Our office recovered $60,000 for Foot Injury Caused on Property Owned by Another. A 29 year old male sustained a degloving injury to his right big toe. The accident took place when an old fashioned concrete incinerator collapsed from age and fell on his right foot. The concrete slab that fell on his foot was heavy enough to cause a degloving of the right toe, partially exposing the bone.
Naturally, the insurance carrier denied all liability for the incident. What did the property owner do wrong? Why didn’t our client notice the obvious worn and dangerous condition of the incinerator? What caused the incinerator to fall in the first place? Since our client was there when it fell, he must have done something to cause it to fall. Our office filed suit against the property owner.
Most lay individuals assume that a property owner is automatically liable for injuries sustained on their property. This is not the law in Illinois. In fact, this is not the law anywhere. Property owners only have the legal duty to exercise ordinary and reasonable care to see that the premises are safe for their intended use. If the property owner did not violate this standard of care, he is generally not liable for your injuries.
And, even if the property owner did not exercise reasonable care, he may still not be liable for injuries sustained if the hazard was open and obvious. That is, the property owner is allowed to expect that the individual on his property will discover and avoid open and obvious dangers. The law expects the individual to be responsible for his own safety.
If the property owner claims and proves that he exercised ordinary care, another possibility exists to prove liability. That is, the property owner can be held liable for injuries sustained on his property if he either knew of the dangerous condition or should have known of the dangerous condition, or that he created the condition.
Assuming all of the above obstacles to recovery are met, the injured party still has to prove the nature and extent of his injuries, and that the injuries were caused by the defect.
During litigation, our office proved that the incinerator was in fact old and obsolete, and full of full thickness cracks throughout. We were able to prove that the incinerator was improperly maintained and improperly installed. In short, we were able to prove that the property owner in fact did not exercise ordinary and reasonable care to see that the premises were safe for their intended use. Furthermore, we were able to prove that the property owner was well aware of the dangerous condition, or if not actually aware, that he should have been aware.
If you or your loved one is injured on someone else’s property, and you feel that the cause of your injury was an unsafe condition, contact the Law Offices of Charles J. Gale.