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 You Should Do If You Slip and Fall on Ice on Someone’s Property

Personal Injury AttorneyWinter brings with it snow, which accumulates on pavements, melts and becomes a hazard for the unwary. However, if you slip, fall and sustain injuries on someone’s property, you can file a lawsuit against them for negligence.

Who Is Responsible?

According to the Premise Liability Law, the owner of the property or anyone who controls access to it (such as a construction crew that is working on a project or tenants) is liable for any accidents that occur on it. They have a duty of care, which makes them responsible for the safety of everyone they invite on the property, as well as trespassers.

It stands to reason they also are liable for any injuries the other party sustains if they slip and fall on the premises. If that duty of care is not met, the injured individuals can take legal action and the owner must compensate them by paying damages and ensuring their properties are safe for others. During winter, this means they should ensure snow does not pile up on the premises to the point it leads to accidents.

What You Need to Do if You Are Involved in a Slip and Fall Accident

The first thing you need to do if you slip and fall on someone’s property is to visit a doctor – even if you think your injuries are minor. This is a good way to strengthen your case and your health at the same time. Some injuries can worsen if they are not treated on time and compromise the healing process. Plus, if you fail to do this or delay the medical aid, the negligent party may not be held accountable for your injuries.

Once your checkup is complete, make sure you keep the hospital bills and reports with you because they can be used to strengthen your case. With the appropriate documentation, your attorney can prove your injuries and subsequent trauma were the direct result of the property owner’s negligence.

How the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens Can Help

Personal Injury Attorney

If you slipped, fell and sustained injuries on a property in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock, or Antioch, you deserve compensation for the pain, lost wages, and emotional turmoil you are going through. The law offices of Robert T. Edens has been protecting and fighting for victims just like you for 20 years. Get in touch with us today for a consultation.

Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries in the Workplace

Workers Compensation AttorneyAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than 34,673 individuals died from fatal slip and fall injuries at the workplace, while thousands of other individuals are hospitalized on a daily basis. Therefore, slip and fall injuries and worker compensation need a careful assessment and revisit.

Types of Slip and Fall Injuries at the Workplace

A slip or fall can lead to the following injuries that are covered by or protected under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Injuries occurring on-site, or off-site as part of the job can be claimed. They include:

  • Broken or damaged knees or bones due to falling or a heavy object falling,
  • Exposure to chemicals and harmful substance leading to long-term illness,
  • Traumatic brain injuries causing paralysis, stress, or brain damage,
  • Various cuts and bruises.

Slip and Fall Prevention Policies at the Workplace

Almost all employees working in construction, trade, transportation, manufacturing, government and services industry are subject to fatal slip and fall injuries. It is important for the employer to ensure appropriate working conditions that reduce the risk of fall. Some policies include:

  • Keeping the floor dry,
  • Providing safety training to all employees,
  • Have a fall prevention manual made available to all employees,
  • Provide employees with appropriate tools and uniforms to reduce the risk of injuries,
  • Provide weather forecast for external workers

Claiming Workers’ Compensation

If an employee suffers from slip and fall injuries, their compensation – in the form of medical benefits, insurance, treatment, and future wages if an employee is not able to continue work – are governed by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Any disputes arising between employees and employers could be resolved under the guidance provided by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC), which works first as an arbitrator. Then, if unresolved, it moves the case to the circuit court. Employees can also apply for a hearing at the Appellate Court and the Supreme Court, if necessary. Under complications or first time claims, seeking support from a competent personal injury and workers compensation attorney can be helpful to recover financial claims.

If an injury occurs, a claim should be filed with the employer within 45 days of the incident. IWCC will hear the claim as an arbitrator – before the claim is sent to the court. No employer is allowed to harass an employee during the claim process. No claims are processed if an injury occurred due to employee negligence.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you wish to find out more about workers’ compensation and slip and fall injuries in Illinois, schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Illinois Slip and Fall Claims

Auto Accident AttorneyIn Illinois, slip and fall cases fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims under tort law. If you have sustained injuries due to a slip and fall caused by the negligence of someone else, then you have a legal right to initiate a lawsuit to collect compensation for your pain and suffering and recover certain expenses that you incurred, including your medical costs. You may file a case against the negligent party by hiring an experienced slip and fall lawyer, however, first, you need to obtain a basic understanding of Illinois premises liability.

