Premises liability injuries refer to harm someone suffers while at someone else's house, a public space, or a business. Illinois property owners have a legal obligation to keep their properties safe for visitors and warn them of any known hazards or dangers. Negligent owners who do not fulfill their legal duty put visitors at risk for illness and injury. Fortunately, Illinois law permits those who suffer illness or injury from a negligent property owner to take legal action to recover their damages.
If you or a loved one has contracted a severe illness or suffered injuries because of a negligent property owner, consult with an experienced Peoria premises liability lawyer as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible for compensation. Contact the experienced attorneys at Zayed Law Offices today for a free case evaluation. When you share the details of your case, our team can determine the viability of your claim and advise you about the next steps.
Zayed Law Offices Helps Victims of Negligent Property Owners
The skilled legal team at Zayed Law Offices has ample experience in the negotiation, settlement, and litigation of personal injury cases, including premises liability claims. The firm's dedication to client advocacy and case preparation has led to millions of dollars in recovered damages for their clients. In a recent case, Zayed Law Offices recovered a $200,000 settlement for a client who injured their shoulder after tripping in a general contractor's garage.
Zayed Law Offices often reviews and takes cases other firms turn away. We recently recovered a $105,000 settlement for a client who suffered injuries after tripping over a tablecloth in a municipal building after three other firms refused to take the case. These are only examples and do not guarantee a particular outcome for your premises liability case.
Each claim has underlying circumstances and facts that add to or detract from its value. However, we can guarantee that if we take on your claim, we will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation possible for economic and non-economic losses related to your injuries.
Types of Peoria Premises Liability Accidents
Premises liability accidents include various events that lead to injuries and give rise to a premises liability claim. Serious accidents can cause broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, painful neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, etc. In the worst cases, victims of property owner negligence can face fatal injuries. Examples of types of premises liability accidents that occur in Peoria and throughout Illinois include:
Slip and Fall Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one out of five unintentional falls leads to major injuries, including broken bones and brain injuries. Elderly adults and small children face the most risk for falls because they are unsteady on their feet. Falls put close to a million people in the hospital each year, and some never return home.
When an unintentional fall occurs on someone else's property, the property owner might be liable for damages. Slip and fall accidents include several events, and the legal community includes trip and fall accidents under the same umbrella. These falls are the most common premises liability accidents.
Hazards that can lead to a slip and fall include:
- Old buildings with loose handrails, rotted wood flooring, or rotted wood steps
- Loose carpeting
- Broken tiles
- Falling objects and dangerous areas on construction sites
- Wet product spills or use, including floor cleaning products, oil, beverages, water, and food
- Dry product spills or use, including sand, sawdust, powders, hay, and granular substances
- Uneven walkways, sidewalks, and trails
- Old boat docks on the Illinois River or other bodies of water throughout Illinois
Poor Building Security
Property owners have as much obligation to maintain a safe environment outside their buildings as they do on the inside. Peoria property owners have a legal duty to provide adequate security to visitors. Security is a broad term, and its definition varies depending on potential threats and location. If you suffered injuries because of poor security, your attorney might argue the owner could have prevented your injuries if they had implemented stronger security measures.
The following are common security efforts:
- Lighting in entryways, hallways, bathrooms, and other public areas
- Lighting in parking garages, parking lots, and other outside areas
- Gated entry, sometimes with a guard shack
- Locked entries or gates that need key cards or keys
Inadequate security measures leave visitors vulnerable to third-party attacks. For example, a visitor, resident, or business owner leasing a space might get assaulted or harmed in some other way. Property owners open themselves to shared liability with the third party who harmed a tenant or visitor.
Many hazards and substances can cause a fire. New construction and remodeling require fire inspections, typically protecting tenants and visitors. However, property owners must maintain safe conditions.
For example, replacing old electrical wiring can prevent a short that could ignite a fire. Similarly, replacing proper equipment and piping can prevent dangerous gas leaks.
Candles and cigarettes are other common sources of fires. Burn victims suffer painful injuries and, in serious cases, need skin grafts and cosmetic surgery. Many victims spend weeks or months in a burn unit and face permanent scars, even after surgery. If property owner negligence leads to a fire or explosion that causes harm or death, property owners might be financially liable for the victim's damages.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that about 20 percent of dog bite victims need medical attention, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to seek emergency treatment for dog bites each year. Unfortunately, children suffer most from dog bites. Their small stature is often the same height as a medium or large dog, putting them at greater risk. Dog bites are preventable, which makes most pet owners liable for damages related to dog bite injuries in many cases.
Peoria's malls, hotels, and office buildings are examples of places where visitors encounter elevators or escalators. They provide convenience for people, especially those who struggle with mobility. Yet, property owners must properly maintain elevators and escalators to prevent accidents and injuries.
