When is a Business Liable for Injuries?

Friday, April 16, 2021

When is a Business Liable for Injuries?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

When is a Business Liable for Injuries?

Businesses are generally liable to keep their premises reasonably safe for others. Still, they aren’t always responsible for every accident that occurs on their property. If they fail to maintain their property, they can be held liable for any injuries arising from the unsafe conditions. 

When you go to the grocery store, the mall, the movie theater, the gym, and other public places of business, you have a right to assume that these places provide a safe environment. It can be quite shocking and infuriating to find out that your assumptions were wrong. Yet, every day Illinois residents are injured on business property as a result of negligence. 

It’s essential to understand that businesses aren’t liable for all injuries that occur on their property. If you sustained an injury in this way, it’s best to meet with a seasoned Chicago personal injury lawyer to determine what your legal rights and options might be. 

Premise Liability Laws

Under Illinois premise liability laws, businesses are only liable for injuries arising from their negligence. Suppose a movie theater patron spilled soda on the stairs in the theater. Within a couple of minutes, another patron walks down the stairs and falls, breaking their leg. No one notified any staff members of the spill. In this case, the movie theater wouldn’t be liable for the injuries. However, if someone told a staff member or a staff member saw the spill occur or that the stairs were wet, but the staff took no action to clean up the spill, the movie theater could be liable. This is where a Chicago personal injury attorney can help.

Businesses can’t reasonably be expected to be aware of every danger resulting from other patrons or to monitor their entire premises at all times. If they are made aware in any way of the danger, however, they are expected to take reasonable steps to decrease the chance of any accidents. If a spill or other hazard can’t be taken care of, the business needs to block off the area or post warning signs, such as a wet floor sign. 

Trespassing and Premise Liability

Another critical distinction that the Illinois premise liability statute makes is that between people who are legally on the property and those that aren’t. Businesses only owe a duty of care to provide safe conditions to invitees or guests who have a right to be on the property. Anyone who is trespassing isn’t afforded such a guarantee. One exception to this law is that the business can’t willfully or wantonly endanger trespassers. 

Injured at a Business? Talk to an Experienced Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Premise liability cases involving businesses are often complex. The injured party must prove that the business knew or should have reasonably known about the danger that caused their injuries. Many businesses have large insurance companies with fierce legal teams on their side. You need a Chicago personal injury attorney on your side who isn’t afraid to stand up to them to get the compensation you deserve. 

At Malman Law, we offer injured individuals no-obligation case consultations with our experienced personal injury attorneys. Schedule yours today by calling (312) 629-0099 or use our online contact form.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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