Defective Surfaces

You expect to be able to safely walk across a surface when you enter another’s property without fear of injury. Illinois property owners have a responsibility to maintain a safe premise free from dangerous conditions or hazards. When a surface is defective because of construction, wet floors or harmful debris a person can sustain serious injuries. 

Defective surfaces can range from an uneven sidewalk to sinkholes. Regardless of whatever the condition is, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to notify people on their property and fix it in a timely manner. If you’ve sustained injures because of a defective surface, it’s imperative you seek an experienced personal injury attorney.

Chicago Attorneys for Defective Surfaces in Illinois

We understand how hard it is to handle legal issues while recovering from an injury. That is why the attorneys at Susan E. Loggans & Associates want to help you. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can examine you case, file a claim and litigate on your behalf in court. 

Call us now at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a sit down with a skilled lawyer. We can answer all your legal questions and help you get the compensation you deserve. Our offices are in Chicago, but we practice throughout the Cook County area including Evanston, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg and Des Plaines. 

Overview of Defective Surfaces in Illinois 

Examples of Dangerous Property Conditions

Defective surfaces can happen anywhere from commercial retail buildings to someone’s personal home. There are many different types of conditions that can make a surface hazardous, including but not limited to: 

  • Uneven pavements;
  • Overgrown or raised tree roots;
  • Elevator or escalator failures;
  • Electronic wires across a surface;
  • Wet floors;
  • Frozen pavements;
  • Elevator Gaps;
  • Broken, uneven or missing steps;
  • Chipped floor tiles;
  • Rotting wood on a sea deck;
  • Wrinkled or unsteady carpets;
  • Warped wood flooring;
  • Potholes;
  • Lack of proper fencing;
  • Lack of proper coverage; and
  • Broken or chipped stair

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Possible Injuries from Defective Premises in Illinois

A defective surface could lead to serious injuries depending on the circumstances. Some have reported traumatic head injuries after a slip and fall, while others suffer from broken bones or possible lacerations because of a defective surface. No matter the circumstances, no one should be injured when they are simply walking across another’s property.

Listed below are some various injuries a person could sustain from a defective surface.

  • Concussions;
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
  • Lacerations;
  • Abrasions;
  • Electrical burns;
  • Broken bones;
  • Paralysis or partial paralysis;
  • Hip injuries;
  • Shoulder dislocation or strain;
  • Pulled muscles;
  • Knee damage;
  • Nerve damage; and
  • Sprained ankles or wrists

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Should I File a Lawsuit Because I Fell on A Defective Surface?

If you have been injured on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions, you should consider speaking to an attorney to file a premise liability lawsuit. Property owners in Illinois must advise people on their property of hazardous conditions as well as remedy those defects in a relatively speedy manner. Failure to do either of those things will mean the property owner’s negligence was the cause of your injury.

You can draft and file a complaint to the court and notify the property owner demanding compensation for your injuries. If your claim is contested, you will then have to collect evidence that supports your claim. You can utilize medical bills, eye-witness statements, photos of the scene and other relevant information in and outside of court to prove the property owner was negligent.

As a plaintiff, you must show that: 

  • The defendant owned the property;
  • The property’s surface had conditions which would be considered defective;
  • The defendant had enough time to warn others of the hazard or to completely repair the defective surface, but chose not to;
  • The unsafe or dangerous conditions led to your injury;
  • The injury caused you significant financial, emotional or physical distress

If you persuade the court, then you will be compensated for your damages. Damages is a legal term referring to any losses you’ve experienced because of your injury. These losses can be financial such as medical bills, but they can also be for emotional losses such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium. 

Listed below are some damages your settlement may cover. 

  • Medical expenses;
  • Physical therapy bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future earnings;
  • Counseling;
  • Loss of consortium;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of quality of life

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How Long Do I Have to File a Claim in Illinois?

Personal injury claims have a statute of limitations which is essentially a deadline for the plaintiff to file a claim. If you file a claim past the statute of limitations, the courts will automatically declare it void. This is to protect the integrity of the court, so people aren’t filing claims for injuries that happened years and years ago. 

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for civil claims is two years from the date you were injured or the date you discovered your injury. This means you only have two years to collect enough evidence and draft a claim which reflects all the damages you’ve suffered. That is why it’s recommended you seek an experienced personal injury attorney because once your chance is up you can no longer collect compensation for your injuries.

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Additional Resources

National Floor Safety Institute – Visit the official website for the National Floor and Safety Institute (NFSI), a non-profit organization whose mission is to aid the prevention of slips, trips and falls through research, education and changing standards for property owners.

Slip and Falls: Are You Covered? – Visit the official website for the Insurance Information Institute (III) to learn more about insurance liability and slip and falls. Access the article to see how a slip and fall could be covered on your insurance and who’s liable if someone trips on a dangerous surface.

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Personal Injury Attorney for Dangerous Premises in Cook County, IL

A fall may not seem like a huge deal to some, but it can lead to devastating injuries that cost you thousands. Instead of handling all of this on your own we recommend you contact Susan E. Loggans & Associates. The personal injury attorneys at Susan E. Loggans & Associates have the experience you need to win your case. Contact us now and we will uncover all your legal options.

Call Susan E. Loggans & Associates at (312) 201-8600 to schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Our attorneys litigate for people throughout the Chicago metropolitan area including Des Plaines, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights and Evanston.

This article was last updated on May 31, 2019.