Hazards related to escalators and elevators that could lead to accidents and injuries include:
- Poor installation, including loose and missing parts
- Sudden elevator drops and escalator stops
- Poor inspection practices
- Malfunctioning elevator doors
- Side-step entrapment on escalators
Theme Park Accidents
Peoria is only a few hours from the Greater Chicago area, so you've likely traveled to Great America or one of the several other theme parks in the area. Theme park owners have a legal duty to keep their parks safe for visitors. Those who have poor maintenance and cleaning practices put visitors at risk for accidents and injuries.
Examples of negligent practices that might give rise to a premises liability lawsuit include:
- Malfunctioning lap bars or restraints
- Poor training or the failure to train ride operators and other key personnel
- Poor ride inspection practices
- Inattentive ride operators
- Failure to inform visitors of risks associated with particular rides, especially small children and pregnant women
- Failure to enforce ride restrictions for height and weight
Swimming Pool Accidents
Southern Illinois has its share of hot, sometimes humid days during the summer months. Public and private pools offer a break from the heat and great exercise for adults and children. However, swimming pools can be dangerous, especially for young children.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 6,000 children receive emergency treatment for swimming pool accidents. These figures do not include adults who suffer pool-related injuries, drown, or contract an illness from a pool. Swimming pool accidents can occur at a private home, water park, public swimming pool, or hotel.
Negligent practices that open a Peoria swimming pool owner up to financial liability after a swimming pool accident include:
- Poor inspection practices of pumps, filters, diving boards, waterslides, and ladders
- Failure to fix cracked or broken concrete and tiles in or around the pool area
- Failure to construct a fence or barrier to keep small children from wandering into the pool area
- Inadequate adult supervision or failure to provide a lifeguard
Visitor Status in Peoria Premises Liability Cases
Your Peoria premises liability lawyer will review your case to help determine liability and whom to name as defendant(s) in your lawsuit. You might sue an individual, small business, corporation, or government entity such as the City of Peoria or the State of Illinois. State law categorizes visitors into invitees, licensees, and trespassers. The obligation a property owner has towards a visitor depends on their status.
Invitees and Licensees
These groups include people who have permission to be on someone's property. Invitees include customers, clients, and others conducting business, including shoppers, spectators at sporting events, restaurant patrons, theatergoers, theme park visitors, and medical patients. Invitees also include people who attend events at public spaces owned by the city and the county. Licensees most often refer to social houseguests who someone has invited into their home.
A property owner or landowner is not automatically liable if an accident occurs, but the existence of the following three conditions opens them to financial liability:
- The property owner knew of the hazard or dangerous condition or would have discovered the hazard with reasonable care of their property.
- The visitor could not discover or realize the danger on their own.
- The property owner failed to use reasonable care to protect the visitor from known hazards or dangerous conditions.
A trespasser goes onto another party's property without explicit or implied permission. Illinois property owners do not have obligations to warn trespassers of any hazards or protect them from dangerous conditions. However, they cannot set traps or actively harm trespassers. Children who trespass have the same rights as invitees and licensees, especially if a property has a swimming pool, playground equipment, or other things that attract children. Illinois property owners could be liable for damages related to injuries if a child trespasser gets hurt on their property.
Receiving Compensation After a Peoria Premises Liability Accident
Illinois law permits you to seek compensation for damages related to your injuries if they occurred because of a negligent property owner. A Peoria premises liability lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine your eligibility for compensation.
If you have a viable claim, you could receive compensation from a settlement or jury award for the following damages related to your accident and injuries:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance and emergency services, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, radiology, surgery, prescription medication, and travel costs to and from the doctor/hospital
- Estimated future medical treatment costs when a premises liability accident leads to severe injuries that require continued treatment or permanent care in a long-term nursing care facility
- Rehabilitation costs for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other specialized treatment injured victims might need to cope with their injuries' physical and mental consequences
- Lost income from time away from work due to injuries, hospitalization, and recovery
- Estimated future lost wages when a premises liability accident leads to catastrophic injuries that prevent someone from returning to their job or force a victim to change careers
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Punitive damages if a property owner intentionally harmed the victim or demonstrated gross negligence
Get the Help You Need From a Peoria Premises Liability Attorney
Suffering serious injuries wreaks havoc on the lives of victims and their families. Knowing injuries were preventable makes matters worse. If you sustained injuries because of a negligent property owner, you have the right to fight for compensation for your losses. You do not have to do it alone. The skilled Peoria premises liability lawyers at Zayed Law Offices are here to help. Contact us today online or at (309) 518-1413 for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case and your next steps.