Personal Injury Lawyer
$200,000 Personal Injury Dangerous Condition of Boating Pier - Knee Injury
Dangerous conditions on private property can expose the property owner to legal liability if it causes someone to be injured, according to attorney Douglas Rallo of Libertyville. “In an interesting case I handled, my client and her friends were moving a boat across the lock between Long Lake and Squaw Creek. The pier had a rotten, weak area of old wood. Even though she saw it and knew of its condition, she put her foot right next to it; the wood gave way and her leg fell through the hole, injuring her knee”. This case raised a major issue of contributory negligence. “In negligence cases, the jury has to decide if the defendant was negligent. But they also decide if the injured plaintiff was negligent.
This is called ‘contributory negligence’”, said Rallo. “If the jury finds that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for her own injuries, the plaintiff gets nothing. Here, the defense argued that my client knew of the rotten wood, realized there was a danger, and deliberately stepped right next to it, making her more than 50% at fault and entitled to nothing. Despite that argument, I uncovered evidence that the property owners knew of the dangerous condition before the accident and failed to make timely repairs. With evidence that the property owner could have avoided the accident, I was able to reach a $200,000 settlement for my client.”