Open but is it obvious? Slip and Falls and personal injuries.

Navigating through the intricacies of Illinois’ “open and obvious” doctrine in slip and fall personal injury cases can be challenging. At Zneimer & Zneimer, we often get calls from people who were injured when they stepped in a “large” hole, or who were injured by a “big” obstacle.  The problem is that if the hole or the obstacle are “big” why did  the person not see them?  An important aspect of the “open and obvious” doctrine hinges on whether a hazard was genuinely obvious to a reasonable person, which often forms the crux of the defense in many premises liability cases.

Take, for instance, the case of Rozowicz v. C3 Presents, LLC, where the defendant was absolved of liability because the danger was deemed open and obvious. This case highlights the protective barrier this doctrine provides to landowners, potentially absolving them of responsibility if an injury occurs under such conditions. However, the legal landscape is not always so cut-and-dried.

In Morrissey v. Arlington Park Racecourse, the courts recognized the “deliberate encounter” exception, which caters to scenarios where the injured party knowingly encounters a hazard because the perceived benefits outweigh the risks. This exception is a crucial legal nuance that can overturn the traditional protections afforded by the “open and obvious” doctrine, offering a lifeline to plaintiffs who might otherwise have limited recourse.

These examples underscore the complexity of legal outcomes dependent on the specifics of each case. For those injured in such accidents, partnering with seasoned attorneys like those at Zneimer & Zneimer can be the key to unlocking the compensation you deserve. Our expertise in identifying and effectively arguing these exceptions can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

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