So Now Winter Really Is Coming!

A few months back this blog gave you some important information on winter weather and how it relates to personal injury lawsuits. Well, winter has not made much of an impression on Chicagoland this year…until now. With the biggest storm of the season set to hit Illinois tonight, things like the “natural accumulation rule” and winter driving safety come to mind for any personal injury lawyer in Chicago or the surrounding areas. What is the natural accumulation rule? Again, as the Illinois Supreme Court put it in the 2010 case of Krywin v. Chicago Transit Authority: “Under the natural accumulation rule, a landowner or possessor of real property has no duty to remove natural accumulations of ice, snow, or water from its property.” What that means is that if it fell from the sky, and the landowner, operator, or landlord did not do anything to it (did not shovel, salt, plow) if a person falls on it, the landowner, landlord, or operator is not responsible. This rule does not mean that a situation where a person slips and falls on snow or ice means there is no case. The natural accumulation rule demonstrates that when a landowner, landlord, or property operator did do something to try and remove snow or ice, but did it incorrectly, a personal injury lawsuit may exist. Negligent snow removal, melting and refreezing of plowed piles of snow, pot holes and broken pavement, dripping gutters that cause ice on sidewalks, and so on can all be the basis of a slip and fall lawsuit for a winter fall (which can often cause massive injuries). Be careful out there. But, if the unfortunate or unthinkable happens to you as the snow and ice falls, remember, only an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you as to if you have a case for a slip and fall, car accident, or any other injury related to snow and ice accumulation. Our Firm has handled numerous slip and fall cases, including ones related to snow or ice covered surfaces at malls, businesses, and in residential areas. The same is true of car accident cases caused by winter conditions (of which there will probably be many over the next day or two). Do not take the word of a friend, or believe what you see in the media. If you have been injured, you should contact a qualified personal injury lawyer to discuss what your options are, and if you have a case.

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