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Slip and fall liability in Illinois

When injuries arise from slip and fall accidents in Illinois, many people initiate legal action as soon as possible. However, of these potential plaintiffs, many lose their case or are told they have no case because of factors inherent in the accident itself. While Illinois, like most states, charges property owners with a certain duty of care to prevent dangerous conditions on their property, that burden of care is balanced by an obligation on the part of others to exercise appropriate caution.

Litigation caused by falls at slippery entrances are a perennial signal of the end of winter in the legal world. These cases generally hinge on the “reasonableness” test. This test imparts an equal duty to the property owner and visitors to assess, be aware of and exercise due caution and care in every aspect of the use of the property.

Under this test, the property owner or its agents should be aware of dangerous conditions on the property and exercise due care to ensure such conditions are properly marked or dealt with. However, people entering the premises are also obliged to be aware of their environment and take appropriate steps to avoid potentially dangerous situations. If either of these circumstances are not met, the party not meeting the test conditions would likely be held liable.

In cases where a slip and fall was caused by alleged dangerous conditions, an attorney for the injured victim might begin by reviewing any accident reports and treatment records. The attorney may interview witnesses or responders to determine the conditions under which the accident occurred. Once liability has been established, the attorney might file a personal injury lawsuit seeking appropriate damages.

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