Absolute safety isn’t possible. But we do expect that business owners and property owners will keep their premises in reasonably safe condition. When that doesn’t happen, and an injury occurs, the owner may be responsible for the damages.
Woman’s Fall Leads to Injury, Settlement
After filing a premises liability lawsuit against Chicago-area Brookfield Zoo in 2009, an injured woman has reached a settlement with the organization.
Although the zoo had asked the judge to dismiss Allecyn Edwards’ lawsuit, the judge denied the motion. The judge also allowed Edwards to seek compensation from the zoo’s insurance carrier. The case was subsequently dismissed after the parties reached a settlement agreement.
Edwards’ injuries arose from a fall on the concrete near the dolphin pool. Her medical bills totaled more than $25,000. The lawsuit alleged that the zoo knew that the water had eroded the surface of the concrete, and it was negligent when it failed to coat the concrete to prevent spectators from slipping and falling.
Property Owners Owe Duty of Reasonable Care
The Illinois Premises Liability Act says that “[t]he duty owed to … entrants is that of reasonable care under the circumstances regarding the state of the premises or acts done or omitted on them” (740 ILCS 130/2).
Essentially, this means that business owners and property owners must act to protect visitors from most dangerous conditions. The failure to take reasonable care includes negligent maintenance, negligent security and other unsafe conditions.
Slip-and-fall accidents can be quite serious. They can happen:
- In grocery stores and other retail stores
- On pavements and roads due to uneven terrain, snow, ice, rain and potholes
- On poorly maintained balconies, railings and staircases
- And in many other locations where customers, pedestrians and guests venture
Injuries can include broken bones, severe cuts and bruises, brain injuries, back injuries and, in the most serious cases, death.
If you or a loved one has been injured on another party’s Illinois property, consult an attorney to learn whether you can seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.