Arlington Heights, Illinois, is changing the way it plows parking lots and other local areas. Under previous standards, workers pushed equal amounts of snow onto each cleared corner of an area. The former method was used to provide more room for parked cars. However, under new policies, workers will pile snow in three corners and avoid areas near stairs.

The changes come in response to a 2010 personal injury lawsuit. An Illinois woman and her husband filed suit against the village in Cook County Circuit Court after the woman slipped in a local parking garage. The plaintiffs alleged that the garage had "unnaturally" accumulated ice by the stairwell in the southwest corner of the building. The fall fractured her leg, which was set in a cast.

The couple asserted that the village was negligent, and the woman's husband was deprived of his wife's companionship during her recovery from the slip-and-fall accident. Ultimately, the case did not go to trial; however, the parties came to an agreement before a court. In December 2012, the village board approved a settlement worth $49,500.

Nevertheless, the village's director of public works feels that Arlington is not at fault for the accident. The village claims that snow had fallen before 5 a.m. on the day of the accident, and the area was cleared by 5:30 that same morning. He notes, "We believe it was a natural accumulation of snow and ice." The village does not believe that the accident resulted from negligence on the city's part.

A slip-and-fall lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim that results from someone falling down the stairs, slipping in a store, tripping on broken concrete or some other similar accident. In some cases, there is nobody to blame; on the other hand, when the injuries result from poor maintenance, someone may be at fault. The owner or operator of the property is often liable for the injuries sustained to an injured party, and homeowners' or business insurance usually covers any liability.

In the case here, the woman asserted that the village was at fault for the improper maintenance of snow in the parking garage. While the case did not go to trial, the plaintiffs recovered damages. Furthermore, the city has made efforts to prevent future accidents from happening, which is always good policy.

If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury law attorney. A lawyer can help you assess your case.