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IL injury lawyerNow that the weather is warmer and days are sunnier, more children and their caretakers are flocking to playgrounds. What should be a fun day outside, can turn into a disaster pretty quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 200,000 children who are treated for playground-related injuries at emergency departments each year. Of those 200,000 children, nearly half (46 percent) are treated for severe injuries, such as fractures, internal injuries, dislocations, and amputations. The CDC also states that around 75 percent of nonfatal playground injuries occur on public playgrounds, with most occurring at schools and daycare centers.

When your child is injured while in your care or the care of others, it can be an emotionally and financially stressful experience. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help recover some of the costs and damages associated with the injuries your child sustained.

Common Playground Hazards

There are many reasons why a playground could be unsafe and dangerous for children. Most of the time, a hazardous playground is one in which the responsible property owners do not keep up with the maintenance of the playground equipment. Some common examples of playground hazards that could cause injury include:

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Il injury lawyerSummer is on its way, temperatures are heating up and many people are taking to swimming pools to cool down. While swimming pools are a fun way to beat the heat, they can be dangerous. According to the National Safety Council, there are more than 7,000 deaths from drowning that occur throughout the country each year. Most of these deaths occur to children who are under the age of 5. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of death and injury to children who are under the age of 5. Almost all swimming pool accidents are preventable, so it is important to understand what you can do if you or your child has been injured or has died in a swimming pool accident.

Causes of Swimming Pool Accidents

Swimming pool accidents are almost always preventable, which is why it can be so devastating when an accident happens. Some of the most common causes of swimming pool accidents include:

  • Inadequate lifeguard supervision
  • Lack of or inadequate markings or barriers dividing the shallow section of the pool from the deep section
  • Missing safety equipment, such as life jackets or life rings
  • Lack of gating, fencing or pool covers

Proving Negligence

To have a successful swimming pool accident claim, you must prove that the property owner was negligent and knew about certain dangerous conditions that were present on his or her property. The Illinois Civil Jury Instructions state that negligence is “a failure to do something which a reasonably careful person would do.” For example, most people would understand that swimming pools pose a danger to children and would have a fence or pool cover on the pool when it was not in use. If a child were to drown in a pool that did not have these safety features, you may be able to claim that the property owner was negligent.

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IL defense lawyerWhen it comes to premises liability in Illinois, the duty of care that property owners owe those who are on their property changes in certain situations. The level of liability you have to an occupant on your property depends on whether or not the person was a trespasser on your property. If the person was lawfully on your property, you have the responsibility of exercising ordinary care to ensure the property is reasonably safe. If the person is a trespasser, you are only responsible for refraining from willful or wanton conduct. When it comes to a child trespasser, the rules are slightly different.

What is the “Attractive Nuisance” Doctrine?

When it comes to children trespassers, the laws pertaining to the property owner’s duty of care are slightly different. Rather than having strict liability, a property owner can be accused of negligence if they knew or should have reasonably known that there was a condition present on their property that posed a risk of injury to children. The reason why there is a difference in how adult and child trespassers are treated is that children often do not have the ability to recognize certain hazards or understand the consequences of their actions.

The property owner has the responsibility of anticipating that a child could trespass and become hurt because of a condition that existed on their property. The Illinois Civil Jury Instructions state that the degree to which the property owner will be held responsible depends on the risk of injury to the child relative to the cost or inconvenience to remedy the dangerous condition that was present on the property. If the cost or inconvenience to remedy the condition is minimal, the property owner has a duty to do so.

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IL accident lawyerBeing safe or worrying about your safety is not something that often crosses our minds. Most of the time, we just assume we will be safe when we go to a store or stay in a hotel. There is an infamous saying about assuming -- mainly, that you should not do it. But by law, business has a responsibility to reasonably prevent accidents or crimes from occurring on their property. This is known as premises liability and is the responsibility of the owner or operator of an establishment. By law, we should be able to assume that we will be safe when we are walking through a parking lot or when we are shopping at a store. Premises liability cases can be complex, especially when dealing with negligent or inadequate security cases.

Examples of Negligent or Inadequate Security

When it comes to premises liability, the laws can be complex because there is so much that is left up to interpretation. The general consensus is that business owners have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for you. Examples of negligent or inadequate security include:

  • Insufficient lighting in hallways, parking garages, parking lots or stairways;
  • Lack of security cameras;
  • Broken locks or locking devices, such as key locks in a hotel;
  • Insufficient security guards or staff;
  • Insufficient visitor screening for establishments like hospitals or schools; and
  • Hiring or keeping employees with violent backgrounds.

Obviously, certain places will be more likely to experience crime or accidents when there is inadequate security. Typically places that are popular or that host a high volume of people are more likely to suffer from inadequate security claims. These types of establishments include:

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Illinois injury lawyerIn the Chicago area, the battle between the end of winter and the start of spring in the months of March and April can wreak havoc on Illinois roads, sidewalks, and points of ingress and egress at local businesses. Rain turns to snow, snow turns to rain, and sometimes precipitation however between its solid and liquid states, coating surfaces with a dangerous layer of icy slush. The city is usually dogged in its efforts to plow snow to the sides of roads and dissolve ice with salt. The same is true of most local business owners, whom, like the city government, literally have a duty to safeguard persons visiting, entering, exiting, or crossing a business’s premises.

As such, if a retailer, bar, restaurant, or other business fails to protect customers (and even mere visitors or passersby) by diligently keeping ice at bay and posting warning signs about slick surfaces, and a slip-and-fall in which personal injuries are sustained results, the business may be held liable for the injuries and other losses.

Inadequate Surface Maintenance and Signage Is Indicative of Negligence

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