We Are Here For You No Matter Where You Are

  1. Home
  2.  – 
  3. Personal Injury
  4.  – Winter is slip and fall season for many businesses

Winter is slip and fall season for many businesses

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2023 | Personal Injury

Thousands of Illinois residents are seriously injured in slip and fall accidents each year, and almost all of them could be prevented. Property owners and their tenants have a duty of care to do all that they reasonably can to keep visitors and pedestrians safe, but many of them fail to meet this duty. Slips and falls often occur when ice accumulates on sidewalks or spills make store aisles dangerously slippery, which are both situations that property owners should anticipate and take steps to address. In Illinois, many business owners think of winter as the slip and fall season.

Lax maintenance and poor lighting

Property owners are also expected to maintain their properties adequately to prevent dangerous conditions from developing in the first place. Uneven paving stones, cracks and potholes can make walking extremely perilous, so repairs should be made as soon as they are noticed. The law holds property owners responsible for dangerous conditions that they should have known about as well as conditions that they did know about, so they should inspect parking lots and walkways regularly for signs of damage. This is especially true in the winter months when ice and snow can make walking even more hazardous.

Premises liability lawsuits

Failing to take these steps can be an expensive mistake. When individuals suffer harm in slip and fall accidents that could and should have been prevented, they can pursue compensation by filing premises liability lawsuits. The damages awarded in these cases can be significant when the plaintiff suffers serious injuries. In 2016 a jury awarded a Nevada woman who suffered a serious brain injury after slipping in a home improvement store $13 million. The liquid that caused the aisle to become slippery had seeped from a row of nearby planters, which the jury determined was something the defendant should have known would happen.

Reasonable care

The law does not expect property owners to know about and rectify every possible dangerous situation, but it does require them to act reasonably. When they do not, accidents, injuries and litigation are the inevitable outcome. Property owners sometimes neglect this duty because they assume that their liability insurance will cover them if they are sued, but that kind of thinking can be a costly error when slip and fall injuries are serious and damages are measured in millions of dollars.