Under Illinois law, those who have been injured due to the condition(s) of another person’s business, home, or another type of property bring forth a premises liability claim— if they were legally allowed on the property. This type of lawsuit allows the victim(s) to collect financial compensation from property owners who were negligent in upkeeping their property.
Here’s a look at five of the most common types of injuries stemming from property negligence in Illinois.
Property owners are likely to have pets, and this includes both homeowners and business owners. Illinois law states that pet owners are financially liable for any harm their pet may cause another person. This does not include trespassing or individuals illegally entering a property, but it does include any other unprovoked attack.
Dogs are the most common type of pet that may bite, but other pet bites are also common and infections from animal bites can be serious enough to require a visit to the emergency room.
Burns as a result of a property-related injury is usually because of a fire that occurred. Under Illinois law, property owners are required to adhere to fire safety rules, especially if other people are allowed on the property (i.e., a public business).
Things that are considered to be fire hazards include:
- Blocked exits
- Defective fire alarms
- Faulty sprinkler systems
- Inappropriate use of extension cords
- Lack of escape route signage
- No fire extinguishers
Not only can fire hazards lead to burns from fires, but other injuries may occur when visitors are trying to evacuate the building. If there’s no clear fire escape route, evacuating the building can become chaotic and people may experience falls, bruises, and broken bones when being pushed by others in an effort to evacuate.
When thinking of the possibility of getting injured on a property, cancer may be the last injury thought of. This is because it isn’t an immediate injury, but it can be caused by any of the following:
- Carbon monoxide
- Household cleaners
- Tobacco products
- Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
It’s important to note that property owners are not held liable for all of these indoor air pollutants. Three of the main pollutants that they are usually held liable for are mold, lead, and especially asbestos.
Asbestos is known to cause mesothelioma lung cancer, as well as cancer of several other organs. All new buildings are no longer constructed with the use of asbestos, but old buildings may still contain it.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Visitors to a property can suffer serious injuries such as broken bones and fractures due to the negligence of the property owner. Property owners are responsible for defective conditions both inside and outside of their property.
Some of the most common defective conditions that can lead to fractures and broken bones include:
- Broken staircases
- Collapsed floors
- Loose shelving
- Poorly maintained sidewalks/walkways
- Raised tree roots
- Weakened ceilings
These types of injuries may also stem from inadequate security (e.g., lack of security cameras, leaving access doors unlocked, etc.) due to an intruder or violent person harming a visitor on the property.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Fractures and broken bones can be the result of slip and fall injuries, but so can strains, sprains, and even death. Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common accidents that lead to injury on a premise, and many things can be the reason.
Some examples include:
- Clutter floors
- Damaged carpets and rugs
- Icy walkways
- Unfenced pools
- Wet floors
No property is kept 100% safe 100% of the time, as that is not always realistic. However, property owners are responsible for both blocking these hazards off from the public and getting them repaired/corrected in a timely manner.
When injuries or death result from slips, falls, and any of the other injuries listed above, victims are urged to call a premises liability lawyer. This type of lawyer will make sure that the property owner is held legally and financially responsible for any injuries their negligence may have caused their visitors.
Because injuries can happen to any visitor who is legally allowed on a property— both commercial and residential— it’s important for all Illinois residents to understand premises liability laws to protect themselves legally. It’s also important for Illinois residents to know their legal rights if they have been or become injured on public property.