Premises Liability and Duties of Care

In Illinois premises liability, the “status” of the victim of an accident due to negligence must be determined, even if ultimately determined by a jury.

Property owners owe different levels of liability, known as “duties of care,” to different types of visitors. A number of factors must be considered when establishing the victim’s status and what may have qualified as reasonable care under the circumstances, including the visitor’s location at the time of the injury, his/her reason for being on the premises, and whether he/she was “reasonably expected” to be on the premises. Common types of visitors generally fall into the categories of trespassers, licensees, and invitees, while tenants/lessees are also owed duties of care due to residence.

Tenants – Tenants have possession of living premises which are exclusive even to landlords, except for reasons outlined in the lease, and landlords have duties to keep the premises in a safe condition and protect against “reasonably foreseeable criminal action.”

Invitees – An invitee is someone who comes onto a property at the landowner’s invitation, which includes customers of commercial businesses as well as guests in one’s home. Invitees may be further divided into public invitees and business visitors: public invitees are invited for a purpose for which the property is open to the public, while business visitors are invited for purposes related to business dealings with the property owners.

Licensees – Licensees are somewhat in-between invitees and trespassers, as their presence is “neither sought nor forbidden,” but simply permitted or tolerated by the property owner. Property owners are still obliged to inform uninvited licensees of any dangers or hazards which may not be open to normal observation.

Property owners are liable for injuries to third-parties on their premises in situations in which:

– The injury was caused by a violation of law
– The lessor is required by law to maintain or assist in maintaining the safety of the premises
– The lessor’s negligence was a proximate cause of the injury

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to a property owner’s negligence, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation. We are a Chicago-based injury law firm representing individuals (and their families) who have suffered an injury in an accident. We will handle your case quickly and advise you every step of the way, and we will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC is not paid attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. You have nothing to risk when you hire us – only the opportunity to seek justice.

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