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Can you take action against a property owner after an injury?

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Posted on August 10, 2020

There can be much more to a premises liability lawsuit than the commonly referenced “slip and fall” incident. In some cases, it is actually a “trip” and fall at issue. Or, an injury may have occurred due to inadequate lighting or safety rails on a certain area of a person’s property. Whenever an injury occurs on someone else’s property, the injured victim may be thinking, “Can I take legal action against the property owner?”

Like most legal questions, the answer to this question is usually “it depends.” For starters, like almost all personal injury lawsuits, a lawsuit based on premises liability must begin with establishing the fact that the property owner owed a “duty” to the injured victim. However, unlike other personal injury cases, the “duty” element is oftentimes where premises liability cases can get bogged down.

What duty, exactly, does a property owner owe to someone else on their property? Did the injured victim have permission to be on the property? Was a certain condition on the property actually the cause of the victim’s injuries? Was there something the property owner could have done to prevent the injury from occurring? These are all questions that are usually at the heart of a premises liability claim, among others.

If the facts are on the injured victim’s side, legal action may be possible. Such action could lead to a mediated settlement, or perhaps full-on courtroom litigation. Depending on the severity of the injuries involved in the case, the claim could be for thousands of dollars – or more. Anyone in Illinois who has suffered an injury on another person’s property may want to get more information about the legal options in their own unique situation.