The Illinois de minimis rule is very important in understanding what is a valid trip and fall case on the sidewalk. Illinois case law provides a guideline to determine whether a tripping accident victim’s injuries caused by sidewalk or floor defects are a valid claim against private owners (like hotel owners) and municipalities (like cities or townships).
According to past Illinois court judgements, a person injured while walking on a sidewalk must prove that there was an actual defect or hazard present in order to recover damages. The defect must be more than just something slightly out of place, such as tripping over a crack or small pebble on the sidewalk. If the defect is deemed to be too slight, or less than two inches, then a person injured while walking on that sidewalk will not be able to recover damages because it is considered to be something minor and insignificant unless there are other aggravating factors present where they fell.
At Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we understand how impactful the de minimis rule can be. We have a team of experienced lawyers that knows the ins and outs of Illinois law, allowing us to guide our clients through the legal process and help them in their pursuit of justice. If you or someone you love has been injured while walking on a sidewalk due to a potential defect, please contact us today for an evaluation of your case. We are here to help you through the legal process, make sure the negligent party is held liable, and ensure that your rights are protected.
What Does De Minimis Mean?
De minimis is a Latin term meaning “too minor to merit consideration.” In the context of sidewalk trip and fall cases in Illinois, it means that any defect on the sidewalk must be more than just slightly out of place or small. It must be an actual hazard or defect in order for a person who has been injured due to the defect to recover damages. In general, defects that are less that two inches without other aggravating factors have been considered to be de minimis by Illinois courts. This means that there likely is no valid injury claim for a plaintiff injured in a fall on a sidewalk or floor where the defect is less than two inches.
What Does the De Minimis Rule Apply To?
The de minimis rule originated in cases involving Illinois municipalities, where it was noted that municipalities do not have a duty to keep all sidewalks in perfect condition at all times. It stems in large part from the recognition that municipalities would suffer an unreasonable economic burden were they required to keep their sidewalks in perfect condition all the time. The de minimis rule can also apply to private landowners.
Keeping Flooring and Sidewalks Safe
In general, municipalities and private landowners have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonable and safe condition and to keep the sidewalks safe for the intended use. But that duty does not extend to repair de minimis (or minor) defects in their sidewalks or flooring.
Find Out if You Have a Case
At Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we have a team of experienced lawyers that knows the ins and outs of Illinois law. We can help you understand your rights and determine whether or not it is possible to recover damages for your trip and fall injuries due to an alleged defect of two inches on the sidewalk. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Aggravating Factors in a Trip, Slip and Fall Case
Sidewalk or flooring defects that are less than two inches must have some aggravating factors to make them not de minimis. Illinois courts have used the follow factors to determine whether a defect is considered de minimis, for example:
If the defect is in a high traffic area
If the defect is in a commercial or residential neighborhood
Whether the defect is indoors or outdoors
The weather conditions where the defect is located
The lighting conditions where the defect is located
The length of time the defect has been present
Whether there are any warnings or signs present to alert people to the potential hazard
Overcoming the De Minimis Rule in Court
An experienced slip and fall lawyer can prove negligence in a slip and fall case by demonstrating that a defect in the floor or sidewalk was more than two inches or that a defect was caused by aggravating factors. They can also prove negligence by showing that the owner of the property knew or should have known about the defect and failed to make repairs.
At Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we are here to advocate for you in your quest for justice. We understand the complexities of Illinois law and can put our knowledge and experience to work to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Find Out If the De Minimis Rule Applies to Your Case
At Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we believe that everyone should be able to seek justice in cases involving sidewalk defects. We understand how complex Illinois law can be, which is why our team of experienced lawyers is here to help.
Call Today to Find Out What Your Claim May be Worth
Contact us today for a free consultation and we can help you understand your rights and determine whether or not it is possible to recover damages for your trip and fall injury due to an alleged defect on the sidewalk or flooring. We are here to guide you through the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected.