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Chicago premises liability attorneysThe basic concept of premises liability means that a property owner can be held liable for injuries occurring on his or her property. In most personal injury cases involving premises liability, however, the injured party must show the owner or occupier of the property was negligent or committed a willful act that caused the injuries. Such cases often hinge on the idea of foreseeability and whether the owner of the property should have reasonably expected the consequences that occurred as a result of his or her negligence or actions.

Understanding Foreseeability

In a retail setting, for example, if a store employee mops a floor and fails to place “wet floor” warning signs, a slip and fall injury would almost certainly be foreseeable. Slip and fall accidents are common on wet floors, and store employees are expected to take precautions to prevent injuries. The responsibility for the injury would likely extend to store management or ownership for unsafe practices.

Conversely, consider an example in a grocery store that carries a particular brand of salad dressing containing peanuts. The dressing is packaged in glass bottles. A child running through the aisles of the store knocks a bottle of the shelf, and it explodes on the floor, splashing dressing into the eyes of nearby shopper who happens to have a severe peanut allergy. If the shopper then experiences an allergic reaction and is injured, he or she may try to hold the store owner liable. However, the store owner would certainly be able to argue that there was no way to foresee such an unusual combination of circumstances and that the shopper’s injuries were not due to negligence or actions on the part of the owner.

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Chicago personal injury attorneysAs winter weather becomes more prevalent in the city of Chicago, citizens and property owners alike are preparing for the season. Unpredictable weather conditions coinciding with the lake effect can cause an unsafe environment. Sleet, snow, and ice can lead to pedestrians sustaining serious injuries, such as broken bones, sprains, and head trauma. At Livas Law Group, A Division of Kralovec, Jambois & Schwartz, we understand the challenges that a slip and fall injury can cause an individual and their family. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury due to the weather conditions, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney.

Who is Responsible for Snow and Ice Removal in Chicago?

Many people rely on public transit or walking as their primary method of travel in Chicago. As snow, sleet, and ice start to accumulate on the ground, streets and sidewalks can become a dangerous place for pedestrians and motorists. According to the Municipal Code of Chicago (4-4-310 and 10-8-180), the responsibility of snow and ice removal falls on property owners and occupants. Every owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or other person that has authority of a building or property is required to remove snow and ice from the sidewalk. 

Can a Business or Property Owner Be Liable for Injuries?

Negligent and careless snow, ice, or water removal can leave a property owner liable for any resulting injuries. Premises liability holds an owner responsible for maintaining and securing the safety of their property. For example, if a business owner left massive amounts of snow near the entrance of their property that later melted and turned into ice, the company may be responsible for any slip and fall injuries. Furthermore, if a faulty design or maintenance technique led to a slip and fall injury, the owner may also be liable.  

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