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Slips and falls: How to determine if you can file a claim

Most people think that slip and fall incidents can only result in minor injuries such as bruises or cuts. It’s not uncommon for someone to suffer broken bones, head injuries and other impairments in a slip-and-fall accident, however. Insurance companies are quick to follow up to find out how badly hurt you are post-incident and to ask you to sign a release.

You should see a physician about your injuries and an attorney if your condition is serious because you may have the right to file a premises liability claim — depending on the facts of your case. In general, property owners are expected to keep the premises reasonably safe for others, but exactly why you were on the property can affect your rights.

The importance of knowing why you were in the location where you fell

The attorney you see will likely ask about the reason for your presence at the location where you fell because the law doesn’t always treat invitees, licensees, social guests and trespassers differently. Invitees and social guests are there at the property owner’s behest, and licensees generally have the right to be there for some reason. 

Property owners owe a greater duty of care to those people than trespassers who are there on the property without permission — although there are times when even a trespasser has a right to file a claim. You don’t want to rule out any possibilities until your advocate has advised you.

When you’ve been injured on someone else’s premises, the unique circumstances of your case will shape whether you’re able to file a premises liability lawsuit. How much in damages you may qualify for will depend on the severity of your injuries and other factors as per Illinois law.