Slip, trip, and fall accidents can happen at any moment and often occur for reasons outside anyone’s control. However, when a person sustains injuries on a property because of a hazardous condition, the injured party could bring a civil claim against the negligent party.
Property owners must use reasonable care to keep their premises hazard-free and warn guests about the problem until they repair it. That said, when you slip and sustain injuries or losses because of a landowner’s carelessness, you may be eligible to collect compensation with a knowledgeable injury attorney. Call a South Elgin slip and fall lawyer if you need help establishing liability after an accident.
What are the Most Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Some of the most common defects leading to tripping incidents on another person’s property include:
- Wet surfaces from spills or visitors tracking in rain or snow
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Broken stairs or handrails
- Loose floorboards or defective sidewalks and parking lots
- Electrical wires and cords
- Loose or worn mats or carpeting
A hardworking attorney in South Elgin could investigate the cause of a slip and fall accident and help the injured victim collect the necessary evidence to build a solid claim for damages.
What Are the Four Elements of Negligence in Tripping Lawsuits?
Slip and fall lawsuits result from a property visitor sustaining injuries because of a hazardous condition. However, four specific elements must be present to prove the property owner was careless and, therefore, liable for the damages.
Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care
The case must show that the defendant had a duty to exert reasonable care to keep the visitor safe from harm. Property owners owe all visitors they invite onto their property the same care and must keep the property reasonably safe for them while on the premises.
Breach of Duty
A breach of duty is evidence that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard that caused the tripping incident. The defendant may breach this duty of care because they neglected to make necessary repairs or warn the guest about the defect.
The claimant must prove causation by establishing that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident and damages. The case must prove the causation component by demonstrating that the property owner could have prevented the slip and fall that resulted in injury.
The last element in a claim of this nature is verifiable damages. There is no cause for civil action when the plaintiff does not have evidence of their injuries and losses. Proof of damages often includes medical bills, witness statements, or documentation showing the plaintiff missed work due to their injuries. With the help of a diligent South Elgin lawyer, the slip and fall victim could prove these elements to the court and fight for maximum compensation.
Time Limit for Filing a Slip and Fall Civil Lawsuit
Unfortunately, the court enforces a time limit for filing personal injury cases to recover damages. According to the guidance of the Illinois Compiled Statutes 735 § 5/13-202, the claimant must commence legal action within two years of the slip and fall incident.
However, the plaintiff in slip and fall accidents does not always realize they sustained damages immediately. When this is the case, the clock begins running the day they reasonably discover the injuries. A dedicated attorney in South Elgin could handle the legal filings and ensure the trip and fall claim complies with applicable statutes.
Schedule a Consultation With an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney in South Elgin
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can leave you with severe injuries leading to long-term or permanent disabilities. When these incidents happen because of a careless property owner, you have every right to expect them to pay for the damages.
A knowledgeable South Elgin slip and fall lawyer could help you navigate the civil claim process to hold the liable party financially accountable. Call today to schedule a consultation and ensure there is time to prepare before the statute of limitations time limit expires.