Premise Liability (slip & fall)
Under Ohio premises liability law, property owners must keep property reasonably safe and warn people who come onto their property about possible dangers. Our attorneys help clients bring cases against property owners whose negligence results in injury.
Premises liability is a type of personal injury case that covers various types of hazardous property situations. Incidents may occur inside buildings or on property grounds and can include situations such as the following:
- Falling merchandise from retail store shelves
- Unsafe elevators, escalators and stairs
- Slippery or wet floors
- Broken glass
- Dog bites or animal attacks
- Hazards causing slips and falls
- Lack of security resulting in criminal assaults
- Building collapse
Almost any type of property can be subject to premises liability — retail stores, parking lots, public buildings, residences, farms or ranches, office buildings, parks, sports arenas and apartment buildings, to name a few.
Determining fault in a property accident
When ruling on a case, courts evaluate whether property owners regularly inspected the property, repaired hazards or took precautions to warn people who were on the property about hazards. For example, if someone suffers from a slip and fall, the attorney would have to provide evidence that some type of negligence existed for the property owner to be liable. The courts expect individuals who are on another person’s property to pay attention and do not hold property owners completely responsible for all accidents. In the legal system, property owners and persons who are legally on their property both have a duty to act reasonably.
Under Ohio law, the open and obvious doctrine has long been a complete defense to a plaintiff’s claim in a premises liability action. Under this doctrine, a property owner owes no duty to warn or otherwise protect patrons from hazards or obstacles, which are “open and obvious.” The rationale is that where view is unobstructed, the condition itself serves as an adequate warning for the plaintiff to exercise due care and avoid an accident.