Grocery stores, parking lots, shopping malls – slip and fall accidents happen every day across Illinois, affecting thousands in Chicago each year. Often, slip and fall accidents result in serious injuries including broken bones, sprains, and concussions. When you enter a property such as a business, you never expect to leave with life-changing injuries, and Illinois law states that property owners can be held accountable for injuries on their property. It’s all covered in the Illinois Premises Liability Act. 

slip and fall

Premises liability is a legal concept that holds landowners or occupiers accountable for any damages caused by their carelessness or negligence. According to the Illinois Premises Liability act, occupiers of a property owe visitors a duty of care; in other words, whoever owns or occupies the property owes it to his or her visitors to make a reasonable attempt to:

  • Keep the property safe and free of hazards
  • Warn entrants/visitors of any hazards

For example, a clothing store owner discovers a loose floorboard in her store. In order to abide by the Premises Liability act, she must clearly warn shoppers of the danger and find a solution to the problem. An uneven walking surface is a common cause of slip and fall injuries in the Chicago area, and if the store owner fails to mark off the area and fix the loose board, she will be held accountable for any injuries or other damages. Owners are also accountable for potentially unknown dangers that they should reasonably be aware of on their property.

Slip and fall laws in Illinois only apply to visitors who are allowed to be on the property, not trespassers. The law classifies those who have permission to enter the property as licensees or invitees. Trespassers aren’t protected by the act; by choosing to illegally trespass on the property, the trespasser forfeits his or her right to compensation. 

A licensee is someone who enters a property for reasons unrelated to business. Examples of licensees include a friend visiting for coffee or a guest at a house party. Those classified as licensees are typically on the property for social purposes, offering the owner/occupier less liability toward slip and fall injuries. 

On the other hand, invitees are on the property to conduct business. An invitee has explicit or implied permission from the owner/occupier to do things like shop for groceries or deliver a package. Invitees are protected by the Premises Liability Act, which holds the property owner or occupier liable for any injuries caused by known or unknown hazards.

The Premises Liability Act states that an owner or occupier holds no duty of care toward a trespasser. That means that if someone enters a property illegally and gets injured, they aren’t owed any compensation from the owner. 

Were you injured on someone else’s property? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, or other damages caused by someone else’s negligence. The law team at Saperstein Law Group, P.C. is here to help you navigate the aftermath your slip and fall injury and get you the compensation that you deserve. To discuss your case with a Chicago slip and fall lawyer, contact the Saperstein Law Group, P.C. to schedule a consultation.