When an accident happens, people in Illinois are sometimes too quick to say that it was no one’s fault; they think that an accident is simply something unfortunate that happened that no one could have prevented. However, from a legal perspective, this is simply not always true. Some accidents can be prevented, and property owners may have an obligation to do so.
The main thing to look at is how careful the property owner was and how the things that he or she did may have contributed in a negligent fashion to the accident. Remember, the things that the owner did not do may end up being just as important as the things that he or she actually did.
For example, you could slip and fall in a store after the floor has been cleaned. If there were no signs warning you that the floor was wet and the tiles made it hard to see the slick surface, the owner could be liable. If there was a sign, however, and you simply did not see it, the owner may not be responsible, seeing as how a warning was attempted.
You do have some obligation to pay attention to what is happening around you and avoiding dangerous situations. However, when you do what you can and are put in a dangerous position anyway, that is when the other party is liable. The main focus of any case like this will be on showing who was at fault and what circumstances led to the incident.
Be sure that you know how this works whenever you are injured, as you do not want to assume that no one is at fault if you really have a right to compensation.
Source: FindLaw, “Proving Fault in Slip and Fall Accidents” Oct. 28, 2014