails
  • Objects falling off of shelves
  • Icy or wet sidewalks

Common Types Of Slip & Fall Injuries

Many slip and fall injuries can be severe and debilitating. They include:

  • Soft tissue injuries to the hands, feet, back, or neck
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Bulging or herniated spinal discs
  • Fractures
  • Concussion and other traumatic brain injuries

Illinois Slip & Fall Laws

Several state laws and rules will affect your claim or lawsuit in an Illinois slip and fall case. They are:

Comparative Negligence Rule

slip and fall

If you want to make a claim after a slip and fall on someone’s property, be ready for the insurance company to claim you were at least partially at fault. If the property owner or their insurance company can pin some of the blame on you, your compensation could be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Suppose you were hurt in a grocery store accident where you stepped into a puddle of oil. You suffered a back injury and fractured ankle; your total damages were $25,000. However, the grocery store had placed a wet floor sign three feet from the oil spill. The insurance company argues that you were partially responsible, and the jury agrees and says you were 25% at fault. Thus, your compensation could be reduced by $6,250, or 25% of the $25,000. Furthermore, if you are found to be more than 50% at fault in the accident, you cannot recover damages in the case.

This is how shared fault works in Illinois personal injury claims. Even if the case does not go to trial, the state’s comparative negligence claim may come into play. During settlement talks, the insurance company’s offer could reflect any partial liability you have for the incident. Your attorney, on the other hand, will argue for as little blame on you as possible to maximize your payout.

Statute Of Limitations

Be aware of the state’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit, which in Illinois is two years from the date of the injury. If you believe the property owner or manager is liable for your damages, you must initiate the lawsuit within two years of the incident. If you do not, you will be barred from ever bringing a lawsuit.  Your attorney will want ample time to prepare the slip and fall lawsuit, so you should retain an attorney as soon as possible.

The Importance Of Documenting The Slip & Fall  Accident

No one will take your word for it if you are injured in a slip and fall incident. You will need strong evidence to receive compensation in a claim or lawsuit. Essential steps to document your slip and fall incident include the following elements:

Get Medical Treatment Immediately

Not only is it vital to be evaluated by a doctor promptly to ensure your health and well-being. One of the most critical steps in documenting a slip and fall injury is getting medical treatment immediately. As well as treating your slip and fall injuries, your doctor will document the fact that you were injured in the incident. This will be critical evidence if you file a personal injury claim or lawsuit later. You could receive compensation for your medical bills from doctors, dentists, chiropractors, ER doctors, and more.

Even if you think you are not seriously injured after the slip and fall, you still should seek immediate medical attention. If the injury worsens after a few days, you will have the injury documented on your medical record to receive potential compensation. One of the first things your slip & fall accident lawyer in Hoffman Estates will do is obtain your medical records for medical proof of your injuries.

Report The Slip & Fall  Accident

If you fall at a business like a grocery store, you should report the injury promptly to the manager. File an accident report with the company, and if the police arrive, ask for a copy of their report.

If the accident happened at work, report the slip and fall to the HR department or your manager. Reporting the accident promptly is essential for receiving workers’ compensation benefits for your injury.

Take Photo And Videos

Photographic and video evidence are essential documentation for your slip and fall personal injury case. For instance, if you fell in the baking aisle on an oil spill in the grocery store, get a wide shot of the accident scene showing the hazard. This wide-angle shot will show there were no warning signs for the spill. Make sure you take cell phone video and pictures before they clean the area. Then, take photos of your injuries, bandages, back or neck brace, and other signs of injury.

Keep A Slip & Fall  Case File

Save every document related to the slip and fall case. The case file should include medical bills, other out-of-pocket expenses related to your injury, and any correspondence from your doctors or insurance company about the injuries. Also, write down or take a video of what happened the day you fell and precisely what happened. Next, list any accident witnesses, including their names and contact information.

Keep Your Clothing And Shoes

Many slip and fall injury victims do not realize they should retain the clothing and shoes they wore the day of the injury. Do not wash or clean them up; any dirt, damage, or blood on the clothing could be substantial evidence for your claim.

Remember that specific critical evidence could disappear fast after the accident. For example, the grocery store will quickly clean up any spill that caused your injury, so getting ample video and photos of the accident scene could be vital to your claim later. Any documentation and evidence you collect, turn it over to your attorney during the initial consultation.

Contact Our Hoffman Estates Slip & Fall Accident Lawyer Today

Slip and fall accidents can cause debilitating pain and injuries, and you should not suffer out-of-pocket costs if someone else is responsible. Our Hoffman Estates slip & fall accident lawyer at SJ Injury Law could help you receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

Call us today at (847) 434-3555 for a confidential consultation. Remember, the big insurance companies rarely give you what you deserve immediately after a slip and fall accident. You need an aggressive, experienced litigator to get you the most compensation, and SJ Injury Law is ready to fight for you.

