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How to prove property owner negligence after a slip-and-fall

To many people in Illinois, a slip-and-fall accident sounds like just that -- an accident. Although they are not caused intentionally, that does not mean no one is at fault. A property owner's negligence can easily create the hazardous conditions that can cause a serious fall. Unfortunately, proving that a property owner is responsible for your injuries is not always a simple process.

Proving That The Property Owner Is Liable

The first aspect of a slip-and-fall case is showing that the property owner could have prevented your injuries if he or she had acted in a reasonable manner. Typically, there are three different scenarios that -- if proven true -- could lead to a premises liability settlement:

  • The property owner or an employee directly caused your injuries by creating the hazard. An example would be spilling liquid on the floor and not cleaning it up.
  • The property owner or an employee did not cause the hazard but knew about it and failed to address it. For example, an employee saw a customer spill a drink but did not clean it up in a timely manner.
  • The property owner or an employee should have known about the hazard because a reasonable person in a similar position would have recognized the hazard and addressed it.

Most slip-and-fall accidents hinge on the last scenario. Unfortunately, it is also the most difficult to prove.

Your Role In A Slip-And-Fall Claim

While slip-and-fall cases are heavily focused on the actions of the property owner, most will also take into account the actions of the victim. If you were engaging in some type of distracted, dangerous or reckless behavior at the time of the accident, it can hurt your case. The court will also consider whether you had a right to be on the property and whether a reasonable person would have noticed the hazard and avoided it.

If you were injured due to a property owner's negligence, protect yourself by working with an experienced premises liability attorney.

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