Snow and ice are common causes of slip and fall accidents. However, in Illinois a property owner is typically not legally responsible for injuries that occur because someone falls on naturally accumulating snow or ice, or on a property that someone tried to clear of naturally accumulating snow or ice.
This Applies to Illinois Homeowners
The Illinois Snow & Ice Removal Act (“the Act”) establishes the responsibility of residential property owners when a slip and fall occurs due to snow or ice that they were attempting to remove from their sidewalk. According to the Act, it is the public policy of the state of Illinois to encourage residential property owners and tenants to clean their sidewalks of ice and snow after a winter weather event. Accordingly, the General Assembly determined that residential property owners and tenants should not be liable for injuries that result from their attempt to remove ice and snow in most cases. However, if the injured person can prove that the homeowner acted willfully or wantonly, then the injured person may be able to recover damages in a slip and fall case.
And It Applies to Commercial Property Owners in Illinois
The rules are similar for commercial property owners in Illinois. Generally, commercial property owners are not liable for injuries caused by naturally accumulating ice and snow. However, a commercial property owner may be liable for damages if there was a problem with the design or maintenance of the ground underneath the snow or ice.
It is important to remember that these rules only apply to the natural accumulation of snow and ice. If ice or slippery conditions accumulate because of unnatural causes, then these rules do not apply and the property owner may be liable for damages.
If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident on a snowy or icy property in Illinois, then it is important to know your rights. The law is complicated. You need to know if you have a potential legal claim and if you do then you need to know how to protect your recovery. If you think that you may be able to recover damages, then we encourage you to start a live chat with us now and to schedule a free consultation today.