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Exploring Liability for Snow and Ice-Related Fall Accidents in Illinois

 Posted on January 30, 2023 in Premises Liability

Waukegan Slip and Fall Accident LawyerIt is that time of year again. Sidewalks are covered in snow and ice, floors are wet with melted snow, and the potential for a slip and fall accident is greater than ever. Winter weather can be extremely dangerous for a number of reasons, but fall accidents can be especially harmful to elderly people and those in poor health.

Slipping and falling can lead to traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, internal organ injuries, back injuries, and other painful consequences. Although Illinois law generally allows slip and fall accident victims to pursue financial compensation for their injuries, there are special laws regarding injuries related to snow and ice.

Natural Accumulation of Snow and Ice Versus Unnatural Accumulation

Most people agree that shoveling the sidewalk and keeping your property free of ice is part of being a good neighbor or a responsible business owner. However, property owners are not always liable for snow and ice injuries on their property. If a fall accident is caused by a “natural accumulation” of snow or ice, the property owner is usually not liable. However, if a fall occurs because of an unnatural accumulation of snow or ice, the property owner may be liable for damages.

It is very difficult to say what constitutes natural or unnatural accumulation. Illinois courts have sided with property owners in cases where plaintiffs have fallen because of melted snow on the floor or icy walkways.

One case in which the Illinois Appellate Court sided with the plaintiff involved an unnatural accumulation of ice that was caused by snow being piled up against a building. The property owner had hired a snow removal service to clear the parking lot of snow. However, the snow removal company mounded all the snow in a giant pile against the building. When the snow melted, the water refroze and created dangerous patches of ice in the parking lot. An individual slipped on the ice and was able to sue successfully.

Slip and Fall Accidents in Apartments and Rental Homes

There is a notable exception to the natural vs. unnatural accumulation rule explained above. If a property owner such as a landlord or apartment complex has a provision in the lease agreeing to remove snow and ice, the party is bound to this agreement. If a tenant slips and falls because the property owner did not fulfill the lease agreement, the tenant may be able to sue for damages.

Contact Our Waukegan Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file an injury claim and recover damages. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more. Call our Lake County personal injury attorneys at 847-662-3303 for a free initial consultation to learn more.




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If you or a member of your family has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact our office. Call 847-662-3303 to set up a free initial consultation at one of our four convenient locations. There is no risk because we only collect fees if you collect compensation. With offices in Libertyville, Waukegan, Richmond, and Chicago, we represent clients in Lake County, Cook County, DuPage County, and McHenry County.

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