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What Has to Be Proven in a Slip and Fall Case?

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Posted on November 28, 2023

The National Floor Safety Institute estimates slip and fall accidents account for approximately 20% of all hospital emergency room visits annually. With a hospital visit in Illinois costing an average of $1,818 before insurance, it is clear victims of slips and falls caused by another’s negligence need more than medical treatment.

Recovering financial compensation following a slip and fall accident is not guaranteed, however. If the owner of the property where the accident happened will not settle with you, compensation depends on your ability to prove your case. Proving that you were hurt on the owner’s property is just one part of a successful claim for damages.

Elements of an Illinois Slip and Fall Claim

Four factual assertions, or elements, must be true for you to be legally entitled to compensation following a slip and fall. These elements are as follows:

You Were an Invitee or a Licensee on the Property

Property owners owe legal duties to individuals who are expressly invited to the property or permitted to be there. If you are trespassing, the property owner does not owe any legal obligation to you other than not to willfully or wantonly endanger your safety.

The Property Owner Failed to Fulfill Their Legal Obligations

The law requires property owners to exercise reasonable care in making their properties safe for invitees and licensees. This includes warning those who lawfully come onto the property of dangers the owner knows about and those they should reasonably be expected to know about.

The Owner’s Failure Caused Your Injuries

There must be a cause-and-effect connection between the owner’s failure to do what the law requires and your injury. In most cases, this means showing that you slipped and fell because of a hazard the property owner knew about or should have known about.

Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law means that if you are 50% or more responsible for your accident, you will not be entitled to recover any damages. However, so long as the property owner’s failure is the primary cause of the slip and fall, you will be entitled to recover some compensation from them.

You Suffered Some Financial, Physical, or Other Injury

Lastly, you must prove that you sustained an injury that can be compensated through financial damages. This can include medical bills, lost wages, emotional harm, and having to experience the pain of physical injuries. So long as the property owner’s legal omissions primarily cause the injury or loss and can be compensated by a determinable sum of money, you can recover financial damages for the loss.

Seek Help From a Personal Injury Lawyer in Springfield

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a slip and fall accident, an experienced Springfield personal injury lawyer can be of invaluable assistance. Aside from preparing your claim, an attorney can help you investigate your claim, gather evidence, and reach a fair resolution to your case.