How To Help Your Attorney Win Your Slip And Fall Case

slip and fall

Slip and fall accidents happen often, especially when the weather is wet or icy in Schaumburg and the greater Chicago area. When you go on errands or to work, slipping and falling is not at the top of your mind, but it can happen, and sometimes it is not your fault.

If you are injured in a slip-and-fall accident, it is not enough to say that the property owner caused it. Instead, you must prove that the property owner did not act reasonably and that failure led to your injuries. Learn more about how to win a slip and fall case in this post, then speak to our Schaumburg slip and fall lawyer at SJ Injury Law to file a claim.

Illinois Premises Liability Act

The Illinois Premises Liability Act describes property owners’ legal duties to invitees and licensees. Under this law, the property owner can be liable for a slippery surface and similar dangerous conditions on their property if they knew or should have known of the hazardous condition.

Also, the property owners are liable if they should have known the unsafe condition presented a risk of harm. Further, the property owners could be sued for damages if they did not exercise reasonable care to protect invitees from the condition.

For instance, suppose a grocery store customer knocks over a bottle of olive oil onto the floor. The grocery store has a legal responsibility to clean up the spill or otherwise “rope off” the spill area to prevent a customer from slipping and falling. Or, if a homeowner did not clear the ice in front of their house and the ice was the result on an unnatural accumulation, and you fell, you could file a claim against them or their homeowner’s insurance policy.

What Is A Slip And Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accidents are estimated to send over one million Americans to Emergency Rooms annually. Property owners and property operators know they are responsible for keeping their properties and sidewalks safe for consumers, guests, and passersby. You can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages when they do not meet their obligations.

However, where you slipped and fell makes a big difference. For example, slipping and falling in your house will probably not allow you to claim that someone else caused your injury. But, you could have a case if you are seriously injured and falling on a slippery floor at the bank or on a wet floor in a grocery store. In either situation, you were theoretically injured on their property, and if the business did not keep a safe environment and you were injured.

How To Prove A Slip And Fall Case

You can pursue a premises liability claim in Illinois when you fall on someone’s property and get seriously hurt. For you to prove that the property owner is responsible for your injuries, the following must be proven:

  • Duty of care: The property owner had a duty of care to you. For example, if you were a business invitee at the grocery store, the store has a duty of care to ensure the property is safe and free of obvious hazards, such as a wet floor.
  • Breach of duty: After you establish the owner had a duty of care, you must prove they breached their duty and were negligent. For example, if there was a wet floor at the grocery store’s entrance and there was no Wet Floor sign, this could be a breach of duty.
  • Causation: After you prove the owner was negligent, your attorney must show their negligence caused your injuries.

How To Help Your Attorney Win The Case

You have the burden of proof in your slip and fall case, and there are things you can do to assist your attorney. You can help your lawyer prove hazard and fault by being completely honest about the circumstances surrounding the incident. ALSO, TAKE PICTURES OF WHERE YOU FELL.

Proving Hazard And Fault

Under Illinois law, you must prove that the condition that injured you was hazardous. Although, it might seem obvious to you that the wet floor at the convenience store was a hazard, convincing a judge or jury is another matter. A condition under the law is considered hazardous if it poses a potential risk of harm to you. For instance, a potentially dangerous condition could be a wet floor, uneven sidewalk, broken stairs, missing handrail on stairs, or an icy walkway. You also have to provide evidence that the hazard caused your injuries.

When you have shown that the situation was hazardous and led to your injuries, some issues could come up in the case to determine fault. Your attorney would need to know if there were any acts of yours that could have prevented you from noticing the wet floor. For example, were you talking to a friend or texting on your phone?

Next, were you legally allowed to be at the property when you slipped and fell, or were you a trespasser? For example, if you were at a place of business during business hours, you were allowed to be there. But if you were there after hours or without the owner’s permission, this could cause problems in your case.

Also, were there any signs that warned you of a hazardous condition? For example, was there a Wet Floor sign at the spot where the floor was slick, and you fell? Would a ‘reasonable person’ have acted in the same way you did in that situation?

All of these points regarding hazard and fault matter in your slip and fall case because you must be less than 51% at fault to recover compensation. This is the modified comparative negligence rule that is followed in Illinois. In addition, the property owner’s insurance company will likely look for a way to hold you at least partially at fault for the accident. So, remember to be honest with your lawyer about your role in the incident. The truth will come out eventually, so if there is a chance you were partially at fault, tell your attorney right away so they are prepared when that comes up.

Should You Sue For A Slip And Fall Injury?

