As someone travels store to store running errands and checking them off their list, they usually are not thinking about every single step that they take. There are more important things on their mind, like picking up the kids from ballet, soccer, or music classes, and what to bring to their in-laws house that night for dinner. Something that can throw a wrench in anyone’s day is a slip and fall on someone else’s property. Because people should be able to expect a reasonable amount of safety when they enter a public space, laws have been created that impose premises liability on the owners of the many shops and institutions throughout the country.
Wintry Mix with a 30 Percent Chance of Injury
During winter months, there is an undeniable increase in foot and ankle injuries due to slips on water and ice, with some hospitals reporting up to a 500% increase in emergency room visits. It is not just hospitals and doctor’s offices that are on the watch for injuries, however, as property owners must take steps to prevent accidents before they occur. Because personal injury lawsuits from slip and fall accidents can be very expensive, it is often a better business practice for a property owner to take precautions.
As customers, many people do not realize that stores take certain actions in an attempt to protect themselves from liability. While there is an added bonus that a store’s customers are better protected from harm, the decision to expend more employee time on extraneous tasks is not completely altruistic. Examples of these precautions include designating an employee to monitor entry and exit pathways, salt or sand distribution in the parking areas, and orange safety cones or signage that serves to warn patrons of potential hazards.
No Precautions, No Problem (for $$ recovery)
According to Illinois law, a property owner is responsible for ensuring that he or she has taken ordinary care to make the property reasonably safe for the use of anyone who is lawfully on their property. What this means for places such as grocery stores or other shops that are available to the public is that taking precautions to prevent injuries to customers is not only the nice thing to do, but also is required under the law. It is, of course, a free country, in that there is no law forcing a property owner to take such precautions, but what the law does do is impose full liability for injuries from accidents on such reluctant property owners.
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, call the professionals at Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. Let us answer your questions about what precautions should have been taken to protect you as a guest on their property, as well as how to obtain the relief you need to return to your busy schedule.