What is a Slip and Fall Claim?

When a person slips or trips on another individual’s or entity’s premises and suffers injuries as a result, the personal injury case that is pursued by them is referred as a slip and fall claim. In such instances, the victim may seek to file a case against the person who is responsible for the maintenance of the property i.e. keeping it safe from dangers and hazards that can lead to an adverse incident.

How to Establish Liability under Illinois Law?

Liability in slip and fall cases is based upon proving negligence. There are different negligence laws that vary from one state to another. In Illinois, in order to establish negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the property owner owed a duty of care and failed to fulfill this duty. You must also prove a direct connection between the breach of duty and your injury. Finally, you must have sustained injuries in order to seek compensation.

Statute of Limitation

In Illinois, the statute of limitation for filing a slip and fall lawsuit under premises liability is two years. It is extremely important that you hire services of a competent slip and fall lawyer to understand what type of negligence law is applicable to your circumstance and the amount of compensation that you may be entitled to obtain.

Types of Negligence

In Illinois, there is not just a single type of negligence, but various types of negligence that may be applicable to your slip and fall case and it is critical to understand each one of them because they will decide the outcome of your case.

For instance, if it is concluded that you are more than 50 percent at fault for your injuries, contributory negligence will apply to your case. Under this law, you will be unable to collect compensation from another party. If you are found to be at partial fault, but less than 50 percent at fault for your injuries, you will be able to receive compensation but the amount will be reduced in proportion to the level of carelessness.

Finally, you can also seek justice under joint and several liability laws in Illinois. Using these laws, you will be able to pursue a claim against every party that proved to be a contributing factor to your injury for the complete amount of your damages despite the level of percentage of fault that each of these parties shared.

Procuring services of a skillful slip and fall lawyer can be highly beneficial for your case. Your attorney will initially try to reach a settlement with the property owner’s insurance company. If unsuccessful, they will devise a solid case against the negligent party and ensure that your legal rights remain protected throughout the litigation process.

If you wish to find out more about slip and fall accidents or schedule a free consultation, contact the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer.

Dealing with Slip & Fall Accidents

Slip and Fall AttorneySlip & Fall accidents are the most common reason for injuries and emergency visits to the hospitals. According to a survey held by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, falling or slipping injures more than a million people annually. Whereas, fifteen percent of the accidental deaths were also caused by slip & fall incidents. A vast majority of these incidents occur due to lack of safety precautions and subpar infrastructure in public and private workspaces. These injuries can cause minor injuries such as minor abrasions up to major injuries such as bone fractures or other injuries which could lead to permanent disabilities.

According to slip and fall lawyers, people are often unaware of their rights and how to deal with such accidents. Under the law, you are entitled to rightful compensation if your injury was caused due to the negligence of your employer or the owner of the property.

How to deal with slip and fall incidents

Once you have received medical treatment, you should consult a personal injury or a slip and fall lawyer. Using their experience and knowledge, a slip and fall lawyer will assess your case and let you know if you can hold your employer or the owner of the property liable. Essentially, slip and fall injuries fall into the category of personal injury claims. Each case varies from one another depending on the location where you slipped and fell. For instance, if you were injured at work, you could file a workers’ compensation claim.

Whereas, if you suffered a severe injury at a public place or a third person’s property, you could file a claim against them. By establishing premises liability, you can easily get compensated for your medical and emotional suffering. But in order to establish premises liability, you or your lawyer would be required to prove that your injury was caused due to the negligence of the property owner. Negligence could be reflected by lack of security signs or safe non-slippery floors. In order to prove negligence and link it directly to the injury sustained, you would require an experienced slip and fall lawyer.

For more information on this subject 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 slip and fall lawyer on this topic.

Slip and Fall Accidents in Shopping Malls

Slip and Fall AttorneyGoing for shopping in the holiday season is an activity everyone is eager about and looks forward to. Some people make plans with their loved ones to travel to the other side of the town to shop at an exclusive shopping center. Whether you are window shopping or purchasing a dress/suit from your favorite brand’s shop in a mall, you expect the premises to be free from any hazards.

