Carrie Lewis, an Illinois woman, sued a Forever 21 retail store after she accidentally slipped on a “Wet Floor” sign that had fallen over and was lying flat in the middle of the entrance to the store. Lewis says, as she was leaving the store, she stepped on the sign and flew into the entrance door headfirst. Later, she had to undergo major surgery for serious injuries to her neck and back.
How Often do Slip and Fall Accidents Happen?
A study by the National Floor Society found that people experience a slip and fall at least 25,000 times per day and those incidents cost each person at least $12,000 on average in medical bills. If you have experienced an injury because of a slip and fall in a commercial place of business (store, hospital, gym, etc.) or another private property (someone’s home, yard, driveway, etc.), according to Illinois personal injury laws, you may be able to sue for compensation from the owner of the property if they had knowledge of the risk. For instance, in Carrie Lewis’ case, Forever 21 had knowledge of the risk because someone from the store had knowingly placed the sign in front of a crowded walkway where people were constantly walking in and out; therefore, the Judge found them responsible for Lewis’ injuries.
What Does the Law Say?
Illinois slip and fall laws say that the owner of a private property or land have the legal responsibility to care for and maintain a safe environment, meaning there should not be an obvious hazard to the public. Examples of obvious hazards are:
- Broken objects
- Broken, loose, or hand handrails
- Poorly-lit walkways
- Slippery, uneven, or wet floors
- Torn carpet
Do I Have a Slip and Fall Case?
You can experience a slip and fall carrying out your regular errands at the grocery store, shopping mall, restaurant, bank, and parking lot. Illinois personal injury law says, to be awarded compensation for your slip and fall injuries, you must have actually experienced an injury that requires you to visit the hospital and receive treatment. Scrapes and bruises, although still an injury, usually do not qualify for compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit. However, in some cases, injuries from a slip and fall accident may not have visible marks (such as a neck or back injury). Visiting your doctor after a slip and fall and having yourself checked out is the best way to avoid any possible long-term injuries that may be more expensive in the future.
What Types of Injuries Lead to Slip and Fall Lawsuits?
If you have experienced injuries that required you to seek medical treatment, and you believe the owner of a private property had knowledge of an obvious hazard, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss the compensation you could receive. Since each slip and fall case is different, a personal injury lawsuit could lead to a large cash settlement. Example of injuries that lead to these lawsuits include:
- Broken bones, or fractured bones
- Head, neck, or shoulder injuries
- Hip fractures
- Torn ligaments
- Sprained joints
How can I Seek Compensation for My Injuries?
If you were injured in a slip and fall, call Newland & Newland, LLP today at (847) 797-8000, or fill out our online contact form for a complimentary evaluation of your case. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy Max Bender)