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Can I Pursue Compensation for a Slip-and-Fall Accident on Snow or Ice?

Posted on in Premises Liability

Il accident lawyerWinters in the Chicago area can be dangerous. Large amounts of snowfall, below-freezing temperatures that last for weeks at a time, and other weather conditions can lead to slippery surfaces that may cause slip-and-fall accidents. These accidents can result in multiple types of serious injuries, including broken bones, dislocated joints such as wrists or knees, whiplash, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, and other forms of bodily harm. In these situations, injury victims will often wonder who was responsible for an accident, and they will want to determine their options for pursuing compensation from a property owner or another party who acted in a way that put them at risk of harm. By understanding how Illinois law addresses these cases, victims can determine their options for seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Liability for Slip-and-Fall Injuries Caused by Snow and Ice

While property owners or managers are often required by city ordinances to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and other walking surfaces, the laws in Illinois provide them with some protection from liability. In most cases, a property owner cannot be held liable for their efforts to clear snow and ice from sidewalks abutting their property, and this immunity also extends to property managers, tenants, occupants, or other agents who perform snow removal work. Because of this, property owners are usually shielded from liability in cases where slip-and-fall accidents take place because snow or ice naturally accumulated.

Many cases involving slip-and-fall injuries rest on the question of whether snow or ice accumulated naturally. A natural accumulation may include snow that fell during a snowstorm or ice that formed due to cold temperatures or freezing rain. However, if snow or ice accumulated unnaturally, a property owner may be liable for slip-and-fall accidents. For example, if the gutters on a building were not properly maintained, this may have caused water to drip onto a sidewalk below, causing ice to form unnaturally and creating a dangerous slipping hazard. In these cases, a property owner may be liable for slip-and-fall injuries.

Some cases have also addressed whether a certain area is considered to be a sidewalk. While actions to clear snow and ice from a clearly-defined sidewalk between the front of a building and the street will usually be protected, immunity from liability may not apply in cases where accidents took place on other walking surfaces. For example, in a case that took place in 2018, an appeals court ruled in favor of a woman who suffered an injury after falling in a parking area behind a residential condominium in Chicago. The court determined that because this area was not considered a sidewalk, the victim could seek compensation from the condo association because it failed to properly clear snow and ice and ensure that walking surfaces were safe to use.

Contact Our Glenview Slip-and-Fall Accident Attorney

If you have been injured due to a slip-and-fall that took place on snow or ice, Gruzmark Law, Ltd. can help you determine whether you may be able to pursue compensation from a property owner or other parties. To set up a free consultation, contact our Cook County premises liability attorney today at 847-729-7660.

Sources:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2084&ChapterID=58

https://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Resources/a4c4b9ea-f118-4646-ba19-fa7bafe85f1c/125.00.pdf

https://www.illinoiscourts.gov/Resources/429e455c-f021-408e-940f-1975f565693f/1170437.pdf

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