Unfortunately, due to increased number of shoppers swarming shopping malls and mega stores, the safety is often compromised, leading to slip and fall accidents and causing mild and fatal injuries. Such establishments have a duty of care towards the visitors, customers, and shoppers and should make sure that the premises are safe. However, if you are injured due to a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to receive a compensation for your damages.

Common Slip and Fall Accidents in Shopping Malls

Whether you are shopping at an open-air or enclosed mall, there are certain risks that you may be exposed to during the holiday season, such as:

  • Cracked tiles, unmarked torn carpeting, or a damaged stair or ramp
  • Spilled food and drinks in and around the food court
  • Slippery floor at the entrance due to snow and ice carried by incoming visitors
  • Slick interior surfaces, including wet floors
  • Poor lighting that makes it difficult to spot a hazardous condition
  • Malfunctioning escalators
  • Items and products fallen between the aisle or on the floor, partially blocking the pathway
  • Ice and snow that has not been cleared
  • Distractions
  • Debris from tree roots, stones, or rocks around the perimeter and parking lot
  • Cracked sidewalks and asphalt

Some hazards can cause serious injuries as well. According to a report, one of the major contributing factors for slip and fall injuries is spilled liquid or food. This can be a result of inadequate maintenance as well as the lack of cleaning staff in shopping malls.

Responsibilities of Shopping Mall Towards its Visitors

The management team of shopping malls has the duty to control hazardous situations and make sure that their premises are reasonably safe for everyone. Generally, shopping malls make a contract with tradespersons, trolley collection services, cleaners, and other third parties to maintain the premises and ensure that the environment is safe for visitors.

The following are the responsibilities of shopping mall management towards the customers:

  • Placing warning signs or roping areas that are under maintenance or around new constructions, while complying with safety regulations
  • Keeping floors clean, dry, and free of spills, food, and other hazards round the clock, not just after the mall has been closed
  • Fixing hazardous problems with floors, sidewalks, and stairways, in a timely manner
  • Making sure display units are secured and shelves are stacked properly
  • Ensuring proper lighting outside, inside, and in parking areas of the mall

Personal Injury Attorney

If a shopping center breaches the standard duty of care that it owes to customers, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injuries caused as a result of a slip and fall accident. In such a case, it is recommended to retain the legal services of a reliable and knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can establish a solid case to prove your claim. Contact us at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation

Determining Liability in a Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accident

Slip and Fall AttorneySlip and fall accidents can take place practically anywhere – on an uneven sidewalk, a wet surface in a store, or a broken staircase in a commercial building. Injuries stemming from these accidents can result in lasting effects, depending on their severity. When it comes to a slip and fall accident on a public sidewalk, it can be difficult to determine who is liable for your injuries.

According to the Illinois Premises Liability Act, you can file a claim to get compensation when you sustain damages due to negligence of another person or entity responsible for the maintenance of the sidewalk. However, depending on the specific circumstances of your accident, you may face some obstacles in effectively recovering for your damages.

Duty of Care

When a person is injured on a property, the Premises Liability Act enables them to hold the property owner liable for the injury. The basic idea is that the owner should maintain the premises in a way that is responsible. If a person enters the property, the owner owes a duty of care to that person to have no potential hazards that might result in an injury.

The law dictates that if the occupier or owner knows the hazard exists, they should either warn people about it or fix it in a timely manner. In case they are unable to do that, they will be considered negligent and may be liable to pay compensation for your damages. However, merely showing that you slipped and hurt yourself on the public sidewalk will not prove that the property owner or municipality authority was negligent. In order to establish negligence, you need to prove two things:

  • The public sidewalk was unreasonably dangerous
  • The municipality or property owner should have reasonably known about the unsafe condition of the sidewalk

Establishing Liability for Public Sidewalks

In Illinois, generally, municipalities and cities are responsible for maintaining public sidewalks, and hence can be held liable for injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident. However, there are several special rules and laws that protect municipalities from personal injury claims and lawsuits, such as the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. In some neighborhoods, homeowners and residential building owners are also responsible for the upkeep of sidewalks.

Depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you may file a claim against a municipality, but you need to work with an attorney who has experience in dealing with state-level claims. In Illinois, the statute of limitations for civil actions against a government entity is 2 years, which means that you will have to work fast in order to start your case. Moreover, unlike a regular personal injury claim, you will have to file a “notice of claim” with the Attorney General and the Clerk of the Court of Claims. This must be done within one year of the incident.

Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured on a sidewalk in a slip and fall incident, you should file a personal injury claim to recover damages. It may be difficult for you to determine who is liable or whether you have a case, but an experienced Lake County slip and fall attorney can provide you with skilled legal counsel for your specific situation. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation.

Illinois Focus: Modified Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Cases

When many people hear the phrase “slip and fall” they often have an image in their mind that includes dollar signs.  While it is difficult to determine why such a commonplace accident carries with it the expectations of a very large damage award, there is little argument that such cases are big business. Before a victim can recover, however, they must understand the law in Illinois so that their expectations are equal to their potential award.  Not only can this understanding aid the individual through the litigation process, but it can also aid them in making an educated decision with regard to settlement.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a legal concept that many states have adopted in response to plaintiffs whose recovery of damages was completely barred because of traditional contributory negligence laws.  These laws essentially state that if a plaintiff shared any of the fault for the accident, regardless how little, they could not recover any damages from the (also negligent) defendant.  By adding comparative negligence as a possibility, state lawmakers provided a way for these plaintiffs to obtain a more equitable result.

In the field of comparative negligence, it is possible to have two types: pure and modified.  The latter is used in Illinois as the law applies to personal injury litigation for slip and fall accidents.  The difference between the two types of comparative negligence essentially comes down to how damages are calculated.  In pure situations, the jury or judge will calculate the plaintiff’s damages and then reduce them by the percent of negligence that was attributable to their actions.  With modified situations, the percentage of fault that falls on the plaintiff is still calculated, but it only matters if it rises to 50% or higher.  In other words, unless the plaintiff is 50% at fault (or higher), they will recover full damages.

Slip and Fall, Specifically

It is important for a plaintiff to consider where they stand in a slip and fall case, before making any decisions that might affect their final recovery or settlement amount.  If, for example, a plaintiff knows that the defendant has a potentially dangerous display in its store and the plaintiff takes an action that they know is likely to cause the display to fall, that plaintiff may be found to be partially at fault for any resulting injury by the display.  The defendant in this situation is not completely off the hook as it has a duty to create displays that are not likely to cause harm to innocent patrons.  However, the plaintiff is not 100% innocent either, if they knowingly took advantage of a defendant’s negligence.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.


Know Your Rights
Before walking into a courtroom or approaching a defendant with a settlement offer, one of the best actions an injured person can take is to speak to someone with knowledge of Illinois laws as they apply to slip and fall cases.  Do not let a corporate defendant off the hook for the negligence of its employees, or allow it to use comparative negligence principles to bully you into an unfair settlement.  If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, call the Lake Zurich attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today for a consultation.  Our attorneys can advise you and provide representation to ensure that your rights are fully protected.



Proving Your Case: Slip and Fall Accidents in Illinois

If news reports were to be believed, every person who falls down outside of their home should be able to sue the property owner for thousands of dollars in damages.  The reality, however, is not that simple.  Slip and fall accidents, while among some of the most common accidents, can prove to be complicated legal cases.  This is because in many cases, the injured party must provide evidence showing that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard that caused the injury.  If this is not shown by a sufficient amount of evidence, the property owner will not be held liable for the injured party’s medical bills.  Not all cases require this level of evidence, however, and so it is a good idea to speak to someone who has experience in this area before deciding whether or not to file a lawsuit.

When is prior knowledge not required?

