Fall weather is taking hold all across Illinois and very soon the cold weather of winter will begin to infiltrate the city of Chicago. With winter inevitably comes the arrival of the first snow and individuals must quickly relearn how to walk and drive on wet and icy pavement. Sometimes the process of acclimating to winter weather can result in cases of personal injury.
With snow and ice soon coming to sidewalks and roads all across the city, some people may wonder who, if anyone, is responsible when individuals fall and hurt themselves as a result of such conditions. According to the Illinois Circuit Courts, property owners do not have to clear snow and ice off of their properties as a general rule. However, when people fall on ice or snow that covers improperly designed sidewalk or parking lot structures, injured parties may sue based on the bad design of the surface under the slippery substance.
Generally, property owners are protected from lawsuits based on personal injuries when those injured parties slipped and fell on natural accumulations of wetness, snow or ice. For example, if on a snowy day several patrons tracked moisture into the entrance of a store and then someone slipped on that moisture the injured party would likely not have a case against the store owner. If the slippery surface was created as a result of an unnatural accumulation of moisture, snow or ice, however, then the property owner may be responsible for the person's injuries.
Slip and fall accidents can be very painful and can result in serious injuries. However, not every slip and fall is actionable, as suggested by the information contained in this post. To understand how and why certain claims are valid and others are not, those injured in slip and fall accidents on another's property should seek out specific answers to their legal questions. The information contained in this post provides a very general overview of the law and should not be applied to specific factual situations.