When Is A Store Owner Liable For A Customer’s Injuries?

Premise Liability AttorneyRisk of Liability for Storeowners

Retailers are constantly at risk of liabilities most of which involve their customers. Generally, as property owners, they have a duty to ensure their property does not contain hazards. According to Illinois law, their customers are basically ‘invitees’ who are entitled to a reasonable amount of care while they are on said property.

So yes, if a customer is injured on their property, retailers can be held liable for damages. This can include hazards they created knowingly or unknowingly, which they failed to eliminate in a timely manner.

The Importance of Premise Liability

Areas, where customers should be safe from harm, include dressing rooms, parking lots, aisles, and restrooms. All these areas should be maintained on a regular basis to ensure they are free of hazards. If a retailer fails to do this and a customer gets injured because of his/her negligence, they can be sued.

This is called premise liability and the level of care that the retailer should have shown will depend on whether the injured party was:

An invitee – Someone who was invited onto the property for the benefit of the owner (such as customers).

A licensee – Someone who was allowed to enter the property to visit the owner for personal reasons.

A trespasser – Someone who entered the property without the consent of the owner. The property owner does not owe them a duty of reasonable care. 

The Case for Slip and Fall Accidents

The most common injuries in retail stores are usually the result of slip and fall accidents. The accident typically occurs when an individual slips on a foreign substance or because of a hazardous condition in-store. This can be from anything from spilled milk that was not cleaned up in a timely manner to broken tiles that the retailer did not replace in time. You can also sue for additional damages if the property owner did not place warning signs around such areas.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you slipped and fell in a retail store and suffered from injuries that could have been avoided, you have the right to claim compensation for your pain, suffering, and medical costs. The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens has over two decades of experience protecting the rights of accident victims such as yourself. Get in touch with us for an in-depth consultation today! Do not hesitate to reach out to us at our offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Woodstock, and Antioch, Illinois.

What is Premises Liability and How Can It Be Established?

Premises Liability AttorneyPremises Liability is a commonly used term for the responsibility held by the property owner for any injuries or damage sustained by other people on their property. Establishing liability helps the courts ascertain who should compensate the injured party in case of an accident. Although, simply getting hurt on someone else’s property does not automatically establish premises liability. There are certain conditions stated in the Premises Liability Act which need to be met in order to establish premises liability.

As the core purpose of establishing premises liability is to seek damages to compensate for the injuries incurred by the person, time is of great importance. Therefore, most people tend to acquire the services of a personal injury lawyer in order to build a strong claim to get swift justice.

What conditions do you need to meet in order to establish Premises Liability?

In order to establish premises liability, you need to meet three basic conditions:

  • The first prerequisite is the duty of care. Demonstrating and establishing that the property owner had the legal responsibility to ensure that their property is safe and does not cause harm or injury is the foremost element of any personal injury claim.
  • Once you have established the legal duty, you need to prove the breach of duty by the defendant conclusively. The negligence for fulfilling the duty to ensure safety can be reflected through lack of preventative measures. Failure to maintain a safe environment can also be construed as a direct breach of duty. As most of these cases involve slip and fall incidents, lack of maintenance of floors and subpar flooring material is often used to establish a breach of duty.
  • Lastly and most importantly, you need to connect the breach of duty to the injury incurred by you. It is extremely significant to prove that any injury or harm incurred by you was directly caused by the breach of duty. In most cases, it becomes quite difficult to connect the breach of duty with the injury or harm you have sustained as the defense lawyers try to suggest other reasons or factors for your injury. An experienced slip and fall lawyer might help you subvert the counter-arguments made by the defense and establish the connection between your injury and the breach of duty in a convincing manner.

To get further information on this topic or to schedule a free consultation, contact The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today at 847-395-2200 to speak with an experienced attorney.

Understanding the Responsibility and the Visitor Actions for Premises Liability Cases

Premises Liability AttorneyWhen you have a visitor on your property, you automatically are liable to make sure that nothing on your property may cause them a personal injury. This concept is the basis of all premises liability cases. You as a building occupant are responsible for creating a safe environment and ensuring that visitors are aware of the dangers present on the property and can avoid them with advance knowledge.

