Owners of property are required by law to ensure their premises are reasonably safe for those who are permitted on them. This is especially true in the context of business owners who wish to encourage members of the public to frequent their property. The use of reasonable care is expected of most property owners, but when your injury qualifies for compensation under state law it can be complicated to figure out on your own – which is where a trustworthy personal injury attorney could assist. An Elgin premises liability lawyer could help you determine your rights and fight for any financial compensation you deserve.
What is the Premises Liability Law in Illinois?
Premises liability law was codified in the Illinois Premises Liability Act. It sets forth aspects of “reasonable care” and determines the property owner’s duties as related to the status of the person coming onto the property. The owner must fix any hazards or provide proper warning, or risk being the subject of a personal injury claim. These hazards include, but are not limited to:
- Protruding sharp objects
- Spills on the floor causing a slip and fall accident
- Holes in the sidewalk, ground, or floor
- Broken or uneven stairs
- Fallen trees in a yard
- Hazardous substances
However, almost any object or deficiency that can cause an injury is within a property owner’s purview to fix. When they fail to exercise reasonable care in protecting visitors from these hazards, then a plaintiff could file a lawsuit for damages relating to their injuries after consulting with a local premises liability attorney.
What Are the Types of Entrants in a Premises Liability Case in Illinois?
There are three types of entrants to property exist under state law: invitees, licensees, and trespassers. However, under the Premises Liability Act, the distinction between invitees and licensees has been largely erased in Illinois. While old law and existing law in some other states creates a different standard between invitees and licensees, property owners are now expected to have the same duty of care to both categories of people.
Invitees & Licensees
Invitees are those who are invited onto the premises, usually for a mutually beneficial purpose for the invitee and the property owners. This is most common in the business invitee context. For example, a person coming into a store is doing so to gain something for themselves, but will also benefit the store owner by paying money. Licensees are those who are allowed on a person’s property but were not necessarily invited. This could include friends, family members, or others who are simply visiting, but the property owner does not necessarily receive a benefit from the visit.
Invitees and licensees are entitled to the same standard of care by the property owner. State law requires property owners to ensure that the property remains free of hazards and is maintained in a reasonable safe condition. These entrants are also entitled to prior knowledge of any known defects.
Trespassers are not welcome and were never invited. They are afforded the lowest duty of care. The owner of the property only has an obligation not to intentionally injure the trespasser. This forbids willful and wanton conduct against the trespasser, such as setting traps or purposeful hazards designed to cause injury. A hazardous property lawyer in Elgin could help someone prove that they should not be considered a trespasser for purposes of a personal injury claim.
Consult an Elgin Premises Liability Attorney
Injuries caused by the negligence of property owners mighty be compensable through a premises liability lawsuit. When you are injured by another’s negligent acts or failure to warn, you should not be held responsible for the costs of your injuries, especially if you had an explicit invitation to be on the grounds. An Elgin premises liability lawyer could help you get your life back on track. Contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation.