Our office obtained $82,500 for Woman Who Tripped and Fell at Train Station.
A 53 year old visually impaired woman tripped and fell while walking in Union Station, a train depot in downtown Chicago. The cause of the fall was an electrical cord that was simply lying on the ground. After the fall, the insurance carrier denied the claim, stating that our client should have been looking where she was going. The electrical cord was, they stated, “open and obvious.” In Illinois, “open and obvious” defects, in this case the electrical cord lying on the floor, is a legal defense to liability. It made no difference to the insurance carrier that our client was legally blind. Because the case was denied, we filed suit in the Circuit Court.
It was only after years of litigation that we were finally able to prevail and recover for our client. A case that to many sounds so simple and obvious was not simple and obvious to the insurance carrier. They actually argued, with a straight face, that the blind woman should have seen an “open and obvious” electrical cord lying on the floor. It did not matter to the insurance carrier that the woman was blind! It never occurred to the insurance carrier that perhaps the electrical cord should not have been lying on the floor in an area with heavy pedestrian traffic.
The insurance carrier first denied that the extension cord lying on the floor was a dangerous condition to pedestrians, even blind pedestrians. We proved that it was. When this defense did not work the insurance carrier then denied that the electrical cord was in fact lying on the floor in an area with heavy pedestrian traffic. We proved that it was. The insurance company then denied that the extension cord was in fact the cause of the fall. We proved that the extension cord lying on the floor was in fact the cause of the fall.
If you sustain a trip and fall, do not assume that the insurance company will accept responsibility. They will probably not. Most likely, the insurance company will deny everything, even the obvious. They will argue that you should have seen the obstacle. They will argue that you were not paying attention to where you were walking. They will argue that the object that caused you to fall was not the actual cause of your fall. And they might even argue that you did not even fall. And if you did fall, which they will probably dispute, they will argue that you were not hurt from the fall. In short, expect the insurance company to deny everything, from the fall to the cause of the fall to the injury itself.
If you or your loved one sustains an injury from a trip and fall, don’t assume that the insurance company will accept responsibility for the fall. Call the Law Offices of Charles J. Gale, P.C.