Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their property and keep conditions safe. When they fail to do so and someone gets hurt, property owners, management and anyone else responsible for the premises need to be held responsible. At Coplan & Crane, we have experience helping personal injury victims dealing with property accidents in Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest and other communities throughout Illinois.
- Slip and fall accidents – sidewalks, hallways and other walking areas used by the public must be kept free of obstacles and safe to walk on, no matter what time of year it is.
- Parking lot injuries – slip and fall accidents, car accidents and other serious injuries can easily occur when parking lots are not well maintained
- Negligent security – keeping public places well lighted and safe reduces the risk of robberies and assaults
- Swimming accidents – many people, especially children, often get hurt at public and private swimming pools
If someone is injured on other person’s property, they may have grounds for what is known as a “premises liability lawsuit.” Even when the property owner clearly failed to take steps to prevent a serious injury, a premises liability case can be complicated. Often, property owners will insist they did nothing wrong, which is why it’s wise to consult with an attorney in Chicago as soon as possible.
Property Owner’s Duty
A property owner has varying degrees of responsibility for the safety of individuals who enter his or her property depending upon the purpose of the visit. There are three categories of visitors that the law recognizes to determine the extent of the property owner’s duty: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
An invitee is an individual who enters another person’s property for business purposes. In this instance, the property owner has the highest degree of responsibility for the visitor’s well-being. The owner is expected to correct known hazards and to inspect for unknown hazards.
In contrast, a licensee is an individual who enters another person’s property for social purposes. A property owner’s degree of duty is less to such a social guest than in the case of a business visitor and only requires that the property is free of dangerous elements and shows reasonable care and maintenance. There is no duty to look for unknown hazards.
The least degree of duty required of a property owner, known as “zero duty”, occurs when a trespasser enters his or her property. Trespassers are unauthorized visitors and are not subject to any safety consideration by the landowner. Although a property owner cannot purposely cause harm to a trespasser, they have little or no responsibility for the well-being of someone who enters the property without permission. It is important to note that there is a different level of consideration required when the trespassers are children. In this situation, the property owner is indeed responsible for the safety of these unauthorized visitors due to the fact that children often unknowingly cross property boundaries or are curiously exploring an “attractive nuisance” (such as a swimming pool).
Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to avoid a foreseeable harm to person or property. To prove negligence, several criteria must be met:
First, you must show that there was a duty owed from one person to another. The nature of that duty may change depending on the relationship of the parties. Typically, persons owe a duty of “ordinary care” to other people. However, a child is held to a lower standard, that being what another child would do under the circumstances, as opposed to what an adult would do. Certain professionals and tradesmen are held to a higher standard, that being what other persons in that profession or trade would do under the circumstances.
Second, it must be shown that there was a breach of that standard of care. In other words, someone failed to do what they should have under the circumstances in light of the duty owed from one person to another.
Third, it must be shown that the breach of that standard of care was the actual and “proximate”, or legal, cause of the injury. This means that the injury was the foreseeable consequence of the breach of care.
Slip and fall accidents happen far more often than many people might even realize. Every year, millions of people sustain serious enough injuries to require medical attention, especially victims age 65 and over.
When such property accidents happen because of someone else’s reckless behavior, the negligent individuals and businesses need to be held accountable. In Illinois and Chicago, slip and fall lawyers at Coplan & Crane have been helping injury victims for years with their problems. We have a strong track record for obtaining large settlements for slip and fall victims. Case results matter here. This money serves a vital purpose: helping injury victims cover the expenses associated with their injury. Someone else did something to cause your fall. They should be the ones paying your bills.
Many slip and fall accidents can be traced back to someone’s negligent actions. A janitor fails to clean up a wet floor in a supermarket or airport terminal. A shopping mall has an unmarked hazard in a dark, parking lot stairwell. Construction site hazards on a busy sidewalk are not clearly marked.
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Parking Lot Injuries
Parking lots in Chicago and throughout Illinois can be dangerous places. In an instant, someone can slip, fall and sustain a serious injury. Pedestrians can be struck by vehicles. Car accidents can also happen between two moving vehicles or a moving car and a parked car. Whatever the scenario, many people often get hurt, resulting in serious property accidents that can have a significant financial impact.
Oak Park parking lot injury lawyers Coplan & Crane have dealt with all different kinds of cases. We know how to build a solid case and how to go about getting people the compensation they rightfully deserve. If the owners of the parking lot failed to have the facility properly lighted or did not take other safety precautions, they should be held accountable. They made a mistake. You should not have to pay the bill.
Many people often underestimate the true cost of parking lot injuries. It’s not just the short-term medical bills associated with being injured in a parking lot. It’s the long-term costs – the loss of income from not being able to work for weeks or months, the pain and suffering injury victims must endure. Everything counts. And all of it needs to be taken into consideration.
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Sidewalks, hallways, vacant lots and other public and private places need to be well maintained. People should reasonably expect that they can walk somewhere and not be mugged, attacked or sexually assaulted. When they are, the owner of the property needs to be held accountable for negligent security.
In the Chicago area, Oak Park negligent security lawyers Coplan & Crane have handled many complicated cases involving property accidents. Call (708) 358-8080 or (800) 394-6002 today and discover what Coplan & Crane can do for you. We handle all types of personal injury accidents, including parking lot injuries and slip and fall accidents.
Negligent security cases can be especially complicated. The main issue is the property owner will often deny any wrongdoing. They will insist the property is safe, that they did nothing to cause your injury.
An injury due to negligent security may include any of the following contributing factors:
- Poor lighting or lack of lighting in a parking lot
- Lack of supervision of grounds
- Malfunctioning room locks in a hotel
- Unsecure boundary fencing
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People drown every day in swimming pool accidents across the country. People also lose their lives in boating accidents. Specifically, one in five drowning victims is a child 14 and younger. And among all ages, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury and death in the United States.
But drowning isn’t the only danger people face at swimming pools. People can easily get hurt in slip and fall accidents while walking near a pool, resulting in a serious head or spinal cord injury. That’s why private swimming pools are required to have fences around them. And public swimming pools must have a certain number of lifeguards on duty.
In Chicago, when swimming accidents happen, people turn to Coplan & Crane and connect with a hard-working, no-nonsense Oak Park swimming pool accident lawyer serving people throughout Illinois. We have years of experience handling such cases. That’s why we’re eager to meet with you to answer your questions and offer our advice free of charge. We offer this service because we hope you will choose to hire us to help you with your legal needs.