Constructive and Actual Knowledge – Injury Attorneys

A lot of personal injury clients who approach us looking to get compensated after suffering an injury are new to this branch of the law. Many of these individuals assume that their injuries are sufficient for them to receive compensation as-is. The law, unfortunately, does not work like this, as there are many factors that come into play, one of which is known as constructive knowledge.

Are you looking for a personal injury lawyer in Chicago? Call us NOW at 1 (773) 825-3547 for more information on your legal options for compensation. We’ve helped hundreds of injured individuals all over the country for over 70 years. Need to speak with an attorney just to get the basics about your case? No problem: our no-commitment consultation is provided at no cost to you, and you get to speak with a real attorney and not a representative. Call 1 (773) 825-3547 NOW to speak with a Chicago injury lawyer.

Premises Liability in Injury Cases

Knowledge of a dangerous condition which led to your injuries is important in the sense that it may apportion liability on the negligent party. Property owners are obligated by the law to keep their premises safe to prevent injuries to any and all patrons of the property. Failure to maintain this safety makes them responsible for injuries.

Man Trips and Falls in Restaurant, Sues Chain and Manager

In Missouri, a 76-year-old man, on his way back home with family, stopped at a fast food joint in Mississippi. The man, upon being served, walked back to his table with the food, but tripped over a highchair’s leg used for customers. According to his testimony, the leg of the highchair was protruding into the walk area used by patrons. As a result of this event, he suffered shoulder and face injuries. Coincidentally, he heard employees lamenting about the fact that the chair wasn’t supposed to be in that particular spot owing to high foot traffic. A supervisor consequently asked them to move the highchair.

No Evidence, Trial Court Affirms

In his suit which named the restaurant owner and the chain as the defendants, the man claimed that the chair was a danger to patrons and its placement was what caused his injuries. The trial court, however, dismissed the suit after it found no evidence that the chair could be construed as being a dangerous condition or that that the danger to which the man alluded was obvious. Strikingly, the court noted that there was no evidence that employees working at the restaurant did not have constructive or actual knowledge regarding the danger that could come from the highchair. It also added that the highchair’s presence was obvious, and that it is a known, normal occurrence that is to be expected by customers.

Witness Testimony Paints a Different Picture

A regular patron who witnessed the event gave testimony stating that she registered no surprise when the injury occurred because these highchairs were partially hidden by a wall. She added, however, that the obvious visibility and protrusion of the highchairs was something any reasonable person could anticipate. That being said, further testimony provided by this witness stated that she saw many other patrons stumble over the chairs in the same location, leading to her complaining to employees over the fact that these chairs were hazards. The store did not move to oppose or dispute the witness’s testimony.

Plaintiff Files Appeal

After the trial court dismissed the case, plaintiff filed an appeal and had the prior judgment reversed by the Mississippi Supreme Court which found glaring disputes which ought to be looked over by a jury. The appellate court, in particular, discovered that there was sufficient evidence to point to the fact that the restaurant did indeed have constructive or actual knowledge of the danger posed by the highchairs but did not move to secure the area on behalf of customers. One other thing that compounded the circumstances in this case and made the jury lean toward finding for the plaintiff is the inadvertent erasure off CCTV footage of the fall, which is a legal principle known as spoliation of evidence.

Chicago Slip and Fall Injury Lawyers – Call Us Now!

This case just goes to prove how complex any slip and fall or personal injury cases are, and the importance of having experienced Chicago slip and fall attorneys. Need more information on the value as well as validity of your case? Call us NOW at 1 (773) 825-3547 for more information on your legal options for compensation. We look forward to hearing from you.