Premises Liability law concerns who is responsible when an accident occurs on property owned by another person. Under the Premises Liability Act, the person who owns or occupies a property has a legal duty to protect potential visitors from any dangerous conditions that may exist on the property.

If an owner has failed to fix a problem or warn you about it while you were visiting, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries you may have suffered. For more information about your specific case, an Oak Lawn premises liability accident lawyer could be able to assist with any questions and discuss possible next steps. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to begin your journey to recovery.

Understanding Premises Liability Laws

Premises liability law centers around the nature of the relationship between the person in control of the premises and the person injured on the premises. It is important to note that Oak Lawn places the responsibility on the person in control of the property, not necessarily the property owner. For a construction site, this could mean the construction company or contractors at the site. For an apartment unit, it may be the leased resident living in the apartment.

Some of the most common claims involving premises liability law include:

Who can Bring a Claim for Damages?

The fact that an injury occurs on another’s property does not automatically mean that the owner is liable. Oak Lawn laws, contained in 740 Illinois Statute §130/2, state that an owner must take reasonable care to protect invited visitors. This means that trespassers, or people who remain on property after the end of their allowable time will have a difficult time collecting compensation.

Most importantly, this statute also abolishes the concept that there are different rules that control premises liability cases depending on the visitor’s motivations for entering the property. In other states, plaintiffs must establish their motivations for entering land to determine their legal rights. Instead, Oak Lawn plaintiffs must only show that the defendant’s actions were unreasonable. An Oak Lawn premises liability attorney could help to provide more information about this important concept.

Duties Owed to Guests on the Property

Under the Premises Liability Act, the person or parties controlling a property must exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injuries to guests and maintain property in reasonably safe condition. This includes reasonably inspecting the property for any dangerous conditions that they must repair on the property. Anyone who has experienced a lack of duty of care while on someone else’s property should contact an Oak Lawn premises liability accident lawyer.

What Must the Injured Guest Prove?

To prevail under Illinois premises liability law, the plaintiff must prove several factors. They must be able to prove that a dangerous condition existed on the premises. A dangerous condition is typically obvious – a vicious and unchained dog, a broken stairwell or defective escalator, or a crumbling balcony. It does not include unforeseeable conditions that injured a guest.

The person or company that controlled the property where the injury occurred must typically be aware of the condition. However, the law does not always require the property owner or occupant to have actual knowledge of the condition. If a reasonable inspection of the property would uncover the hazard, then they may still be liable for the damages.

In addition to knowledge of the dangerous condition, there must have been a sufficient amount of time for the property owner to fix the problem. If there was no actual harm caused by the dangerous condition, the guest will not have any damages to recover from the property owner or occupant.

When Might a Plaintiff Share Liability for an Accident?

Every personal injury claim in Oak Lawn must conform to the state’s laws concerning modified comparative negligence. Under 735 ILCS §2-1116, courts must evaluate the actions of all parties involved in the accident to assign fault. This applies to premises liability cases as well.

For example, if a person breaks their leg while falling on a spill in a grocery store, a defendant may argue that the plaintiff was running, was looking at their cell phone at the time, or was not wearing proper footwear. If a jury believes these defenses, it may reduce an award by the percentage of fault that it assigns to the plaintiff. If this percentage rises above 50, the jury must dismiss the case. An Oak Lawn premises liability accident attorney could help to demonstrate that the defendant was the sole party responsible for the accident.

How Long Does an Injured Person Have to Demand Payment?

As examples of personal injuries that are the result of accidents, premises liability claims are subject to the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a time limit that controls when a court will consider a claim for damages. The clock begins to run immediately after the accident, and the expiration of time will result in an injured person being responsible to pay for their own losses.

According to 735 ILCS §13-202, victims of accidental injuries have two years after the incident to file a case in court. This time limit applies to both lawsuits and demands for compensation through settlement. A premises liability lawyer in Oak Lawn could work to ensure that a plaintiff’s case does not fail because of an expiration of the statute of limitations.

Speaking to an Attorney

Every year, Oak Lawn residents suffer harm because of dangerous conditions at offices, shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants. Premise Liability law recognizes the harmful impact that these injuries can cause to an individual. Because of the complexity of premises liability law and the fact-specific nature of the legal analysis, anyone who suffered an injury on another person’s property should speak to a Oak Lawn premises liability accident lawyer.