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IL injury lawyerWintertime can be fun for fans of winter sports, such as skiing, ice skating, and sledding. However, these sports are not without their risks. In Illinois, the temperatures can be extreme, including sub-zero days. Blizzard-like conditions may also bring heavy snow, sleet, and ice. Even just walking outside can be hazardous under some circumstances. When precipitation freezes, it creates slippery surfaces on pavement, wooden stairs, or decks. These areas can include private homes or public places such as restaurants, office buildings, or stores. If patrons, guests, or visitors slip and fall on slick walkways, they can sustain serious to life-threatening injuries. If you were hurt in this way, an experienced attorney can help you hold a negligent property owner or manager accountable.

Significant Injuries

Trying to walk in deep snow can be difficult, causing pedestrians to lose their balance. In addition, walking on ice may make a person slip and fall, landing on a hard surface. The sudden force of the impact can lead to debilitating consequences, requiring hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, or assistive care.

A few of the most severe injuries from falling on ice or snow include:

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IL injury lawyerAnyone who lives in the Midwest knows how brutal the winters can be. Illinois residents in particular have likely experienced blizzards that dumped several feet of snow in relatively short periods of time. Along with snow comes wind, ice, slush, and sleet during the winter months. Although tripping or slipping and falling outside can occur at any time, the likelihood of this type of accident is usually higher in bad weather. Just as it can be dangerous driving during a snowstorm, walking outdoors can pose its own risks, too. However, Mother Nature may not be the only one to blame. In some cases, any injuries suffered may be due to the negligence of a property owner.

Cold-Weather Maintenance

Inclement weather can wreak havoc on road pavement. That is why the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) sends fleets of snowplows out during snowy days and nights. Clearing streets is crucial to prevent cars from sliding and drivers losing control and colliding with other vehicles or even pedestrians. Likewise, it is imperative that property owners take the necessary precautions during the winter months in order to keep their guests or visitors safe. This may include plowing parking lots, shoveling sidewalks, putting salt down on icy walkways, and more. If they do not perform this type of maintenance, they may be held liable for any injuries suffered on their grounds.

Another safety and security measure that all building managers or property owners should take is replacing any broken or burnt-out lightbulbs that illuminate their grounds. Since it gets darker earlier in the winter, it can be difficult for patrons to see where they are going, causing them to slip on ice or fall in a pothole. Additionally, burst pipes can cause a flood, resulting in frozen water throughout a public area where people might be walking. Falls on icy concrete can range from minor bumps and bruises to severe head trauma and broken bones.

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IL accident lawyerDue to the COVID-19 pandemic, most eating establishments were closed except for takeout or drive-thru service. This was done to help prevent the highly contagious virus from spreading. The good news is that restaurants throughout the state of Illinois are now opening up for dining outside on patios or spaced apart inside the establishments. After being under a stay-at-home order for the past several months, many Illinois residents are flocking to their favorite restaurant or bar for a night out. However, a fun outing can have an unexpected outcome if an accident occurs. There are several ways that a dining patrol can be injured. In the majority of cases, a negligent owner or operator may be to blame. That is why it is essential that you consult with a skilled personal injury attorney to learn your options for seeking damages.

Types of Accidents That Can Occur at a Restaurant

Some of the most common injuries sustained at a restaurant are the result of slip and fall accidents. Slippery surfaces can cause patrons to slide and lose their balance. Similarly, customers may trip on debris or objects on sidewalks or aisles. The causes of these conditions can include the following:

  • Spilled food or liquid on flooring or hand railings
  • Uneven pavement
  • Poorly lit parking lots

Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, all property owners in Illinois are responsible for keeping their premises clean and safe for those who visit, or at least provide a warning if they cannot keep the area free from hazards. Restaurant and bar owners or managers can be held accountable for injuries that occur within the dining area in addition to the walkways, patio, and parking lot. In order to prove negligence, accident victims will need to show that the restaurant created the hazard, knew of the hazard, or should have known of the hazard. These rules do not apply to people who are trespassing.

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IL injury lawyerWhen people visit a store or even their workplace or apartment building, they expect to be safe and free from dangers or hazards. In Illinois, the Premises Liability Act provides stipulations for business and property owners. The law states that owners are obligated to offer a safe and secure environment for their patrons who visit their establishments. When this responsibility is not taken seriously, accidents can occur. Injuries that occur as a result of negligent actions or poor maintenance may be grounds for a premises liability claim.

Examples of Improper Security Issues

There are various ways someone can get hurt on premises that are not properly maintained. Uneven pavement or slippery surfaces can cause a visitor to slip and fall. This type of accident can result in traumatic brain injury (TBI), broken bones, and even paralysis if a person lands wrong and damages his or her spinal cord. In other instances, defective electrical or plumbing systems can electrocute an unsuspecting guest.

For many types of business owners, a combination of policy and training procedures, security systems, alarms, and guards are necessary to prevent criminal behavior that can cause injury. This can include assault, rape, and theft. In some situations, video surveillance and patrols might be better at addressing the dangers.

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IL accident attorneyMaking a quick trip to the grocery store or a favorite clothing retailer is something many people do on a weekly or even daily basis. Most shoppers do not expect to sustain an injury, but it happens more than one might think. There are various ways a customer can get hurt at a store, such as slipping and falling or having products fall on top of them. According to the Illinois Premises Liability Act, all property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for their clients or customers. Premises liability is a legal term that involves personal injury cases that are caused by unsafe or defective conditions on another party’s property. If retail owners fail to take reasonable care, they may be held accountable for damages that occur in their establishment.

Unsafe Conditions

Under Illinois law, customers are considered “invitees” and therefore are entitled to a reasonable amount of care while on store property so they are not harmed. The areas where shoppers should be safe from undue harm include parking lots, restrooms, dressing rooms, and aisles/walkways. Retailers are responsible for routine maintenance and cleaning of their stores to make sure everything is in proper working order and free from debris or hazards.

The winters in Illinois can be severe. If sidewalks or parking areas are not plowed or salted after a snowstorm, pavement can become very icy and slick. This can lead to a dangerous slip and fall accident for patrons entering or leaving a store. Cluttered aisles can also cause customers to trip and hit their heads on metal racks or shelving units. In certain cases, if too much merchandise is stacked high on a display, shelves can break, sending items flying and landing on unsuspecting shoppers. Defective parts or improperly maintained equipment such as automatic doors, elevators, or escalators can lead to a person becoming caught in or crushed by them.

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