There are two crucial questions that we ask of every potential client in a slip-and-fall case
- What made you fall?
- How did that get there and how long was it there?
The first question, what made you fall, is important because if the client cannot say what caused their fall, we cannot prove that the property owner was negligent in either causing the hazardous condition or failing to correct it. If you trip over your own feet or suddenly feel faint and fall, the property owner is not responsible for your injuries just because you happened to fall on his property. If you have no idea why you fell, we cannot prove a case for you. There must be something about the property such a defect in the property or a foreign object or substance that caused your fall.
As experienced Illinois personal injury lawyers, we know that this is one of the crucial questions that have to be answered in every slip and fall case. To help establish what caused you slip and fall we look to sources such as:
- Police reports
- Paramedics records
- Emergency room records
In one case, the client slipped in water on the floor of a hotel bar and broke her hip. She did not see the water or feel it while she was lying on the floor, but her dining companion saw it and felt it on the back of her coat as she helped our client to a chair. This was crucial to establish the cause of her fall.
The second question is, how did it get there and how long was it there, is important because it determines whether we have to show that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known of the presence of the hazard. If the hazard was created as a result of the activities or business operations of the property owner, then we do not have to show that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the hazard. This affects the kind of proof that has to be shown in order to get a successful verdict or settlement.
For example, we represented a lady who passed out samples of food at the back of grocery stores on the weekend. When she went into the back room to put on her coat at the end of the day, she slipped on dry spaghetti noodles and suffered a fractured hip. Our investigation showed that the spaghetti noodles fell on the floor when a stock clerk tried to throw the box of noodles into a spoilage basket, but missed and the box broke open, spilling the noodles all over the floor. We did not have to show that the property owner had knowledge of the hazard because it was created by the defendant’s employees.
On the other hand, we represented a woman who tripped and fell on a broken city sidewalk. We were able to establish through the testimony of neighbors that the sidewalk had been in that condition for several years and that the city sidewalk inspectors had inspected the block the year before and slated several sidewalks for replacement, but not the area where our client fell. That was enough to show that the city knew or should have known of the defective sidewalk where the client fell.
What caused your fall and how did that hazard come to be are at the heart of every Illinois slip and fall case
As experienced Illinois personal injury lawyers, we look closely at this issue in every premises liability case we handle during the pretrial investigation phase of the case to help ensure that our clients secure a successful verdict or settlement for their Illinois slip and fall case. If you have questions about your accident, contact our Illinois slip and fall lawyers now by filling in this form. It is free to contact us, you are under no obligation to hire our firm, nor will we pressure you to. We want to help resolve your problem. Tell us what happened to you.