Property owners are required to protect those who enter their property and to use reasonable care to do so. When you and other members of the public enter a business you should expect that reasonable care has been taken to keep you safe from an accident. Unfortunately, not every property owner acts in a responsible manner. When their negligence is the cause of your injuries, you might be entitled to significant financial compensation through a premises liability lawsuit, which could be handled by a dedicated personal injury attorney. A Joliet premises liability lawyer could provide a way forward and help you pursue compensation to pay for any losses you sustained.
What is the Premises Liability Law in Joliet?
Premises liability law is set by the Illinois Premises Liability Act, which states that reasonable care must be taken for most people that enter onto a property. The level of care, also called the duty of care, that property owners are required to demonstrate is based on the status of the person entering onto the property. Licensees and invitees must be warned and protected from hazards while trespassers have almost no legal protections.
Trespassers are people who enter the property without invitations, and against the will of the property owner. These individuals are given the lowest duty of care and are far less protected than other types of entrants. State law only requires that the property owner not engage in willful and wanton conduct. This would include creating purposeful hazards to injure a trespasser or attacking them.
Licensees and Invitees
Invitees and licensees are both afforded the same protections under state law. Invitees are individuals who come onto the property for a mutually beneficial purpose. This includes most people who enter a business, as both the property owner and the customer receive a benefit from the customer’s presence. Licensees are allowed on the property but were not always specifically invited. This may include social visits with family and friends or others who might enter the property such as mail carriers.
State law provides that property owners are required to treat licensees and invitees with the same level of care. They must keep the property free of any known hazards, such as large debris or icy sidewalks, and they are required to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. If the property owner knows of any defects, they are required to disclose them to others. A lawyer in Joliet could investigate whether a negligent owner knew of any hazardous conditions prior to the dangerous property accident.
What Are Some Common Types of Premises Liability Claims?
Premises liability claims occur frequently and can take many forms. Several types of hazards that often lead to legal action include:
- Holes in floor, sidewalk, or ground
- Defective staircases
- Hazardous substances in the air or on surfaces
- Slip and fall accidents
- Unsecured objects that cause injury
An attorney has the knowledge and resources to investigate any of these premises liability incidents in Joliet to determine if a hazard was known to the owner, was acted upon by the owner, and if there were any warnings given to the plaintiff before the injury. The civil claim will hinge on the answers to those questions.
Forms of Financial Compensation
After an injury on another person’s property, the costs of treatment can stack up quickly. A property owner should pay restitution if they were liable for the accident. A personal injury lawsuit could result in compensation such as:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
A skilled local lawyer knows how to pursue the damages that an injured plaintiff needs to get their life back on track.
Schedule a Consultation with a Joliet Premises Liability Attorney
After an accident that leads to expensive medical treatment or a physical or mental disability, your financial situation may be in peril. That could also hurt your family as a result. When a negligent property owner is the cause of these injuries, they should be made to compensate you for your troubles. An experienced Joliet premises liability lawyer could analyze your case and represent your interests in settlement negotiations or in court. Contact us today to discuss the possibility of representation.