Occasionally, the injuries suffered from slips and falls cause serious injuries. So, you should always consider whether the owner of the property or the store where you were injured was obligated to keep you safe. Some of the potentially responsible parties in a Schaumburg slip and fall accident might be:

  • The local, state, or federal government
  • A retail store chain
  • The owner of an apartment building
  • Shop owners and their workers
  • Someone who owns private property, such as a home

The premises injury attorneys at SJ Injury Law can review your slip and fall case to determine if someone else might be liable. Remember, if someone had a duty to keep you safe, you could hold them responsible for your injuries and losses.

How Long Do You Have To File A Slip And Fall Claim?

In Illinois, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. However, this time can pass quickly, so you should speak to a premises liability attorney about your claim today.  Call 847-434-3555 now.

How Much Can You Get For A Slip And Fall Case?

Every slip-and-fall case is different, but many slip-and-fall cases in Illinois settle for between $15,000 and $45,000. How much you receive largely depends on your degree of injury, your time out of work and pain and suffering.

You would probably get a smaller settlement if you suffer a strained back from your slip and fall that keeps you out of work for a week. However, if the slip and fall cause you to slip a disc and your back that requires surgery, you can expect a larger settlement for your medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Contact Our Schaumburg Slip And Fall Lawyer Today

Any time you were injured in a slip and fall on someone else’s property, have an attorney review the case. A slip-and-fall lawyer can help you get the best settlement if someone was negligent. First, your attorney will investigate the case to determine potentially liable parties, then they will send a demand letter to attempt to settle the case.

The property owner’s insurance company may not initially offer much money to settle the case. But your attorney will negotiate with them after determining what your claim is worth. Your attorney can take the case to trial if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement. Most personal injury claims result in a settlement to avoid the cost and time of going to court, but if necessary, your lawyer can take the insurance company to court and win.,

Were you injured in a slip-and-fall accident? An attorney can help you determine if another party may be liable for your injuries. Speak to our Schaumburg slip and fall lawyer at SJ Injury Law at (847) 434-3555.


This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an Attorney-Client relationship. An Attorney-Client relationship is created when you sign a written agreement with our law firm. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an Attorney-Client relationship has been established.

How To Avoid Slip And Fall Accidents In Winter Weather

slip and fall

Some Illinoisans, interestingly, look forward to a cold and snowy winter when the weather cools. However, slip-and-fall accidents can turn your winter wonderland into a painful nightmare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent states that millions of adults slip and fall in the US annually. Approximately 3,000,000 older adults are also treated in ERs each year for slip and fall injuries. The injury rate climbs dramatically as the weather becomes colder.

Following the tips below can avoid many slip-and-fall accidents this and future winters. But if you slip and fall and another party is responsible, talking to the Schaumburg slip-and-fall lawyers at Claim Your Justice is a smart choice.

Watch For Black Ice

Black ice has its name for a good reason: It is difficult to see before you are on top of it and fall. Black ice is one of the most hazardous conditions drivers and pedestrians deal with each winter. It can cause drivers to suddenly lose control of their cars and is a significant risk to pedestrians to slip and fall.

If you walk in the winter, avoid falling on black ice by only using sidewalks that are cleared of snow and ice. Walk another way if the path has not been treated with sand or salt.

Take Smaller Steps

Falls are common when taking regular, large steps when there’s ice. When pathways are slick, walk slower and use smaller steps. Keeping your feet in constant contact with the ground can prevent falls. If there’s ice, shuffle your feet instead of picking up. If grass and snow are next to the sidewalk, walk on that.

Use A Handrail If Available

If you are walking outside in slick weather on a sidewalk or steps, use the handrail if available. Many of us still slip and fall on slippery steps, even when holding the handrail. Stairway falls can be severe and nasty and cause serious injuries, so walk carefully and slowly.

Choose Shoes With Excellent Traction

Many possible slip-and-fall incidents are avoidable if you have shoes with good grip. OSHA states any time you need to work outside in the winter, you should have shoes with excellent traction.

OSHA adds that pedestrians and workers should have boots resistant to water. Or, choose rubber overshoes with rubber on the bottoms. Just like the tires on your vehicle need good grip, the same is true with your shoes.

Last, if there is a lot of snow and ice, consider just staying home, if possible. Many trips outdoors when the weather is bad can be delayed. If you cannot avoid going out in winter weather, slow down. You can prevent many slip-and-fall accidents by taking your time.

Common Slip And Fall Injuries

These are the most common types of slip and fall injuries. If you have one of these injuries and you think someone else caused the unnatural slick condition, talk to a Schaumburg slip and fall attorney immediately:

Sprains Strains

A sprain happens when a ligament is stretched or torn in a slip-and-fall accident. For instance, you may twist your ankle when falling on black ice. Or, you could sprain your wrist when catching yourself as you hit the ground.

A strain is when a band of tissue or muscle is pulled during an accident. Strains and sprains can be mild or severe. Many heal on their own, but severe injuries require medical care.


If your head hits the ground in the fall, there could be a severe injury. A concussion is a brain injury from a bump or blow to the head. The brain can strike the front and back of the skull, leading to extra damage. Even possibly a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Even a mild concussion is a severe injury, so go to the Emergency Room if you have:

  • Pressure in the head or headache
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dizziness and balance issues
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Feeling stunned or dazed
  • Coordination problems
  • Cannot recall events just before and after


Fractures are complete or partial breaks of bones. For example, it is common to fracture the wrist or shoulder when catching yourself as you go to the ground in a slip and fall. Others may break an ankle or leg bone when they fall. Fractures can be from mild to severe.

You may have a bone fracture if you experience these symptoms:

  • Pain around the injured bone
  • Extensive swelling
  • Bruising
  • Inability to move the injured part or limb
  • Inability to move the injured part or limb
  • Inability to put weight on the injured part

How To Prevent Slip And Falls On Your Property

If you are a homeowner or business owner and want to avoid slip-and-fall accident liability, remember these safety tips:

Plan Ahead For Winter

Living in Illinois and other parts of the Midwest means knowing snow will be part of life in the winter. If you use snow removal services, be sure you have an agreement detailing when the workers should come, how much snow triggers service, and areas that will be treated. Also, make sure the snow removal service has insurance that will cover you for a personal injury claim made because of their services. Preventing slip and fall lawsuits means focusing on sidewalks and parking areas with heavy foot traffic.

Check the sidewalks and parking lots near your home or business. See areas where water tends to pool. Rerouting gutters so that they do not dump water onto sidewalks can prevent injuries. Also, repair low areas of the pavement and sidewalks, so water doesn’t collect in the winter.

Remember Indoor Areas

When ice and snow accumulate outside, guests, workers, or visitors will track moisture inside. Therefore, every entrance should be kept as dry as possible to avoid slip-and-fall incidents. Use a mop to clear wet areas and post Wet Floor signs to protect yourself from liability.

What To Do If You Slip And Fall

If you fall on ice, let your hands and arms catch you. It is critical to try and cover your head if you fall on your back. So, tuck your head in and release any objects in your hands. Protecting your head is vital to avoid a potentially severe injury.

After you hit the ground, check for injuries. If you are hurt and cannot get up, shout for help or call 911. Do not try to get up if you feel pain anywhere.

If you are okay enough to stand, get up from the ground slowly. Attempt to roll onto one side and pull yourself up slowly to the hands and knees. Crawl to something sturdy, such as a handrail or car. Us the object to support you while you stand.

If you think someone is responsible for your injures, take pictures of where the fall occurred.

When Should You See A Doctor After A Slip And Fall Accident?

Unless there is a severe head injury or broken bone, most accident victims have pain and inflammation. Doctors recommend using swelling, bruising, and pain as an indicator to go to the Emergency Room. Also, if you cannot move without pain, you need medical attention.

Other doctors say slip-and-fall victims should get medical care immediately if they cannot walk or if the pain is not controlled with pain medication and ice. If you think you broke a bone, get medical care right away. Not treating a fracture can lead to more significant injuries and, possibly, even infections.

If you hit your head on the ground, you should get medical treatment immediately. Even a ‘mild’ concussion can have serious consequences. However, head injuries also can get worse quickly, so it is always better to be safe than sorry.

If you are in a slip-and-fall accident and you think another person is liable, you should speak to a slip-and-fall attorney in Illinois. An attorney can tell you if you have a strong case. If you do, you do not need to pay the lawyer unless you have a favorable settlement or verdict.

Contact Our Schaumburg Slip And Fall Lawyers Now

People in slip-and-fall accidents can suffer wrist, arm, shoulder, back, and head injuries, soft tissue damage, broken bones, spinal disc damage, and even traumatic brain injuries. How will you pay for those expensive medical treatments if you are seriously injured after a slip and fall accident?

The Schaumburg slip and fall lawyers at Claim Your Justice can help to get the compensation you need for medical treatments, lost earnings, plus pain and suffering. Our attorneys will fight relentlessly for your rights if you have a strong case. Our attorneys have secured large settlements for slip-and-fall victims.

Claim Your Justice slip and fall attorneys also help personal injury victims in Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hanover Park, Arlington Heights, and Oak Streamwood. Please contact Claim Your Justice at 847-434-3555 for a free consultation.


This information is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters, and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an Attorney-Client relationship. An Attorney-Client relationship is created when you sign a written agreement with our law firm. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an Attorney-Client relationship has been established.