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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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Illinois injury lawyerOrdinarily, when a consumer is zooming through a “big box” retain center or other bustling store in a major shopping center, he or she only sees what is straight ahead and to the left and right. This mundane truth is despite the fact that all around are shelving units and metal pallets stacking store items from the floor to the rafters. While employees are aware of these storage devices, customers typically only become aware of them when an accident is caused by a falling store item. With items often being heavy and stored at a significant height, accidents caused by falling store items can inflict severe injuries on the unsuspecting customers below. In such instances, it is only right to hold the retailer responsible for the injuries sustained. An experienced Park Ridge premises liability attorney is well aware of this principle of liability, and will advocate for your legal rights.

Retailers Owe Customers an Elevated Duty of Care

In life, we owe one another a duty of care. This duty includes, for example, driving safely. In the law, the sphere of this duty ranges from a broad “zone” to an even broader (and abstract) area of foreseeability. Importantly, retailers owe customers a duty of care, too. This duty of care is even greater – even more serious – than the duty owed by individuals to one another.

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Illinois divorce attorneyWith freezing rain and snow in the short-term Chicago area weather forecast and throngs of last-minute holiday shoppers and merrymakers set to descend upon malls from Park Ridge to Michigan Avenue, precipitation and peregrination will meet to cause injuries. For shopping slip-and-fall victims, it is critical know that every business has a special duty to protect its customers from unsafe conditions on its businesses. When a business abrogates this duty, those that have suffered injuries and other harms and losses may rightfully seek compensation from the business for medical bills, lost income due to missed work, pain and suffering, the consequences of any short or long-term disabilities stemming from the injuries, and, depending on the specific circumstances, additional damages. While nothing can “unruin” a holiday season beset with injuries suffered in a slip-and-fall, an experienced Park Ridge personal injury attorney will be there to seek all compensation to which you are rightfully owed.

Illinois Businesses Owe Customer-Invitees an Elevated Duty of Safekeeping

Every business in the state of Illinois that makes efforts to attract shoppers onto its premises owes its customers a duty of safekeeping. Importantly, this duty is above and beyond even what individuals owe to one another on a general level in society. In the law of premises liability, a business’s customers are classified as “invitees” – a legal term that translates approximately to “special guest.” Inadequately discharging the duty owed to its invitees, a business must both actively work to protect customer-invitees from harm and post clear warning signs concerning dangers. As concerns Chicago area wintertime shopping, Illinois businesses must work to keep entry and exit areas free from ice, rain, snow, and moisture generally. This includes snow-shoveling, ice-salting, and posting abundantly clear warning signs about the presence of slick areas.

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Illinois injury lawyerWhile many individuals and families in the Chicago area have made the shift to online retailers for searching out Black Friday deals and savings, thousands upon thousands will still make in-person visits to local stores, shopping centers, malls, and other businesses. With so many people flocking to areas of commerce to acquire the most sought-after items at the lowest prices, commotion and congestion will inevitably produce accidents and injuries. Businesses, even amidst the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, have a duty to protect customers – even mere potential customers – from injuries on their premises. When you have suffered an injury on unsafe or ill-maintained premises, an experienced Park Ridge premises liability attorney will work to obtain compensation for the harms that you have suffered.

The Duty Owed by Businesses to Customers Represents an Elevated Standard

One might think that businesses deserve a break observing rules and regulations on a hectic occasion such as Black Friday. Such a conclusion would be entirely incorrect, however. Businesses, at all times – including peak shopping days or hours – are duty-bound to their customers to provide safe premises. Under Illinois law, customers, whether making a purchase or merely looking around, are classified as “invitees.” The duty owed to invitees by businesses is elevated beyond even the duty we owe to one another as individuals to refrain from intentionally or negligently causing harms.

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Illinois injury attorneyA slip-and-fall accident in or around an Illinois business may from the outside appear as a simple sequence of events. From a legal perspective, however, the question of liability for a slip-in-fall in which injuries are sustained may involve layers of complexity, depending on the presence or absence of notice of caution, employers, employees, independent contractors, and number of accident victims.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident at an Illinois bar, restaurant, grocer, store, or other business, an experienced Park Ridge personal injury attorney will assert your legal rights and determine where liability lays for the harms that you have suffered.

The Complexities of a Multi-Party Slip-and-Fall

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Illinois premises liability lawyerThough the weather is changing, as it always does to pronounced effect in Chicago this time of year, some beer gardens and back patios remain open to patrons. Such outdoor areas are popular with individuals who enjoy bringing a canine friend to watch the game with under darkening autumn skies. For public safety, importantly, both pet owners and businesses that allow pets on the premises have a responsibility to protect patrons from harm. When that responsibility is abrogated, an experienced Park Ridge personal injury attorney is there for you.

Dog Bites Are Often the Result of the Negligence of a Person or Business

Most dogs are friendly, lovable creatures. But some, whether as a result of nature, a history of trauma, or fear aggression brought on by a stressful environment, may bite, lunge, or run. A dog bite, especially by a large and powerful breed, can cause serious injuries. In addition, a lunging or sprinting dog, when making contact, may cause a slip or fall that results in injuries. When either scenario, a dog bite or dog-related slip and fall occurs, it is only right the dog owner be held responsible for the harms caused by the animal.

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Illinois injury lawyerIllinois businesses owe state residents a duty of care in protecting them from on-site injuries or exposure to hazardous chemicals or waste. This duty is above and beyond what individuals owe to one another in daily life in ordinary civil society. This is because businesses are soliciting the business of its customers in an effort to exchange goods or services for financial compensation.

A customer, in the eyes of the law, is what is known as an “invitee.” Invitees, importantly, are owed elevating safekeeping under state law. To put this duty in practical terms, the example of a grocery store – a business common to all – is helpful. With all of the people milling about a grocer’s aisles, shopping carts being pushed around (sometimes wildly by children), and some senior citizens utilized motorized shopping vehicles, it is not uncommon for there to be a spill of solid or liquid food on the store’s tile floors. Owing a duty to its “invitee” customer, the grocery store, as a business, must promptly clean up this spills and, in the process, post warning signs to alert customers of the danger of slick floors.

Businesses Owe an Elevated Duty of Care to Invitees

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