With ownership comes responsibility; that basic concept is the foundation of premises liability law. This requires that property owners be responsible for injuries that occur on the property. Ownership and control of the property is the first thing that needs to be determined in these cases.
In order to determine who is legally responsible for the property, we need to ask who owns the land and who is in control of the property. In many cases this will be the same party, though it’s an issue that an Illinois personal injury attorney in Spring Grove can help accident victims explore.
Determining Premises Liability after a Slip and Fall Accident
There are three classifications of plaintiff in a slip and fall or other premises liability case. The outcome of the case can depend greatly upon what classification the defendant falls into, so establishing this classification is important when pursuing damages in a property liability case.
An invitee is a person who was invited to the premises for a commercial benefit to the landowner. For example, someone who is shopping at a store has been “invited’ to be there by the owner whose goal is to make a profit from his or her patrons.
A licensee is someone who was invited by the property owner for any reason other than business. This includes friends invited for social visits. The property owner is liable for an injury to a licensee only if the licensee can prove that the owner was aware of the property condition that led to the slip and fall or other accident but didn’t take steps to fix the problem.
A trespasser is someone who is on a property without having been invited by the owner. It would seem sensible that a property owner wouldn’t have an obligation to a trespasser, and this is usually the case, but by law, an owner who is aware of the presence of a trespasser or possibility of a trespasser is still responsible for exercising basic care and safety measures to avoid harm to the trespasser.
This case often requires assistance from an Illinois personal injury attorney in Spring Grove, as there can be contention regarding whether the property owner owed a duty of care and took basic precautions.
Seeking Legal Help from an Illinois Personal Injury Attorney in Spring Grove
Premises liability law can be complicated because so many factors come into play when one person is injured on another person’s property in a slip and fall or other accident. It can be helpful to contact an Illinois personal injury attorney in Spring Grove to find out more about how the law applies to a particular case and to get advice regarding legal options in a property liability case. Call Franks & Rechenberg to set up a consultation about a premises liability case.