When Is a Property Owner or Occupant Liable?
According to Illinois law (740 ILCS 130/2), a property owner or tenant has a “duty of care” to ensure that those who enter their property are safe from harm. This duty applies to people who are legally allowed to enter the premises, and a property owner may be liable for injuries or damages which occur if they did not take reasonable care to correct hazards or provide warnings about potential dangers. However, the owner or tenant is not required to:
- Provide warnings about conditions on the property that are already known by the guest or which are “open and obvious.”
- Alert visitors about hazards that unknown to the owner or occupant.
- Advise visitors of any threats resulting from the improper use of the property or protect against injuries that occur as a result of this type of misuse.
Steps to Take After an Accident
If an injury occurs at a business or another person's residence, victims should take steps to protect their ability to pursue compensation. If possible, the injured party should document the area in which the incident took place. This may include taking pictures or videos or getting statements from any witnesses. Gathering evidence as soon as possible is crucial, because the property owner could try to correct the hazard after the incident in order to avoid being held liable.
Victims should refuse any payments or compensation offered by the liable party at the time of the accident, because these payments are likely to be far less than the actual costs of medical treatment and other damages resulting from the injury. It is also important to receive medical care for an injury as soon as possible. This will provide evidence of the full extent of the injuries, ensuring that proper compensation can be recovered.
Contact an Arlington Heights Premises Liability Lawyer
If you have been injured while on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover compensation by showing that the owner or tenant’s negligence was the direct cause of your damages. The knowledgeable Inverness personal injury attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can investigate the circumstances of your injury and help you determine your best options for receiving the compensation you deserve. Contact our office at 847-934-6000 to schedule a free initial consultation.
About the Author: Attorney Ken Apicella is a founding partner of DGAA focusing in the areas of personal injury, employment, insurance coverage disputes, and civil litigation. Ken earned his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1999. He has been named a SuperLawyers Rising Star and a Forty Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch. Ken has written and lectured for the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education and regularly serves as a moderator at Northwest Suburban Bar Association's Continuing Legal Education seminars.