Slips and Falls in Busy Stores

Personal Injury
Slips and Falls in Busy Stores

Slips and Falls in Busy Stores

Although personal injury lawsuits are often associated with car accidents, perhaps the most common type of claim is the slip and fall. The term “slip and fall” refers to an accident where someone slips, trips, or falls over a hazard on someone else’s property. This can be something as simple as slipping on a puddle of water in the aisle of a supermarket or tripping over loose merchandise that has fallen onto a floor.

Indeed, many slip and fall accidents occur in busy stores. And while a store’s ownership is not automatically responsible for every fall that may occur on their premises, there are conditions under which Illinois law does impose liability. In such cases, the slip and fall victims may recover compensation for their out-of-pocket expenses and other losses arising from their injuries.

Slip and Falls are More Complicated Than You Think

A store owner’s response to a slip and fall accident is often to claim they did not know about the hazard that caused the problem. This is not, however, a blanket defense under Illinois law. Even if a property owner lacks actual knowledge of a slip-and-fall hazard, they can still be held responsible if they have constructive knowledge.

Constructive knowledge boils down to, “The store owner should have known there was a problem by exercising reasonable care.” What is “reasonable” can itself be a complex question. In many slip and falls, reasonableness can be determined by the store’s own policies.

Large retailers like Wal-Mart and Target will have procedures in place to regularly inspect all areas of their stores open to the public. Such inspections are designed to identify potential safety hazards. If the management of the store ignored such procedures–say, they failed to conduct required checks for several hours–an Illinois court could infer the owner had constructive knowledge of any hazard that was allowed to persist during that time.

In some cases, a large store may also subcontract their cleaning and maintenance work to third-party subcontractors. These subcontractors may then be liable for any slip and fall injuries that occur due to their own negligence. A qualified Chicago slip and fall attorney can advise you further on this issue.

Slip and Falls are More Serious Than You Think

There is sometimes a tendency in the media to write off slip and fall accidents in busy stores as plaintiffs looking for an “easy payday.” But the reality is that a slip and fall can lead to serious injuries that are fatal in some cases. Some common examples of slip and fall injuries include:

  • Bone fractures;
  • Soft tissue damage;
  • Spinal cord damages; and
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Any of these injuries can require weeks or months of expensive medical treatments, during which time the victims may be unable to work and earn a living. This is why Illinois law allows victims to seek compensation not just for these economic losses but also for “non-economic” damages such as their ongoing pain and suffering.

So if you have been recently injured in a slip and fall accident at a busy store and need advice from a qualified Rolling Meadows, IL, personal injury attorney, contact SAM LAW OFFICE LLC today to schedule a free initial consultation.





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