If you are a victim of a premises liability scenario, then you need the support of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Illinois to prove that the responsible person was negligent in their duty. Here are some important elements to understand for instances of premises liability.

Negligence of the Responsibility

Most premises liability cases happen because the occupants of a building/property have been negligent in taking care of the premises. This means that they leave various dangers out there which may cause a person to get seriously injured. When this happens to you, you are entitled to receive compensation due to the negligence.

However, you must pursue a case for obtaining the required compensation for a personal injury received due to the negligence of responsibility. A reputed personal injury lawyer in Illinois can help you come up with an ideal case to ensure that all your financial losses are properly communicated. This ensures that you receive the maximum benefits from the responsible party.

Duty of Care

The concept of duty of care explains how the property owners or residents are responsible for the safety of visitors present on their property. There are three categories of visitors in this regard.


An invitee is a person who has received permission from the owner to enter and use the premises. The owner is completely responsible for the safety of such individuals. If you were invited to someone’s house and suffered an injury there, you can always take legal action by applying the principle of the premises liability.


A licensee is a person allowed by the owner to visit the property in a limited capacity, such as sales agent or a worker visiting to install some equipment. The duty of care in such a case is reduced. However, most injury instances are still covered by premises liability.


A trespasser is a person who is unauthorized to visit the property. However, children cannot be included in this group and it is the duty of the owner to ensure that a child cannot receive an injury due to a facility present on the property.

Visitor Actions

Visitors can perform certain actions that result in injury. A common injury is the slip and fall accident, which mostly happens due to poor safety arrangements on the premises. The lack of security and open swimming pools are other common danger that visitors may face by simply moving in different parts of the property.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you have suffered a personal injury that may come under premises liability, you should quickly retain legal consultation in Illinois. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.

Injured on a Government Property? Here is What Should Know

Premises LiabilityLocal, county, and state governments own many properties, ranging from office buildings and schools to parks and sidewalks. Just like private businesses and homeowners, the authorities have the duty to maintain their property and make them safe for the public.

If you are injured on a public property, you can seek compensation to your damages by filing a claim against the government. However, the legal procedures for premises liability claims are different from making a claim for an injury occurring on a private property.

Governmental Premises Liability in Illinois

Government entities are responsible for making property under their dominion safe for private visitors, as well as contractors that are hired to make improvements and repairs. When a government agency fails to control or fix dangerous conditions on a property it owns, it is considered as negligence on part of that entity.

Previously, the government enjoyed sovereign immunity against such cases that rendered victims unable to seek compensation for injuries sustained on its property or inflicted by its employees. However, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) has eased this immunity, and has given people the right to bring injury claims against government agencies and their employees. However, there are several limitations to the FTCA. For instance, plaintiffs must present their claim in writing to the responsible parties, and the cases also have a reduced statute of limitations, which is 2 years.

When a hazardous condition results in injuries to a visitor, the government is liable to compensate for the damages sustained by the injured person. Damages for government tort claims may include lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and out-of-pocket expenses.

Proving Negligence in Premises Liability Claims

In premises liability cases against private property owners, the plaintiff can receive full compensation for their injuries. However, in cases involving government entities, there are limitations to the settlement amounts. Statutory guidelines exclude punitive damages in governmental premises liability cases, which can reduce the amount of compensation you may otherwise receive from a private injury claim.

To establish negligence, you must prove that:

  • The property is owned or controlled by the government entity (defendant).
  • A dangerous condition existed and caused the injury.
  • The defendant knew or should have known about the existence of the dangerous condition.
  • The defendant had a reasonable amount of time to fix, replace, or repair the dangerous condition, but did not.
  • Your hazardous conduct or recklessness did not cause the injury.

A premises liability claim may include accidents occurring on or by municipal, federal, or state property, such as:

  • Falling objects from government buildings
  • Government owned or regulated vehicles, including firetrucks, garbage trucks and police cars
  • National and state parks
  • Poor security
  • Public schools or universities
  • Public transportation injuries
  • Sidewalk or street hazards, such as construction or roadway design
  • Slip and fall accidents on government property
  • Drowning in public pools
  • Injuries at tax offices, post offices, the DMV, and more

Personal Injury Attorney

Premises liability cases against government entities entail a lot of complexities and special rules. You should consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights and navigate through the legal system. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.

