Being an invited as a visitor to another’s property, whether the property owner is a business or another person, carries with it some expectations. Fundamentally, the visitor can expect the property to be reasonably free of any dangerous conditions, or, if not, to be made aware of any hazards. Additionally, the visitor can expect that he/she will be safe while on the property, even if that means that the property owner provides an appropriate level of security detail. If these expectations are not met, and an injury to the visitor occurs, retaining the services of an attorney experienced in personal injury matters, and one especially focused on premises liability and insufficient security, can be crucial to obtaining compensation for the visitor’s injuries.
Recently, the estate of a teenager who froze to death after getting trapped in a hotel freezer has sued the hotel, alleging that it failed to secure the area around the freezer, which, although not used, was still accessible to the public. Allegedly, the teen walked around, visibly disoriented, past hotel staff and into the freezer, and no one attempted to stop her. A discussion of premises liability, as well as some examples of insufficient security procedures, will follow below.
Illinois Premises Liability
Premises liability is a complex aspect of the legal theory of negligence. As alluded to above, there are expectations of protection an invited visitor has when on the property of another. Uninvited visitors, such as trespassers, are given a lesser degree of protection, and typically do not have a claim if an injury occurs. The failure to meet visitor expectations may result in liability for the property owner. Accordingly, a successful injured visitor must prove each of the following elements:...