During winter, Chicago can become a dangerous hotbed for icy walkway slip and fall accidents. Ice, snow, and slush cover streets and sidewalks throughout the city. These accumulations can become hazardous conditions and lead to serious injuries.
Any walking surface can quickly become dangerous when it comes to ice and snow. Driveways, parking lots, stairwells, entrances, and walkways are particularly prone to developing ice, and even the most careful individuals can slip and fall. If you recently suffered a slip and fall injury as a result of icy conditions, you could be eligible for compensation from the parties at fault.
Our seasoned Chicago personal injury attorney can consult with you about your accident. If negligence resulted in your injury, a lawsuit could compensate for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. Contact Hale & Monico today to learn more about how we can help you in the event of an icy slip and fall.
The Dangers of Slip and Fall Accidents on an Icy Walkway in Chicago
Starting in the late fall, temperatures throughout Chicago and Illinois drop drastically, often below freezing. When the right combination of moisture and temperature presents itself, many walking surfaces can develop a slippery layer of ice. These slippery conditions can happen outside and inside and are often difficult to see.
Though many people do their best to clear snow from their sidewalks, driveways, and entrances, oftentimes, it’s what lies underneath that can be the most dangerous.
Injuries from Icy Walkway Slip and Falls
Any slip and fall accident can be serious. When you add ice and snow to the equation, the consequences can be even more devastating. Common injuries related to slipping on ice include:
- Bone fractures
- Sprained ligaments
- Torn tendons and muscles
- Herniated discs and back injuries
- Nerve damage
If you suffer any injury from slipping on ice, you should seek immediate medical attention and try to take photographs to document the conditions which caused your fall and the location of where you fell. Not only will this help you in your recovery, but you’ll need an expert diagnosis if you decide to proceed with a legal claim in court. Adequate medical records are important in proving the extent of your injuries.
Failure to seek medical attention after a slip and fall can harm your lawsuit.
How does a slip and fall claim work when icy surfaces are involved in Chicago?
Unlike a typical slip and fall, certain provisions in Illinois law make lawsuits involving ice and snow a little more complicated.
Under the state’s “Natural Accumulation Rule,” property owners have some protection against personal injury claims resulting from accumulations of ice, snow, or slush.
This rule prevents many individuals from seeking damages when owners:
- Don’t clean up or shovel snow on their property
- Fail to provide rugs or mats for wiping snow and ice from feet
- Don’t put up warning signage about slippery ice or snow hazards
Fortunately, there are some exceptions to this rule. In certain situations, you can still file a negligence claim against the owner of a commercial or private property if you slip and fall on their premises. Some of these situations include:
Willful or Wanton Misconduct in Chicago Law
When someone deliberately intends to cause you harm, or exhibits indifference for the safety of others, the law can establish willful or wanton misconduct.
You can file a claim if you slipped on ice and suffered an injury from this type of negligence.
Negligent Removal of Snow
This occurs when an owner fails to safely remove ice or snow or moves snow to negligent places.
In these scenarios, the owner may have knowingly left accumulations of snow on their property that melted, formed ice, and resulted in a slip and fall accident.
Property owners could be liable for injuries if poor maintenance or bad design led to an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow that leads to injury.
These maintenance issues include:
- Unrepaired cracks in sidewalks
- Holes in walkways
- Faulty gutters
- Poorly maintained drainage systems
You can file a claim if a neglected design element leads to an ice-related slip and fall.
Breach of Contract or Lease Conditions
In some rental contracts and leases, there may be provisions that make it an obligation for the occupier to remove ice and snow as needed.
Should they fail to meet these obligations and you become injured from falling, you can seek damages.
How can a Chicago icy walkway slip and fall attorney help?
Slips and falls due to icy conditions are serious matters. Every accident comes with a unique set of circumstances.
Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys in Chicago will work with you every step of the way to determine whether your claim is eligible for compensation.
The process may involve the following:
- Investigating how your accident happened
- Consulting with medical professionals and other experts
- Reviewing the extent of your injuries and the damages suffered
- Preparing a strong argument to reach a settlement or go to trial
At Hale & Monico, we fight so our clients can get the compensation they deserve. Our dedicated legal team will stand by you from beginning to end. Call us today for a free case evaluation.