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Illinois Slip & Fall Law: The Basics

Illinois slip-and-fall cases fall under the area of tort law known as personal injury. If you have suffered an injury due to a slip and fall, then you may be eligible to collect compensation for your injuries to help pay for certain expenses, including your medical costs.

Before you file a lawsuit, you should first have a basic understanding of Illinois premises liability. You should also schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.

What is a Slip-and-Fall Case?

A slip-and-fall case deals with injuries caused by a person tripping or slipping on another person's premises.

Usually, when a slip and fall accident occurs, the injured person will seek to file a lawsuit against the person whose responsibility it is to maintain the property. However, the property owner does not automatically bear all the fault or even partial fault for a slip-and-fall accident.

Illinois Slip-and-Fall Liability

Liability in Illinois slip-and-fall cases is based upon negligence law. Negligence law varies from state to state.

In Illinois, to prove the property owner or manager was negligent, you must first establish that the property owner had the duty to not cause you injury and failed to fulfill this duty. You must also show that there was a connection between the violation of this duty and your injury. Finally, you must suffer damages, such as medical costs.

Types of Negligence

There is more than just one type of negligence in Illinois. It is important to understand the various types of negligence that could apply to your slip-and-fall case because they may determine whether you can file a lawsuit as well as how much you may potentially be able to collect.

Contributory negligence applies if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for your injuries. Under contributory negligence law, you are unable to collect anything from another party in an Illinois slip-and-fall case.

Comparative negligence applies if you were at partial fault for your injury, but your amount of fault is less than 50 percent. Under comparative negligence, the amount that you are able to collect will be reduced in proportion to your own carelessness.

Finally, Illinois also has joint and several liability laws. Under these laws, you are able to sue every party that contributed to your injury for the full amount of your damages regardless of the percentage of fault each one shared.

Filing a Lawsuit

State statute of limitations provisions allow you two years to file an Illinois slip-and-fall case. Because of this limited amount of time, it is critical that you consult with an Illinois premises liability lawyer to determine what type of negligence law applies to your case and what type of damages you may be able to collect.

Your lawyer will likely try to settle with the property owner's insurance company. If no settlement amount can be reached, you may have to go to trial, which can be a long and expensive process.

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