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Recover your damages from a slip and fall in Orland Park.

Recovering Damages in a Slip and Fall Case

Recovering Damages in Orland Park Slip and Fall Cases: What You Need to Know

Illinois law allows people who have suffered injuries in slip-and-fall accidents to recover damages from property owners or other parties. A legal principle known as “premises liability” determines when a property owner, property manager, or tenant is liable for someone’s injuries. A slip-and-fall accident victim may be entitled to several types of damages, such as compensation for medical bills and other expenses. If you have experienced a slip-and-fall accident in Orland Park or surrounding areas, a slip-and-fall lawyer can help you understand your rights and work to obtain compensation for you.

Ways to Recover Damages in an Orland Park Slip-and-Fall Case

The majority of personal injury claims never result in lawsuits. The parties are able to reach settlement agreements before lawsuits become necessary. Of the cases that result in lawsuits, most settle before going to trial. The following are the most common ways slip-and-fall accident victims can recover damages for their injuries:

Insurance Settlement

Certain types of insurance policies may cover slip-and-fall accident claims:

  • Businesses may have general liability insurance policies that cover accidents on their premises.
  • Homeowner’s insurance policies provide similar coverage for accidents on residential property.
  • Tenant’s or renter’s insurance covers claims for accidents that occur on leased residential property.

Submitting a claim to an insurance company involves gathering much of the information that would go into a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney will prepare a demand that states your case, explaining how the insured is legally responsible for your injuries.

The insurance company assigns an adjuster to review your claim. The adjuster might make a settlement offer or reject the claim. Your lawyer can try to negotiate with them to get them to increase their offer.

Insurance companies are only obligated to cover their insured up to a maximum amount, often called the “policy limits.” Many policies set maximum limits on the amount a company will pay for a single claim and the amount it will pay over the term of the policy.

Lawsuit Settlement

A lawsuit might be necessary in certain situations, such as:

  • The insurance company refuses to settle for an amount that you are willing to accept; or
  • Your damages are greater than the maximum amount the insurance company will pay under its policy limits.

To file a lawsuit, your lawyer will prepare a complaint that states the basic facts of the case and explains why you are entitled to recover damages from the defendant. Under the Illinois Premises Liability Act, you must demonstrate that:

  • You had a legal right to be on the defendant’s property, such as if you were a customer in a business or a guest in a home;
  • The defendant failed to exercise reasonable care to keep the premises safe;
  • You suffered injuries because of the defendant’s failure.

Courts encourage parties to settle lawsuits whenever possible. Lawsuits often settle when the defendant or their insurance company realizes that it would be cheaper to pay a settlement than risk the expense of losing at trial.

Verdict and Award

Few lawsuits go all the way to trial. If yours does, your lawyer will have to prove your case to a judge or jury. They will render a verdict for you or the defendant. A verdict in your favor will include a damage award.

Types of Damages in Illinois Slip-and-Fall Claims

Illinois law allows several types of damages in personal injury cases. Most of them seek to compensate you for your losses. One type is meant to punish defendants who commit especially heinous acts.

Compensatory Damages

Two types of damages provide compensation for what a slip-and-fall accident has cost you, both in terms of out-of-pocket losses and its effect on your life.

Economic Damages

Economic damages consist of the actual expenses connected to your injuries. These may include:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Future medical bills;
  • Loss of earning capacity;
  • Costs of rehabilitation or physical therapy; and
  • In wrongful death cases, funeral expenses.

Noneconomic Damages

The impact of a slip-and-fall accident is not limited to what it has cost you financially. Non-economic damages attempt to compensate you for the ways your injuries have affected your quality of life. Your injuries may cause physical or mental pain that continues long after your medical care is complete. Examples of noneconomic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional anguish;
  • Disability;
  • Disfigurement;
  • Loss of enjoyment of life; and
  • Loss of consortium, which applies to the loss of affection by the spouse or partner of a personal injury victim.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are available in slip-and-fall cases where a defendant acted so outrageously that a judge or jury imposes an extra financial penalty to punish them. This requires proof that a defendant either intended to cause harm or, in the words of the Illinois Supreme Court, acted “with such gross negligence as to indicate a wanton disregard of the rights of others.”

How Comparative Fault Affects Damages in Illinois Personal Injury Cases

Illinois’ modified comparative fault rule allows courts to reduce a damage award if a plaintiff was partly to blame for their injuries. Suppose, for example, that you slipped on a wet floor in a store. The owner had not placed any warning signs or tried to clean up the spill. You were distracted by your phone, however, when the accident happened.

A court might decide that you share in the blame. If it found that you had $50,000 in damages, but you were 20% at fault, it could reduce your damage award by 20% to $40,000. As long as your share of the fault was no more than 50%, you could recover a reduced amount of damages.

Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident? Let an Experienced Orland Park Personal Injury Lawyer Help!

Slip-and-fall accident attorney Michael J. Brennan has spent decades fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in Orland Park and throughout the Chicago suburbs for decades. He will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Contact Michael J. Brennan today to begin your journey toward justice and compensation. 

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