Changes in the Weather: A Guide to Premises Liability for Slip and Fall Cases

As someone travels store to store running errands and checking them off their list, they usually are not thinking about every single step that they take.  There are more important things on their mind, like picking up the kids from ballet, soccer, or music classes, and what to bring to their in-laws house that night for dinner.  Something that can throw a wrench in anyone’s day is a slip and fall on someone else’s property.  Because people should be able to expect a reasonable amount of safety when they enter a public space, laws have been created that impose premises liability on the owners of the many shops and institutions throughout the country.

Wintry Mix with a 30 Percent Chance of Injury

During winter months, there is an undeniable increase in foot and ankle injuries due to slips on water and ice, with some hospitals reporting up to a 500% increase in emergency room visits.  It is not just hospitals and doctor’s offices that are on the watch for injuries, however, as property owners must take steps to prevent accidents before they occur.  Because personal injury lawsuits from slip and fall accidents can be very expensive, it is often a better business practice for a property owner to take precautions.

As customers, many people do not realize that stores take certain actions in an attempt to protect themselves from liability.  While there is an added bonus that a store’s customers are better protected from harm, the decision to expend more employee time on extraneous tasks is not completely altruistic.  Examples of these precautions include designating an employee to monitor entry and exit pathways, salt or sand distribution in the parking areas, and orange safety cones or signage that serves to warn patrons of potential hazards.


No Precautions, No Problem (for $$ recovery)

According to Illinois law, a property owner is responsible for ensuring that he or she has taken ordinary care to make the property reasonably safe for the use of anyone who is lawfully on their property.  What this means for places such as grocery stores or other shops that are available to the public is that taking precautions to prevent injuries to customers is not only the nice thing to do, but also is required under the law.  It is, of course, a free country, in that there is no law forcing a property owner to take such precautions, but what the law does do is impose full liability for injuries from accidents on such reluctant property owners.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens | IL Personal Injury Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, call the professionals at Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. Let us answer your questions about what precautions should have been taken to protect you as a guest on their property, as well as how to obtain the relief you need to return to your busy schedule.


Premises Liability: A Shop Owner’s Duty

Every time a customer enters a business, he or she is trusting that the shop owner has taken the appropriate steps to ensure that the shopping environment is safe.  Customers should not have to worry about being injured when patronizing a business, and when they are it is likely that the business owner could have taken some action that would have prevented the accident.  In these situations, it is important for the injured person to know his or her rights so that they are not left responsible for thousands of dollars in medical bills for someone else’s mistake.

What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is essentially the duty that a property owner owes to individuals on their property.  This duty requires that visitors are kept reasonably safe by the landowners.  This is especially true with public spaces, such as grocery stores or “box stores” like Walmart or Target, as they welcome the public into their privately owned space.  Common premises liability accidents include the typical “slip and fall” accidents where a customer is injured because they fell somewhere on the store owner’s property.

Proving a Premises Liability Case

In order to recover damages, both compensatory and punitive in some cases, an injured customer must prove one of three elements: (1) that the landowner knew or should have known of the hazardous situation, (2) that the danger is not easily recognizable, or that (3) the landowner failed to exercise reasonable care to protect individuals who were lawfully on the property.  In cases not involving a public space like a grocery store, it would be the burden of the injured person to also prove that they were not a trespasser on the property; but that is generally not an issue with a public space.

It should be noted that in Illinois, a shop owner does not have a duty to warn its customers of an open and obvious hazard, unless one of two exceptions is met.  If a customer is distracted and the shop owner has reason to suspect that the customer does not see the hazard, the shop owner may still be liable for injury.  Second, if a hazard is such that the advantages of encountering it outweigh the danger, the deliberate encounter exception may make the shop owner liable as well.

If an injured customer can show that he or she was injured by falling due to a hazard on a shop owner’s property, and has proof of the extent of the injury, whether the shop owner was at fault will likely be a determining factor in the amount that the customer can recover.

Law Offices of Robert T. Edens

If you or a loved one has been injured because of someone else’s dereliction of duty, call the professionals at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.  It is important to know your rights under Illinois law before discussing your situation with the shop owner or their insurance company.  We can help you learn more about your options for recovery to ensure that you can receive the care you need to heal.