Slip and fall accidents often cause injuries
Slip and falls are common accidents that occur on another person’s premises. Some slip and falls do not lead to much of an injury, and others can be fatal. People are often too embarrassed to report such an accident, and many blame themselves for any injuries that may have occurred. However, people who are hurt in a slip and fall can pursue a Chicago personal injury case against the responsible parties.
In a recent Illinois appellate court case, the court was tasked with determining whether the defendant, a brewery, was liable for the plaintiff’s injuries even though the plaintiff was unable to prove the defendant knew about the dangerous condition.
The plaintiff was injured at a brewery after he entered the restroom and slipped on a wet surface, causing serious injuries to his back. During the trial, the plaintiff claimed that the brewery knew, or should have known, of the dangerous condition of the floor and failed to fix it. The brewery argued that the plaintiff could not prove that the brewery either caused the wet substance to be on the floor or knew of its existence. The trial court sided with the defendant, and the plaintiff appealed the ruling. The appellate court ruled that because there was no evidence about the defendant’s knowledge of the dangerous condition, or how long the wet substance had been on the floor, the defendant could not be held liable.
Evidence necessary to prove a slip and fall case in court
In a slip and fall case, a business may be held liable if the substance was placed there, either purposefully or negligently, by the owner or an employee. Additionally, a business owner can be found to have been negligent if they knew about the dangerous condition or it was there for a sufficient length of time where someone should have known. In this case, the plaintiff did not claim that the business owner created the wet substance on the bathroom floor or that he knew of the wet surface.
Because of this, the plaintiff needed to show that the business owner, in his duty to keep the brewery safe, should have known of the wet surface and corrected it before the plaintiff fell. This is called constructive notice. Often, if a plaintiff is unable to provide any evidence showing how long the dangerous condition was there, they are less likely to be successful in their claim. In this case, while the plaintiff provided testimony from friends and brewery employees, none of them provided any evidence about the condition of the bathroom. Because there was no evidence showing if the wet substance was on the floor for thirty seconds, two minutes, or even two hours, the court ruled in favor of the defendant.
Proving the necessary elements of a slip and fall can be more complex than individuals often expect; therefore, potential plaintiffs should consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can help them build their case.
Contact a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney for Immediate Assistance
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Illinois slip and fall accident, contact the dedicated attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. With decades of experience bringing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of accident victims, we will do everything we can to make sure the responsible parties are held accountable and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. You can rest assured that your case is in good hands. Call our office today at 312-924-7575 to learn more and to schedule a free consultation.