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Holding Property Owners Accountable: Pursuing Justice in Premises Liability Cases

Property owners have a legal duty to provide a safe property for visitors. When businesses and other property owners fail to uphold this responsibility to visitors and customers, they are putting these individuals at risk for severe injuries and other life-changing damages. Fortunately, a skilled personal injury attorney could help you file a claim if you suffered injuries due to hazardous property conditions.

A premises liability claim allows you to hold a property owner liable for the damages and injuries you suffered while on their property. A dedicated Chicago premises liability lawyer could provide guidance and help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Injuries Caused by Hazardous Property Conditions

When dangerous conditions exist on a property, an individual is at risk of suffering severe and potentially life-altering injuries. There is no exhaustive list of the injuries that an accident on a property may cause, but some injuries that often result from these accidents include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to face and head
  • Severe scarring
  • Burns, lacerations, and contusions
  • Damage to internal organs or internal bleeding
  • Trauma to back, neck, and spine

Every premises liability claim is different, but an attorney in Chicago could aid in determining available legal options for an injured person against the property owner or occupier.

What is a Property Owner’s Duty of Care?

A property owner or business has a duty of care to provide and maintain a safe premises for those who visit. This duty of care specifically extends to invitees and licensees.

Invitees and Licensees

Invitees and licensees are people who are permitted, by the property owner or occupier, to be on the property. Some examples of invitees and licensees include customers, houseguests, applicants for a job, police officers and firefighters, delivery people, and others allowed on the property for a purpose that benefits the property owner or occupier.

A property owner owes a duty of reasonable care to individuals who are invitees or those who have licenses on a property. Exercising reasonable care may include fixing conditions that may pose unreasonable risks to the invitee or licensee or warning them about dangerous conditions they would not reasonably discover. Failing to exercise the duty of reasonable care to invitees or licensees could cause a landowner to be found negligent under premises liability.

Trespassers

A trespasser is described as any person who is not permitted, by the property owner or occupier, to be on the premises. Some common examples of trespassers include individuals who entered the property to commit a crime, while committing a crime, or someone who entered without permission from the property owner.

Unlike the landowner’s duty to invitees and licensees, the duty of care owed to trespassers is less burdensome under state law. The owner is not permitted to willfully or wantonly injure any trespasser, but they are also under no duty to make the property safe for a trespasser under 740 Illinois Compiled Statutes 130/3. There are a few exceptions to this rule that could make a property owner liable, including:

  • A specific dangerous activity conducted on the property
  • The existence of an unreasonably dangerous area on the property
  • The awareness of and tolerating repeated trespassers

Property owners often use trespassing as a common defense in premises liability cases, but an experienced Chicago lawyer could provide ample evidence to help an injured person’s claim.

Partner with us, your trusted Premises liability Lawyer

If you have been injured and believe that someone else was to blame, do not try to reach a settlement on your own. You need an advocate who could stand up to defense lawyers and insurance companies, and not be intimidated into accepting an inadequate settlement.

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