Premises liability laws deal with injuries to welcomed persons due to dangerous conditions on a given premises. It is the duty of the party controlling the property to maintain the premises in a condition that is reasonably safe for visitors to the property, or otherwise to adequately caution visitors against conditions posing a potential risk of physical injury. In order to win a premises liability case in Illinois, a plaintiff must prove the existence of each of the four circumstances. The types of hazards and harms that may give rise to a valid premises liability claim are varied, and most frequently include accident types such as slip-and-fall incidents, staircase falls, swimming pool accidents, and in some instances, harms caused by animals, including canines. If you have suffered an injury on the premises of another, contact an attorney following the accident so that evidence can be promptly preserved.
Establishing a Prima Facie Case for a Premises Liability Claim
The prima facie case for a premises liability claim includes four distinct elements, each of which must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. These elements are:
Dangerous condition - It must first be established that a dangerous condition existed on the property. Dangerous conditions may include such hazards as unlit stairwells, unenclosed swimming pools, and slippery walking surfaces. Certain conditions created by nature alone may not be used to prove this element.
Knowledge - The owner or operator of the premises must be shown to have had knowledge, actual or constructive, of the dangerous condition. Constructive knowledge may be proven by showing that the owner or operator should have known of the danger's presence.
Failure to remedy or warn - Premises controllers must use reasonable care in discovering, fixing, or else warning visitors of the hazard’s nature and existence. In the case of a spill on a slick surface used for ambulation, potential corrective actions could include cleaning up the spill or placing a wet floor sign.
Injury - It must be established that the plaintiff suffered bodily harm as a result of the premises owner or operator’s failure to guard the safety of guests against the hazard adequately. Commonly, this is established by medical evidence proving the nature and extent of bodily harm.
If each of these four elements can be shown, the court will likely find that the plaintiff has met their burden of proof, and the defendant will be held liable.
Contact a Kane County Premises Liability Attorney
Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C. is skilled in investigating accidents taking place upon the property of another to recover the proof needed to sustain a premises liability claim. Our knowledgeable Aurora premises liability lawyers will provide quality representation throughout the duration of your case. Call 630-907-0909 for a free consultation.