Illinois Premises Liability Lawyers
When you visit friends, run errands, or play with your kids in the neighborhood park, you expect to be relatively safe. As long as you keep an eye out and do not behave recklessly, you expect to make it home in one piece. However, much of your safety depends on the actions of others.
You depend on the owners and managers of the various places you frequent to take care of their property. If something goes wrong, you expect the property owner or manager to fix it. Unfortunately, there are times when the people, businesses, or municipalities responsible for their respective properties do not uphold their responsibilities. Their carelessness or intentional inaction puts you and others at risk. If you are hurt because of this unnecessary risk, you need to speak with a Belleville premises liability lawyer right away.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal theory that states that property owners – or managers, operators, or tenants – may be responsible for ensuring the safety of their guests. The person or entity that has control of the property may be held liable if you are hurt while on their premises.
Property owners and managers may be responsible for individuals who have permission to be on the premises, including invitees and licensees. Invitees are people who are on the property for a commercial reason, such as patrons at a restaurant, customers at a store, and clients at an office. Licensees are not on the premises for the owner’s commercial benefit, but instead are social guests.
The legal distinction between an invitee and licensee used to matter a great deal and still does in some states. In Illinois, however, premises liability law is concerned with whether you did or did not have permission to be on the premises. If you were a lawful visitor or guest, the property owner or occupier may be responsible for your safety. If you were trespassing on the property, it is unlikely that the owner or occupier would be liable for injuries you suffered on the premises.
A Property Owner’s Duty
The person or entity with control over a property has a duty to exercise reasonable care in preventing guests from suffering injuries on the premises. This means that owners, managers, or tenants of a property must use reasonable care to detect and repair hidden hazards. When owners or managers of land find hidden dangers, they must take action to protect their guests, who may not be able to notice the hazard and avoid it. These actions may include warning guests about the danger, making the area inaccessible, and repairing the danger as quickly as possible.
There is, however, a limitation on property owners’ or occupiers’ responsibilities. If there is a hazard that is open and obvious, which means a reasonable person would perceive it, then the owner or occupier does not have to warn about or immediately repair that hazard. A property owner is not typically liable for your injuries if you failed to avoid an open and obvious danger.
If you were injured on another person’s property, you need to speak with a Belleville premises liability lawyer right away. An experienced premises liability attorney at The Cates Law Firm, LLC can review your situation and determine whether the individual, business, or municipality responsible for the property is liable for compensating you for your injuries.
Contact us today
At The Cates Law Firm, LLC, our attorneys have years of experience in representing injured individuals in premises liability and other personal injury cases. Our Illinois premises liability lawyers are here to help you during an emotional and stressful time. We will deal with the insurance companies, handle the legal aspects of your case, and fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.Contact us today at 618-277-3644 to let us begin working for you.
Common Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability covers a wide range of claims. Some of the most common claims include:
- Dog Bites — Dog bites and animal attacks are all too common and can lead to significant physical injuries, long-term emotional trauma, and far too many bills. Property owners are responsible for the dogs and other pets that they keep on their premises. They must ensure that you and other guests are safe from these pets. Whether or not the owner had any idea that a dog could be aggressive or violent, the owner could be responsible for the physical and psychological injuries that the animal causes. If you were bitten by a dog and you did not provoke it in any way, then you should speak with our Belleville premises liability lawyers about recovering compensation.
- Slip and Fall Injuries — Slip and fall claims can arise on any type of property, such as at a business, a home, or in a public space. This type of incident can occur because of standing water, a spilled liquid or gel, ice and snow, or any other foreign substance that makes a floor slippery or greasy. It can be impossible to tell that an area of the ground or floor is slick. Sometimes you suddenly lose your footing and find yourself falling. The physical and psychological results from a slip and fall can be severe. Falls often lead to broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and spinal cord injuries. Also, if you are older or have a medical condition, your injuries may be significant and have a lasting impact on your quality of life. If you tripped while on another individual’s or organization’s property, contact a Belleville premises liability lawyer.
- Trip and Fall Injuries – While slipping is often the cause of a harmful fall, tripping over objects or defects in the flooring or pathway are also common causes of falls. Trip and fall accidents can occur because of cracked sidewalks, loose floorboards, loose or missing stairs, uneven stairs, loose or ripped carpeting, potholes, cords, and debris. These accidents, like slip and falls, can lead to serious and complex injuries. If you tripped somewhere and you believe the pathway should have been clear and safe, call an attorney right away.
Compensation in Premises Liability Cases
If you were injured on another person, business, or government’s property, then our experienced attorneys at The Cates Law Firm, LLC are here to help. Once we are part of your legal team, we will thoroughly investigate the situation to determine what caused your injury, whether the danger was hidden or obvious, and who was in control of the property where the danger existed. Once we know whether you have a strong premises liability claim, we can advise you on filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.
We will also use the information gathered during our independent investigation to calculate your damages. When you suffer physical, psychological, and financial injuries because of another person or organization’s negligence, you have the right to ask for compensation for your:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Wage loss
Some of these damages are economic and easily calculated based upon your records. The non-economic damages, however, must be valued based upon all of the facts of your situation. There are a variety of methods that attorneys traditionally use to arrive at a monetary value of non-economic damages such as physical pain and emotional distress. Let our Belleville premises liability attorneys explain these various methods and calculate the potential value of your claim.
The Cates Law Firm, LLC handles premises liability cases across the entire United States and throughout Illinois, including but not limited to the communities of Belleville, Carbondale, Chester, East St. Louis, Swansea, St. Louis, Waterloo and Madison County, Monroe County and Randolph County.