Articles Posted in Slip and Fall

Parking lot safety and pedestrian accidents in Chicago are in focus as shoppers prepare for Black Friday and the holiday season beyond.

As we reported earlier this month on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, early dark and the arrival of winter weather both increase the risk of Chicago pedestrian accidents. Nationwide, 4,378 pedestrians were killed in accidents in 2008, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatal Illinois pedestrian accidents claimed 135 lives.The holiday shopping season and parking lot hazards carry their own risk of injury. Parking lot pedestrian accidents, backover accidents and slip and fall accidents are a few of the common dangers. Premise liability accidents may also occur from overcrowding, wet and slippery floors and merchandise falling from high shelves.

Shopping and Parking Lot Tips for Illinois Drivers:

-Park in a well-lit area as close to your destination as possible.

-Close your windows and lock your doors.

-Do not leave presents or valuables in plain view.

-Remember where you parked your car.

-Shop with a friend or family member.

-Condense items into one or two bags instead of carrying many bags through the parking area.

-Purchase most expensive items at the end of the day to avoid carrying them around or leaving them in the car.

-Have keys ready when walking to your car.

-Be aware of your surroundings.

-Lock doors after getting into the cars.

-Pay particular attention when backing up.

-Follow parking lot signs and pavement markings — go with the proper flow of traffic.

-Beware loose shopping carts.

-Pay particular attention to small children.
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Bridge collapse at fireworks show sends at least 16 to the hospital
At least 16 people were hospitalized after a wooden footbridge collapsed at the conclusion of a fireworks celebration at Hidden Lake Park in Merrillville, about 45 minutes south of Chicago.

Media reports were unclear about whether it was a public park. But injured participants could have a premise liability claim against the park owner or the company that provided the fireworks display.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene, estimating that the roughly 90-foot-long bridge was full of people before it fell, according to the Associated Press as reported by Fox News.

While authorities have released few other details, it is possible that event organizers allowed far too many people onto the 90-foot wooden bridge, which collapsed about 10 p.m., just as the grand finale concluded, sending people plummeting into the water below.

A dive team was called in to pull people and items from the water and the investigation continued through the weekend. There were estimates that thousands had attended the annual fireworks display at the park in years past.

“They had to rescue quite a few people,” Ross Township firefighter Perry Herzog said in a newspaper account.

Herzog said 16 people were transported to local hospitals for treatment. He said others might have been taken to hospitals by family members.

He did not know the nature of their injuries, and said there were no fatalities in the accident. About 50 emergency vehicles responded to the scene, along with helicopter and dive teams.

Robert Walker, of Merrillville, blamed the collapse on the number of people crossing the bridge.

“It was a mass of confusion,” he said. “People were walking across the bridge when it collapsed. People were grasping and hanging onto the bridge itself.”
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Chicago accident attorneys from Abels & Annes, P.C. have settled a trip and fall claim against a Jewel Food Store in Highland Park, Illinois for a fall down injury that occurred on June 22, 2008. Our client had just parked her car and was about to walk into the store when her foot got caught in a broken and/or significantly uneven portion of the sidewalk that lead into the grocery store, causing her to fall forward onto her left hand and sustain injuries.

Our client did not see the uneven sidewalk because it was obscured in the shadow of a pillar holding up the overhang in front of the store. She was also looking forward towards the entrance doors of the store, and was distracted by the heavy congestion of scattered shopping carts in the area and other patrons entering and exiting the store. After her fall, a store manager came outside to talk to her. The manager admitted that this was not the first time someone had tripped on this area of the uneven sidewalk.

Our client went to a local hospital for left hand, wrist, and shoulder pain. After history and examination diagnostics tests were ordered, x-rays were conducted, which indicated a displaced fracture at the base of the proximal phalanx of the small finger on her left hand (fracture at the base of her left pinky finger). She was placed in a splint, her arm was placed in a sling, and she was prescribed pain medications and instructed to seek follow up care.

Cook County and Chicago Area, Illinois car and truck accident attorneys could be busy over the next weeks after heavy snow falls. Traffic times are terrible and vehicles are sliding all over the roads. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has issued multiple warnings to be very careful on the roads and to leave yourself additional time to get where you are going.

It took me close to 2 hours to travel from downtown to the North suburbs in yesterday’s commute and it took me 90 minutes to get downtown today (and I left for work at 5:45 am).

If involved in an auto accident, click here to visit our website for suggestions on what to do after a collision.

The Illinois State Police is reporting that yesterday there was a 7 car pile up on Interstate 90 just west of Plaines that was caused when a Chicago resident pulled over in the far left land to wipe snow from his windshield. A Palatine resident was injured and taken to Alexian Brothers Hospital. No other injuries were reported.

I am guessing that there will be multiple reports of accidents in Northern Illinois as snow continues to fall. Continue reading

Chicago injury attorneys from David Abels & Associates, P.C. have reached a premises liability settlement in DuPage County, Illinois. Our client was injured when she tripped and fell on a pothole in the parking lot at the Fountaindale Public Library, Bolingbrook, Illinois. She sustained a mild wrist fracture in the fall. She was taken to Adventist Bolingbrook Medical Center and followed up with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. She incurred around $5,000 in medical bills. The DuPage County trip and fall case settled for $15,000. The defendant was insured by the Hartford.

The photo below shows the condition of the parking lot. The pothole was not that wide, but it was over eight inches in depth. If you look closely at the photo, the pothole is filled with water. That made it hard for my client to see the dangerous condition. Continue reading

A Wheaton, Illinois Accident Attorney has received a good jury verdict in a premises liability case, according to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. The plaintiff fell and was hurt while bowling. It was alleged that the oil used to condition the bowling lane was too close to the foul line and the warning signs were not adequate. The plaintiff sustained a right broken leg. The defendant argued that the accident probably occurred because the plaintiff went over the foul line and then slipped.

Prior to trial, the plaintiff demanded $36,000 to settle and the defendant offered $24,000. The jury awarded $99,600 (after 40% off of $166,000 for comparative fault).

Taking this case to trial took a little “chutzpah” on the part of the plaintiff’s attorney. Slip and fall, premises liability cases are often difficult to win at trial. Further, this verdict was in DuPage County where verdicts tend to be a little conservative compared to Cook or Will County. A lot of lawyers would have taken this case, but not many would have been thrilled about taking it to trial.

The verdict was in Shirley Mills v. Manfred’s Bierstube Inc., d/b/a Wood Dale Bowl, DuPage County Case No. 05 L 172. The plaintiff was represented by George L. Acosta of Wheaton, and the defendant was represented by Matthew Burke of Heineke & Burke in Chicago. (I should add that the result is also impressive because Matthew Burke is a very good defense lawyer.) Continue reading