When it comes to injuries suffered on its property, the city of Chicago is subject to the Immunity Act, a law that specifies that neither the government itself nor any one of its employees can be sued while carrying out everyday tasks related to their jobs. At the same time, government entities are responsible for ensuring that their actions are not seen as being either unreasonable or negligent as well.
If you’ve been injured in Chicago, one of the first things that’s important to determine is whether the area in which you were injured was under the jurisdiction of the city or someone else. Among the many different city-run operations that they are not only responsible for cleaning, but keeping safe from hazardous conditions as well, there is City Hall, sidewalks, parking garages and lots, parks, buses and streets.
Once made aware of certain safety issues, the city is responsible for quickly addressing them or potentially being held liable for not doing so. Among some of the many potentially dangerous issues that can arise in a highly trafficked city such as Chicago, include slips or falls on wet surfaces, trips and falls on either uneven pavement or cracked sidewalks or being struck or cut by a foreign object on the ground are most common.
Different from other types of cases involving private parties, cases against a government agency such as the City of Chicago are heard in front of a small, 7-judge panel. Lawsuits against the city of Chicago are also limited to a maximum $100,000 payout, even if injuries suffered go well beyond that amount.
Additionally, the Court of Claims in this type case are only authorized by law to hear cases within a year from the time the injury originally occurred. Any case filed after that point will automatically be dismissed. Also of note, unlike private lawsuits, injury cases against the city only allow victims to recover damages for injuries, but nothing punitive.
If you’ve been injured on property owned by the City of Chicago, then it’s important that you not only have a police report taken immediately afterwards, but that you seek medical attention right away as well. Because of the intricacies associated in filing a lawsuit against the city, you also may want to speak with a Chicago personal injury attorney to discuss your case as well.
Source: findlaw.com, “Injuries on Chicago city property: the basics,” accessed April 25, 2017