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Premises Liability

Premises liability cases are cases involving injuries that occur on premises such as homes, outdoor areas, grocery stores or other venues such as apartment buildings, theaters, workplaces or hotels.

The law may be different with regard to where the specific incident took place. In some cases, you may need to show that the landowner was aware of other incidences that took place similar to the incident that gave rise to your injury.

In cases occurring in parking lots, a lawyer may be required to show that the crack or deviation is a substantial deviation such as showing the deviation or crack is more than two inches. In certain cases you may need to show that the landowner was aware of the defect or that the defect existed for such a long period of time that the owner should have known of the defect. Although the evidence may not show the exact time length of how long the defect existed you may be able to show with or without expert testimony that the crack or defect by its appearance existed for a long period of time. Premises liability may include a roof collapse, slipping on ice that has formed due to an unnatural accumulation of water from leaking pipes or unsafe curbs or entries into a building.

In a case I handled along with other attorneys a fire occurred at the Paxton Hotel in Chicago many years ago. The fire injured many and killed several occupants at the hotel. My client worked at the hotel and lived at the hotel. When the fire broke out, the testimony of the witnesses showed that the smoke alarms were not functioning, the fire doors were left open and other acts of negligence. My client testified that the hotel owners and staff were aware of these dangerous conditions and did nothing about it. The fact that the owner and employees were aware of these dangerous conditions and did nothing about it lead to a settlement of compensatory damages and punitive damages. In certain cases including premises cases, if there is shown to be reckless conduct, a lawyer can ask a jury if the Judge allows, to award punitive damages. Many people are familiar with the McDonald's hot coffee burn case which was an extremely high award. People are unaware that the damages in the McDonald's case included both punitive damages and compensatory damages.

Many cases involve injuries in apartment building staircases. I have alleged in various cases that the lighting in the staircase was inadequate or the railing was inadequate or the rise of the stairs was against code requirements. The City of Chicago has specific building codes as to stairs and railings and I have cited the code violations as evidence of negligence which led to causing my clients injuries. It is important to note code requirements when dealing with injuries on premises and often times expert testimony may be needed to tie up an injury to a code violation. Therefore, the lawyer you choose to represent you should be aware of the premises laws because EXPERIENCE MATTERS!.

Client Reviews
Debra Crystal handled and accident case for me several years ago and she was right on top of every aspect - organized and responsive throughout. The settlement was timely and the amount was above my expectations. She has handled other cases for my family with excellent results as well. M.W.
Debra has been my attorney for many years and has handled my personal injury cases throughout the years. I have referred my friends and family to her. We have always been 100% happy with her representation. She is an exceptional attorney. R.S.
Debra is tough and unafraid. She cross examined the police officer in my case who testified against me. I won! The Judge believed me over the police officer because of her tough cross examination. Great attorney! Would recommend! R.K.