Slip-and-fall accidents, also commonly known as “premises liability” are a common type of personal injury claim. Because of the frequent occurrence of minor slip-and-fall accidents, it is often difficult to get a reasonable settlement from insurance companies. To recover damages for severe injuries, contacting a Chicago slip-and-fall accident lawyer to help you file a lawsuit is usually necessary.
What constitutes a slip-and-fall accident?
Just stumbling on your own feet while on someone else’s property won’t hold up as a slip-and-fall accident with the insurance companies. Valid slip-and-fall accidents are caused by hazardous conditions on another’s property that the owner should have been aware of. Slip-and-fall accidents are based on claims of negligence against the property owner.
Injuries on your own property are not considered valid for slip-and-fall accidents, as you would be bringing a lawsuit against yourself. The accident must occur on either government owned property such as a city sidewalk or privately owned property such as a grocery store or hotel lobby. Private residences are also liable for the safety of guests, as long as you are legally allowed to be on the premises at the time of your injury.
Proving Negligence for Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Valid claims for slip-and-fall accidents are based on proving that the owner of the property you were injured on was negligent in preventing the accident. There is a 2 year statute of limitations in which you must file your claim. This is reduced to 1 year when filing against a government entity (if you fell on government property such as a sidewalk). The sooner you file, the better, as evidence can be promptly collected and witness testimony is more reliable.
To prove slip-and-fall accidents you must be able to show evidence of 3 major things:
- Hazards – There was a hazardous condition on the property that caused your accident;
- Owner Negligence – The property owner was negligent in allowing that condition to exist, or failed to correct the condition; and
- Injury as a Result of Negligence – The negligence of the property owner caused your injuries.
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