Lawyer Monthly - September 2023

maintain a property so that it is safe for visitors and business invitees. It also requires that people on the property exercise due care for their own safety. Moreover, myriads of exceptions provide additional protection for the property owners based on what is termed open and obvious dangers. For example, a large hole in the middle of a sidewalk would be one such example because the law presumes that a careful person would see it. Thus, injury on a property does not automatically guarantee recovery. Similarly, the law in Illinois does not hold property owners responsible for injuries caused due to the natural accumulation of snow and ice. However, if a driveway or a sidewalk are not maintained properly and due to some defects or damage cause the water from melting snow to pool and re-freeze, then the ice is reclassified as an unnatural accumulation, which could allow a claim for injuries to be made. In the same vein, if a person falls down the common stairs in an apartment building, it is not necessarily the landlord’s fault. But, if the stairs fail to meet the architectural and safety codes, such as having uneven or inappropriate heights and widths, having poor or no lighting, or being damaged or missing handrails, then a claim is possible. Slips, trips and falls most commonly happen in parking lots, shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, sidewalks and apartment buildings. There are many factors that determine whether you have a claim for your injuries due to an unsafe condition. I would always recommend to anyone who has been involved in a fall accident to take as many pictures as possible of the area in question. Also, if there are witnesses, get their names, numbers and email addresses. If you cannot take photographs because you are in the emergency room, ask a friend or relative. The pictures are evidence, but also allow the reviewing attorney to ascertain whether or not there is a legal cause of action. Ice and snow can melt and disappear; a crack in a parking lot can be repaired. Time is always of the essence. EXPERT INSIGHT 63 About Steven Jacobson Steven Jacobson is a founding partner at Jacobson & Tchernev and a prolific personal injury attorney. Having clerked for numerous large Chicago law firms before founding his own client-focused practice in 2011, Steven has been recognised by Million Dollar Advocates and has featured among the National Trial Lawyers’ top 100 trial attorneys, as well as the National Association of Distinguished Counsel’s top 1%. About The Law Offices of Jacobson & Tchernev The Law Offices of Jacobson & Tchernev is a personal injury law firm founded by Steven Jacobson and Ivo Tchernev in 2011 with client communication and wellbeing as its foremost values. The firm’s practice primarily concerns car and truck accidents, slip and falls and other accidents that cause injury, taking pride in their ability to help clients understand all aspects of their case. Jacobson & Tchernev have taken more than 100 cases to trial and secured over $35 million in compensation for their clients. Contact Steven Jacobson Partner Law Offices of Jacobson & Tchernev 5201 N Harlem Ave Floor 2, Chicago, IL 60656, USA Tel: +1 312-669-4441 Fax: +1 708-667-0452 E: I would tell less experienced attorneys that they need to focus on the clients and not their bottom line. Our client base has successfully grown over the years, because we take the extra time to talk with our clients and always do what is in the best interest of the clients.

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