Premises liability law may seem cut and dry, but a simple fall at a diner won’t necessarily win a big personal injury claim. There are some clear exceptions to the law that you should be aware of before filing a personal injury claim.
According to Illinois premises liability law, businesses have a duty of care to protect their customers and provide a safe environment in which to conduct business. But the law does allow for exceptions to that liability.
The fact is a proprietor cannot be at all places at all times. And the law allows some wiggle room when a hazard in their establishment has caused an injury. The point is establishing if the proprietor understood that the hazard existed and had sufficient time to correct the hazard and or abate the danger in place. If that hazard is the result of disrepair as in the case of an amusement park ride, for instance, the question is not just if the disrepair was visible to the owner or proprietor, or if they were aware of the danger it posed. The question becomes was it foreseeable. How often was maintenance done on what is potentially a dangerous ride?
You also have to show that the hazard was not avoidable, that you or other customers could have missed its presence or the danger it posed and avoided injury. You have to show that you did not misuse the premises or create the hazard that caused your injury.
Also, if you are aware of the hazard involved and agree to participate in the activity and are injured as a result, you will likely fight an uphill battle to recover personal injury damages as a result.
For instance, let’s say you take a self-defense course and the proprietor instructs all students prior to the start of the course of the potential for sudden falls and moderate impact. If they can prove that that warning was made, whether by a signed release or by preponderance of the evidence, and you were injured by such impact or fall during the course, you may have a difficult time winning a personal injury award as a result.
Likewise, if you did not follow instructions during the course and were injured as a result, you may be out of luck when it comes to collecting damages. Let’s say, for instance, you and a friend are at a rock wall facility and decide to climb the wall without the harness that has been supplied at the start of your activities (with instructions to use whenever embarking on a climb). If in the course of climbing the wall without a harness, against instructions from the facility, you or your friend fall and break your leg, recovering damages in a personal injury claim will likely be impossible.
Even though facilities and businesses have a responsibility to protect their customers or clients, clients and customers also have a responsibility to use preventative measures to protect themselves. And when obvious hazards are visible and avoidable, you have a responsibility to avoid them.
If you have been injured at a business establishment and would like to learn more about filing a premises liability claim, call the personal injury attorneys of Bizzieri Law Offices in Chicago to speak with an experienced lawyer who can help establish liability, negotiate compensation and litigate a damage award on your behalf. We will work hard to ensure you receive the highest award to which you are eligible. Call us today at 773.881.9000.