While some slip and fall instances only cause minor injuries, the reality is a slip and fall can cause debilitating and painful injuries. The motion involved in a slip and fall puts the entire neck and back at risk, potentially causing serious injuries to the nerves, muscles, and bones in the spinal column. These accidents can also cause brain injuries as the head comes into contact with the floor. Because of the potential for severe injuries, it’s absolutely necessary for commercial properties to keep floors free of any liquids that could cause a fall. Unfortunately, not all businesses exercise appropriate safety practices and accidents occur. But, slip and fall cases aren’t as simple as many people think. Here are a few things you need to know about premises liability cases.
Open and Obvious Conditions vs. Dangerous Conditions
In nearly all slip and fall cases, the negligent party will try to claim the condition that caused the accident was open and obvious rather than a dangerous condition. Under premises liability law, if the condition that caused the accident would have been open and obvious to a reasonable person, then the property owner is not liable for the resulting injuries. We all come across open and obvious conditions regularly and almost instinctively take action to avoid the conditions. For example, if you are walking through a grocery store parking lot in the winter, it’s likely you might spot some ice on the ground and walk around or step over the ice to avoid slipping.
However, many property owners and their insurance companies will try to use the “open and obvious” concept for conditions that are not really open and obvious. If a condition is not open and obvious to a reasonable person, then it is considered dangerous, and property owners can be held liable for injuries it causes.
Comparative Fault in Illinois and Missouri
In both Illinois and Missouri, comparative fault could play a large role in your slip and fall claim. Many property owners and their insurance companies will try to assign blame to the victim and courts can find victims to be partially at fault for their injuries. If a victim is found 20% responsible for their slip and fall accident, then the negligent party is only responsible for paying 80% of the victim’s total compensation. This is referred to as comparative fault. In Illinois, victims found over 50% at fault for their accidents cannot recover anything. Without an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side, the other party will try their best to assign as much fault to you as possible to limit their own payout.
Get Help With Your Slip And Fall Claim
At The Glisson Law Firm, we’ve helped many victims with slip and fall claims. We know the tactics the other side is going to use to try to get out of paying for your injuries, and we work aggressively to make sure you get the maximum amount of compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.