Cases involving injuries that happen on others’ property can be surprisingly complicated. Known as premises liability cases, these allegations require a plaintiff to prove not only that were they injured on the other party’s property, but that the property owner’s negligence contributed to the injury.

Illinois law specifically states the legal responsibilities that landowners have to protect their visitors. In short, they must take reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent an injury. A skilled premises liability attorney could work with you to understand Oak Lawn premises liability requirements and could help demonstrate to a jury that actions were taken by landowners, or even a lack of action taken breached this duty.

Concept of Duty in Oak Lawn

All premises liability cases allege that a landowner was negligent in their legal duty to protect the plaintiff. However, just like in any other negligence case, the plaintiff must first prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care. While most states examine the injured party’s reasons for being on the land prior to the injury to determine the landowner’s duty, Illinois makes the process much simpler.

Illinois law states that all landowners must take reasonable care to protect their invited guests. This eliminates the distinction between visitors who enter for a business purpose and those who enter for a social purpose that most other states require plaintiffs to make. While trespassers are still left without much protection, all invited visitors must meet the same burden of proof. Reach out to a lawyer today to learn more about the Oak Lawn premises liability requirements and the landowner’s duty of care.

How a Landowner Violates their Duty in a Premises Liability Case

Once someone can show that they were an invited guest, they must introduce evidence that the defendant’s negligence caused their injury. This can include evidence of:

  • A preexisting temporary hazard, such as a liquid spill or standing water on a floor
  • Improperly cleaned snow or ice
  • A structural defect in areas that visitors would be expected to be, such as a broken stair
  • Broken locks or poor lighting that contribute to an assault

As stated in 740 ILCS130/2, the plaintiff must demonstrate a lack of reasonable care by the defendant. A thorough investigation can lead to proof that the owner knew of the hazard before the incident and failed to take any actions to prevent a potential injury. An experienced personal injury attorney could assist victims in gathering this information.

Connecting the Injury to the Incident

A plaintiff in a premises liability case must be able to make a causal connection between the incident and their injury. This is usually a simple process. A doctor can easily document the injury and attribute it to the accident. Whether the injury consists of a broken bone, a head injury, a sprained ligament, or a deep cut, a simple trip to the ER after the incident can establish the necessary legal connection.

However, some defendants will argue that the injury was not caused by the incident. While a plaintiff cannot claim compensation for an injury that already existed, any predisposition to injury or the exacerbation of an already present condition can be part of a claim.

Plaintiffs Must Meet the Oak Lawn Premises Liability Requirements

Any claim for compensation following an injury on another party’s land is known as a premises liability claim. Illinois law specifically states the duty owed by landowners to invited visitors and that plaintiffs must meet every element of a claim when proving a breach of duty. This includes providing evidence that they were an invited guest, that they were injured on the land, and that the landowner violated their legal duty to protect the plaintiff.

An attorney could help gather necessary evidence, submit required paperwork, and demand compensation from landowners and their insurance companies. Contact an attorney today to learn more about the Oak Lawn premises liability requirements.