Potholes in the Parking Lot
You’re walking across the supermarket parking lot dodging cars, and checking your grocery list when wham! You step into a pothole and fall face first on to the asphalt. You’re in pain, embarrassed, and wondering what to do next. If you have questions about your next step call Zayed Law Offices at 855.726.1616. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you.
Property Owners Have a Minimum Standard of Care
In Illinois property owners are liable for injuries sustained by their invitees when three conditions are met. These conditions are 1) the property owner knows or should have known that the condition of the property posed an unreasonable risk of harm, 2) the property owner should expect that their invitee will not discover or realize the danger, or will fail to protect themselves, and 3) the property owner fails to exercise reasonable care to protect invitees.
Who is an Invitee?
An invitee is someone who is on the property in response to an invitation to transact business. You are an invitee anytime you go the grocery store to pick up milk, the movies to see the latest blockbuster, or a restaurant to pick up takeout. If you are an invitee the property owner must ensure that their property is safe.
Unreasonable Risk of Harm
A puddle of milk in the dairy aisle presents an unreasonable risk of harm. So does an errant grape lying on the floor of the produce section. Something presents an unreasonable risk of harm if in using it properly you are likely to injury yourself. You’re likely to slip and fall should you walk on a milk covered floor or step on a grape. Whereas walking on a clean floor should not cause you to slip and fall.
Discovering or Realizing the Danger
This prong is the law saying that you should have paid more attention. You should have seen the pothole in the parking lot, that milk on the floor, or that errant grape. If you had just taken the time to observe your surroundings you would not have been hurt. If you have been injured in a slip and fall the property owner will try to use this defense.
The distraction exception is one way to overcome this defense. This exception states that even though the condition was obvious the property owner should have expected that you would be distracted. It is this distraction that prevented you from discovering the open and obvious condition that injured you. For example, parking lots can be very busy. In a parking lot it is easy to become distracted by the commotion around you. If you’re distracted you may fail to see a pothole, step in it, and fall. The property owner should have known this and alerted you to the condition that injured you.
Failure to Protect Against the Danger
A property owner can fail to protect against the danger in several ways. One way is a failure to give notice. If a property owner mops a floor and then fails to place wet floor signs they are failing to protect against the dangers of a wet floor. Property owners can protect invitees from danger in many different ways. This protection could come in the form of cleaning up the hazardous condition or simply warning customers about it. Either way the property owner must do something to ensure that you are safe.
Ice and Snow
With colder temperatures comes snow and ice. With snow and ice comes an increased fall risk when you are out and about. If you slip and fall on snow and ice you may be able to recover from the property owner. In Illinois a property owner is not liable for injuries caused natural accumulations of snow and ice. However, if you can prove that the ice or snow you slipped on is a result of unnatural processes the property owner may be liable. An unnatural process can be something as simple as the property owner plowing or shoveling their property.
Contact Zayed Law Offices
Time is of the essence in personal injury cases. Witnesses forget and evidence is lost. If you have been injured call Zayed Law Offices at 855.726.1616 or chat with us online 24/7 at https://www.zayedlawoffices.com/. Our experienced Rockford personal injury attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve.