Slip and Fall
I have handled many slip and falls cases. Many cases happen at the grocery market when food or liquids are left on the floor and then an unsuspecting grocery customer slips on the substance. In order to prevail on a slip and fall case, you must show that the store owner "knew or should have known" the substance was on the floor.
Therefore, you must prove what is called "notice" in a slip and fall case unless you have evidence that a store employee put the substance on the floor. Notice can be "actual" or "constructive". There is an abundance of case law on what constitutes sufficient notice to prevail in a slip and fall case. Your attorney must be familiar with that law and keep up to date with it. I know, as an attorney, I must keep up with caselaw on slip and fall cases because the law in this area is constantly changing. When I start my workday, I sit down with a cup of coffee and read my "Law Bulletin" newspaper that is a great resource for what is new in caselaw. Often times, there are cases featured with regard to new case law or new interpretations on existing caselaw as it applies to slip and fall cases.
In Illinois, even if you can recover in a slip and fall case on the facts, you must take into consideration that any verdict or settlement may be decreased if you are found to be contributorily at fault for your injuries in a slip and fall case. For example, the other side will claim, "you should have been looking where you were going!". That is often a defense and many cases are lost because they claim the injured party was the cause of their own injuries.
I handled a case where my client was injured when he tripped on a raised display at a tire store in Skokie, Illinois. The display was in the middle of the store and it had a raised white square that contained a number of tires on it. The client tripped on the raised two inch display square. I claimed that this "raised area" blended in with the floor and it was difficult to see. The client sustained a substantial elbow injury requiring surgery. A human factors expert was hired and stated the area blended in with the floor and people looking around at a store, tend not to look at the floor but products that are raised from the floor. We ultimately settled the case for a several hundred thousand dollars after the human factor's expert was deposed.
Because slip and fall cases are complicated cases, you must have an attorney that knows the law and will anticipate the claim of contributory negligence. That is why you need a lawyer, such as myself, that has handled slip and fall cases for over thirty years because EXPERIENCE MATTERS!