Who Is Liable for Injuries Caused by Snow and Ice in Illinois?

Posted on in Slip and Fall Accidents

IL injury lawyerWinters in Illinois are known for being brutal. They can bring snow, wind, sleet, and slush not to mention freezing temperatures. Driving can be downright treacherous due to black ice, which can cause a driver to slide, lose control, and crash with other vehicles. Even walking can present its own set of dangers. Ice can cause people to slip and fall, which may result in serious injuries. In other cases, icicles hanging from gutters or roofs may fall onto bystanders below. If you or your loved one was hurt in an accident that involved winter weather, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses or damages.

Illinois Premises Liability

Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, property owners have a duty of care to maintain their grounds and buildings so they are safe for patrons, visitors, and guests. It is unrealistic for property owners to be expected to keep their land completely free of snow and ice all of the time. However, property owners are tasked with taking steps to prevent injuries caused by the “unnatural accumulation” of snow or ice. This means that property owners are not automatically liable for injuries that are caused by the natural accumulation of this precipitation. If the snow or ice accumulates unnaturally due to improper or inadequate maintenance or repairs, the property owner may be liable for injuries caused by the accumulation.

A property owner may be liable for injuries caused by:

  • Snow that was moved by shovels, plows, or snowblowers to areas that should be free and clear
  • Melted snow that caused ice patches to form in places that ice would not naturally accumulate
  • Ice created by water from roof gutters, downspouts, or drains
  • An unnatural accumulation of ice caused by potholes or damaged pavement

 Wintertime Injuries

Falling on ice or snow that has been packed down can result in minor to severe physical harm to someone. Although some slips and falls may just produce bumps and bruises, hitting a hard surface such as ice-covered pavement may be devastating since an individual usually tries to brace the fall. In many cases, a person may require immediate medical assistance and even need surgery to repair a broken arm or hip. In addition, icicles that fall can pierce the skin and falling snow can crush pedestrians due to its weight.

A few of the major injuries that can occur after falling on snow or ice include:

  • Herniated or fractured discs in the back
  • Broken bones
  • Concussion
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

Contact an Orland Park, IL Personal Injury Lawyer

Natives of Illinois are used to harsh winters, but even with preparation, accidents involving snow and ice can still occur. Determining liability for injuries from a slip and fall can be complicated. A qualified and compassionate Illinois personal injury attorney can help you pursue compensation for your losses. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law has over 30 years of experience representing clients who have been injured. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 708-966-2408.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2048

James A. Payonk, Jr.

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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708-966-2408