When you are hurt on the property of another individual, municipality, or business, you have legal rights. Contact the Ohio premises liability attorneys from our firm to learn more about how we can help during this challenging time.
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Premises liability is the area of law that determines when property owners or tenants are responsible for the injuries suffered on their property. In certain circumstances, when you are injured on the property of a person, business, or municipality, then the landowner or tenant may be responsible for compensating you for your injuries. This is usually true when you were a guest or customer, and you incurred injuries because of a hidden defect.
After a dangerous property accident, call the Ohio premises liability attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. We will thoroughly investigate your situation to determine what happened and why you got hurt. We will analyze the evidence to find out whether the property owner or tenant is liable for your injuries. If so, we can guide you through a premises liability insurance claim or lawsuit.
Ohio Premises Liability Law
Every state’s premises liability law is different. If you were hurt on another party’s property in Ohio, you should speak with our Ohio premises liability attorneys about the law and your rights.
Overall, premises liability is based on a landowner or tenant having a duty of care toward guests or customers and failing to uphold that duty. In Ohio, the specific duty a landowner or tenant owes you depends on your status on the property. You may be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
You are an invitee if you are on another party’s property with explicit or implicit permission and for a purpose that benefits the property owner or tenant. Another way to think about it is that you are on the property for a business or commercial purpose. If you are at the grocery store, shopping for food, then you are an invitee. A landowner owes invitees the duty to act with ordinary care for the invitee’s safety and protection. The owner or tenant must exercise reasonable care in discovering dangerous defects and either correcting those defects or warning invitees about them.
You are licensee if you are on another person’s property, with implicit or explicit permission, for your own benefit or pleasure. Social guests are considered licensees. If you go to another person’s house for a party, you are a licensee. When you are a licensee, the landowner or tenant owes you a duty of care, but it is lower than if you were an invitee. The owner must refrain from recklessly or willfully causing you harm. If the owner knows you are on their land though, they must use ordinary care to avoid harming you, which includes warning you about hidden hazards they know about.
You are trespasser when you enter or remain on another party’s property without permission. Landowners owe the same limited duty of care to trespassers as they do to invitees. They only must refrain from willfully, wantonly, or recklessly harming you.
If you incurred harm on another party’s property as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser, contact our Ohio premises liability attorneys right away.
The Open and Obvious Exception to Landowner Liability
When discussing premises liability claims, you have to mention the open and obvious doctrine. This rule states that everyone is responsible for noticing “open and obvious” hazards and then avoiding them. During a premises liability lawsuit, this doctrine is an objective test. A judge or jury will determine whether the condition is one you could have discovered through ordinary care. In other words, if you were looking and walking around normally, you could have noticed the problem.
This doctrine is not about your specific actions. It does not matter what you were actually doing or thinking at the time. It does not matter whether you did or did not notice the hazard. If the court finds the hazard that caused you harm was open and obvious, then the landowner or tenant may not be liable for your injuries.
However, there are exceptions to the open and obvious doctrine in Ohio. This is a common defense, and one you should prepare for. You should work with our Ohio premises liability attorneys to fight back against the owner’s open and obvious argument.
When You Can Sue a Property Owner or Tenant
If you were injured on another party’s property, then you need to talk with an attorney about when a property owner can be sued if negligence led to you suffering a personal injury. Just because you were harmed in an accident on another party’s property that does not mean the owner or tenant is liable. A good example is if you slipped on snow or ice. If you slipped on snow and ice on a business or person’s walkway, you probably could not sue. Ohio’s “Winter Rule” states that property owners and tenants are not required to remove natural accumulations of snow and ice.
However, if you were hurt in an accident that was a result of the property owner or tenant’s negligence, then you may be able to sue. You should speak to a premises liability lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Our attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick will independently investigate the incident. We will gather as much evidence as we can to determine what went wrong.