Generally under Illinois law, a property owner is not liable for hazards of which he or she has no knowledge.  This is because when the laws were written, they were based on the idea that any other standard would violate the general fairness principles underlying the American legal system. However, there are some exceptions to this general rule.  Instances for which a property owner will be held liable for an injury due to an unknown hazard include hazards that were created pursuant to the regular business operations or activities of the property owner.  This is why many slip and fall accidents that occur in grocery stores do not involve a high level of proof to show that the owner was aware of the hazard.  An example of a “hazard pursuant to regular business operations” is if a store employee is stocking shelves and a jar of tomato sauce falls and breaks open in an aisle of the store.  The resulting slippery mess would be a hazard, and if a store patron were to slip and fall because of the tomato sauce, the store owner would likely be held liable for their injuries because it was their employee that caused the hazard.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C.


Know before you go

The previous example may be an oversimplification of the facts that apply to many slip and fall situations, but knowing the level of proof that is needed is key to obtaining the right amount of damages.  Sometimes, the best course of action may be to approach a property owner and discuss settlement in lieu of filing a lawsuit.  By presenting your case informally with the property owner and explaining the facts as you see them, many property owners will be open to settling in order to avoid the potential costs of litigation.  However, if an injured party walks into settlement discussions unprepared, the property owner may be able to manipulate the process and settle for far less than the injured party is entitled to recover.

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, the knowledgeable attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. can help.  We can talk with you about your case and help you from beginning to end, to ensure you receive the compensation you need to obtain adequate medical care.

The Basics of A Slip and Fall Case

In general, a slip and fall case will be brought against a defendant as a negligence action or as a statutory action under the Premises Liability Act. These cases are usually brought against the owner of the property where an individual was injured by tripping or slipping. An injured person does not automatically have the right to recover just because they have fallen on someone else’s property. The injured person (plaintiff) must demonstrate that the owner (defendant) was careless in some way and that carelessness caused the plaintiff to fall. Negligence cases require the plaintiff to show that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff, breached that duty, and caused an injury. Actions under the Premises Liability Act require the plaintiff to show that property owner/defendant failed to maintain the property in a safe condition which caused their injury.

The Defendant Owed a Duty

The duty owed to the plaintiff by the defendant depends on a host of circumstances. Usually these circumstances depend on the relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The duty owed to an individual when he visits family members at their homes is not the same as the duty owed to the same individual by a storeowner whilst he is shopping. The duty owed to an individual also depends on the circumstance that caused him to fall.

In general, everyone owes a duty to everyone else to act reasonably under the circumstances.  Sometimes this may mean placing a “wet floor” sign near the risk or raking leaves off the sidewalk. Once the plaintiff has established exactly what the duty was, he can determine whether the defendant complied with that duty or breached it. The Premises Liability Act places a duty on landowners to keep their property free from known unsafe conditions.

The Breach Caused the Fall

Depending on the circumstances, it can be tricky to determine whether the breach of duty caused the fall. Generally, in a slip and fall case, the plaintiff will come in contact with a risk and fall to the ground. This would be a very straightforward situation. Often, however, a variety of circumstances will culminate and result in an accident. Sometimes a plaintiff will have created a situation that will contribute to their accident, for example, if a plaintiff is intoxicated while on the premises, and comes into contact with an obstacle.

Illinois uses a system of contributory negligence in determining who was responsible for the injuries suffered in the accident. This means that a plaintiff can recover unless he was more than 50 percent at fault for his injuries; if he is deemed more than 50 percent responsible for his own injuries, then he may be barred from recovery. The most common defense used in a slip and fall case is the “open and obvious” defense. Here, the defendant claims that the plaintiff should have seen the defect in the property that caused their fall because it is obvious.

The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C., Lake & McHenry County Personal Injury Lawyers

The Breach Caused an Injury

A plaintiff must show that the breach of duty owed to him by the defendant resulted in an injury. It is not relevant that the injury is new. The injury can be a preexisting condition that was made worse by the fall. This is sometimes referred to as the “eggshell skull plaintiff” rule. Basically it means that everyone is protected from the carelessness of others, not only people who are perfectly healthy. Once the plaintiff shows that his injuries were due to the defendant’s carelessness, he may be awarded damages.

Filing a lawsuit in Illinois for slip and fall under a negligence or statutory claim must be done within two years of the accident. If you have been injured by the carelessness of a property owner, contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today for a free case review. We will help you seek the compensation to which you are entitled.