You never expected that one fall could do so much damage. One minute you were walking, and the next you were on the ground injured and in pain.
This may be the first time that you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident. You may be confused about what to do next and unsure about how to protect your rights. However, since 1969 our experienced Illinois slip and fall lawyers have been helping people who have been injured get the recoveries that they deserve. We know how to negotiate with insurance companies, how to investigate slip and fall accidents, and how to protect your rights and recovery.
Types of Serious Slip and Fall Injuries We Can Help With
Every slip and fall injury is unique. Some of the injuries you may suffer in a fall include:
- Brain and head injuries. A skull fracture or traumatic brain injury can occur if you hit your head during a fall or something penetrates your skull. The resulting injury can be life-changing.
- Spinal cord injuries. Falls are a common cause of spinal cord injury. The impact of a spinal cord injury on your life depends on what part of the spinal cord was hurt. Permanent paralysis may result.
- Broken bones. A fall can result in any bone in your body being broken. Some commonly broken bones include:
- Hip bones. Broken hips may require surgery, hospitalization, and rehabilitation.
- Tailbones. A coccyx fracture can be painful and impact your ability to work or go about your regular activities.
- Arms and wrists. While a broken arm or wrist may heal with surgery, casting and rehabilitation, the process may be long and painful.
- Legs and ankles. Broken legs and ankles may also heal with medical treatment, but may significantly change your life during the recovery process.
- Dislocated shoulders. The pain of a dislocated shoulder may keep you out of work and away from your regular activities.
- Eye injuries. Eye injuries from falls can result in a wide variety of injuries ranging from a minor and temporary scratch to permanent blindness. Falls are the most common cause of accidental eye injuries in the United States.
- Facial and dental injuries. Pain, disfigurement, and significant financial costs can result if your teeth, nose, jaw, or other parts of your face are hurt in a fall.
- Death. Unfortunately, some falls are fatal. A death may occur soon after the fall or later because of a complication from a fall injury.
Any of these injuries can occur whenever a property owner is negligent.
Why and Where Illinois Slip and Fall Accidents Commonly Occur
There are many reasons why a slip and fall may occur. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe properties and may be accountable if you are hurt because of a problem that the property owner knew about or should have know about prior to your fall. Some common reasons for slip and fall accidents include:
- Poor property maintenance. Some examples of property maintenance issues that may result in slip and fall accidents include broken stairs or railings, unsecured carpet, and malfunctioning lights. It is harder to recover for a fall on snow or ice, but in some limited circumstances, such a recovery may be possible.
- Poor property design. Sometimes the property is reasonably maintained but there is as flaw in the design. For example, if the building is not designed according to local building safety codes or lacks reasonable safety features such as railings or lights, then the design of the property may have been negligent.
These causes can result in a fall accident on any type of property, including:
- Restaurants. Slippery floors, rushed waitstaff, or crowded dining rooms can result in dangerous slip or trip and fall accidents.
- Hotels. A dangerous fall may occur in the lobby, pool, fitness center, outdoor grounds, stairs, or other part of a hotel or resort property. If that fall is caused by the negligence of the property owners or managers, then you may have a claim for recovery.
- Gyms. Slippery equipment or floors, malfunctioning equipment, or slipshod maintenance may result in a fall at a gym or fitness center—and the property owner or manager may be liable.
- Playgrounds. Sometimes children fall on their own and not because someone else was negligent. However, other times they may fall because the playground was negligently maintained or negligently designed.
- Amusement parks. Amusement parks can be fun, but if the rides and other areas of the park are not properly maintained or designed, then they can also result in dangerous fall accidents.
- Hospitals. Hospitals are supposed to keep you safe, but the slippery floors, crowded halls, beds without handrails, and other dangerous conditions can result in a fall injury.
- Sidewalks. Sidewalks should be properly maintained. When they begin to break apart or if they are unevenly laid, however, they may be dangerous and lead to significant trip or fall injuries.
- Stores. Debris on floors, slippery floors, inadequate lighting, or other dangers can result in a fall.
- Supermarkets. Grocery stores are common places for trips and falls because of slippery floors and trip hazards.
These falls may occur on broken stairs, uneven outside surfaces, elevators, escalators, or other indoor or outdoor parts of the property. If you’ve been hurt on someone else’s property then you need to know how to protect your recovery.
How Illinois Slip and Fall Cases Work
In order to recover damages, you are going to have to pursue an Illinois slip and fall case. Therefore, it is important for you to know what insurance adjusters and attorneys know about how slip and fall cases work and about tips for being successful with your claim. Specifically, you should know:
- How to get evidence after a fall accident. Photographs, witness statements, injury reports, and other forms of evidence may help you prove who was liable for the fall and the value of your injuries.
- Why fall witnesses are important. Eyewitnesses and expert witnesses can help you prove liability and the value of your injuries.
- How to report your accident. The fall may need to be promptly reported to the property owner or manager.
- What to do after a fall. Taking the right steps after a fall accident can help make your recovery easier.
- What to do after your child is hurt in a fall. If your child has tripped or slipped and gotten hurt on someone else’s property, then you need to know how to protect your child’s rights to a full and fair recovery.
- What not to do after a slip and fall. Certain mistakes, such as failing to get medical care or preserve evidence, may make it difficult for you to recover damages.
- How property insurance works. It may be the property owner’s or business owner’s insurance company that is responsible for paying for your injuries if you’ve been hurt on their property.
- How to handle insurance adjusters. It is the insurance adjuster’s job to get you to settle your case for as little as possible. For that reason, it is important that you watch what you say to insurance adjusters.
- If you have the right to pursue a claim. If you’ve been hurt in a fall, if your minor child has been hurt in a fall, or if you are the personal representative of the estate of someone who died in a fall. then you may have legal standing to bring a lawsuit in Illinois.
- How long you have to file a case. The Illinois statute of limitations limits the amount of time that you have to file a slip and fall case. In most cases, you have two years to file a lawsuit, but there are some exceptions that general rule.
- What happens if you were also at fault for the fall. You may be able to recover damages even if you bear some legal responsibility for the fall.
- How slip and fall settlements work. Settlements are binding once they are reached, so it is important to know how to negotiate with an insurance adjuster and secure a fair settlement.
This may all sound overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. You have the right to choose an Illinois slip and fall lawyer to work for you and to help you get the damages that you deserve.
What You May Recover If Your Case Is Successful
Potential damages in an Illinois slip and fall case include compensation for your past, current, and future…
- Medical expenses. This includes all of your health care costs, including but not limited to hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, doctors’ appointments, and rehabilitation therapy appointments.
- Lost income. You can recover for any income that you were unable to earn because of your injuries. This applies if you are an employee or if you are self-employed.
- Out-of-pocket costs. If you have to pay for any expenses out of your own pocket then you may be able to recoup those costs in a settlement or court verdict.
- Pain and suffering. No amount of money will undo the physical pain or emotional suffering caused by your fall; however, it is the only way the legal system can compensate you for these significant injuries.
Our lawyers can often settle complicated slip and fall cases out of court, but we are not afraid to go to trial to protect your rights. Insurance companies know that and take our claims seriously. If you would like more information about how we may help you through this difficult time, please contact us directly at 800-800-5678 to schedule a free consultation today.