We also will review your status on the property to determine the landowner or tenant’s duty toward you. If you were an invitee, we will quickly review the evidence. If there is evidence that shows the owner or tenant failed to uphold an ordinary duty of care or the duty to warn toward you, then our Ohio premises liability attorneys will represent you in pursuing compensation.
If you were a licensee or trespasser, we will review the evidence to determine if the owner or tenant acted recklessly or with malice toward you.
Types of Premises Liability Claims We Handle
Our lawyers handle premises liability claims on a regular basis. We are highly experienced in pursuing compensation for individuals who incurred injuries on other parties’ properties.
Some of the most common premises liability claims we handle include:
Falling can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, back injuries, spinal cord injuries, and concussions or more serious traumatic brain injuries (TBI). We have seen slip and fall or trip and fall accidents occur for all sorts of reasons. Some underlying causes are spills, wet floors, recently mopped or waxed flooring, loose carpet, rug and mats without non-slip backing, loose cords, poor lighting, and debris on the floor. If you were injured during a slip and fall or trip and fall on someone else’s property, call our Ohio premises liability attorneys right away to discuss your rights. When a hidden danger caused the accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation.
When a property owner is required to keep guests and customers safe, this includes installing appropriate security measures such as lighting, locked doors, security gates, surveillance cameras, and security personnel. The security measures that are appropriate for a particular property depend on the types and amount of crime in the area, and the risk customers and guests face. A business in a high-crime area may need to install a greater amount of security to uphold their duty of ordinary care than a similar business in a low-crime area. If you were injured during a crime, and you believe you were victimized because of a business’s inadequate security, call our firm immediately.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Many families throughout Ohio enjoy swimming pools during the summer. Some have pools in their backyards or enjoy family member or neighbor’s pools. There are also public and private swimming pools they may pay to attend. Whether in a friend’s pool, the neighborhood public pool, or a private club or gym’s pool, you should be safe. There should be no hidden dangers waiting to cause you harm. Unfortunately, many pools and their surrounding areas are not as well-maintained or designed as they should be. You could get hurt on slick surfaces or because of sharp edges. You or a loved one could be harmed or killed by drowning if a pool is not properly supervised. If you or your child were harmed in a swimming pool accident, do not hesitate to call our Ohio premises liability attorneys to discuss your rights.
Stair, Balcony, and Deck Accidents
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we often have clients that have been hurt on stairs, balconies, or decks. Injuries happen for all sorts of reasons, including missing steps, rotting boards, loose handrails, and a total lack of rails. Many of our clients slipped or tripped and fell because of poorly-maintained stairs, decks, and balconies. If you were injured because of improperly maintained and hazardous property fixtures, call us right away.
Possible Insurance Coverage
When you are hurt on another party’s property and you seek compensation, there may be premises liability coverage through the property owner or tenant’s insurance policy. If you were injured on another person’s property, you might be able to file a claim against their homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. If you were harmed on a business’s property, they almost certainly have an insurance policy that covers bodily injuries.
Though there may be insurance coverage, that does not mean you will automatically and quickly get a settlement. The insurer will investigate the accident to determine if their policyholder is liable and if you are really injured. During this process, you should have one of our Ohio premises liability attorneys handle the insurance company’s communications and provide evidence of fault and the harm you have suffered.
Then, if the insurer approves your claim, it will calculate a value for your injuries. This is another area in which having a lawyer is essential. The insurer will not want to pay out any more than it has to. Its initial settlement offer will be low. By working with an attorney, you have someone to negotiate an appropriate settlement on your behalf.
Premises Liability Compensation
If you incurred injuries on another party’s property and you can prove they were negligent, then you can seek compensation for your:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
Contact our Ohio Premises Liability Attorneys Today for Help
If you or a loved one has been injured on someone else’s property, and you believe the property owner was negligent in keeping their property safe, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. Premises liability cases can be complicated, and you should not have to tackle this yourself. We can guide you through the insurance claim process, and when necessary, we will represent you during a personal injury lawsuit.