Slip, Trip, and Fall Accidents: Understanding Premise Liability Law

Slip, trip, and fall accidents can be quite serious and can cause significant bodily injuries. That is why it is important to understand Premise Law Liability

Ohio-Premise-Liability-Law-Lawsuit-Lawyer-Cochran-OhioWhether you are a visitor on private or the property of a business, premises liability law says the property owner carries the responsibility when someone gets injured because of a property defect, hazard, or because of poor maintenance. However, premise liability law is complex and questions the injured person’s role in the accident before determining who is legally responsible for an injury.

Slip, trip, and fall accidents can cause broken bones, head and back injuries, and have a serious negative effect on a person’s life, including lost work, temporary and permanent lifestyle changes, and significant medical bills. If you or someone you love was injured while on someone else’s property, you may be wondering who is responsible for the injury and if you can be compensated for the negative effects that injury caused.

Types of Premise Liability Injuries:

  • Accidents in retail stores
  • Slip, trip, and fall accidents
  • Unsecured sites
  • Playground and amusement park accidents
  • Construction site accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Public and private pools

Responsibility in Premise Liability Injuries

Property owners, commercial or private, carry the responsibility of keeping their premises safe and free from hazards. If there is a dangerous or hazardous condition on the property, the owner is responsible for warning visitors, customers, or other types of invitees of the danger.

Property owners are responsible for posting notice, or drawing attention to a potential hazard or danger. For example, a parking garage owner has a responsibility to post notices in obvious locations about criminal activity within the garage, broken elevators or stairs, wet or slick spots on the garage floor, or inadequate lighting. The garage owner is also tasked with the responsibility of taking reasonable measures to correct the dangerous situation, such as installing or replacing adequate light sources, repairing broken stairs, and cleaning wet or slick areas.

Premise Liability Law

The premise liability law says that property owners have the highest responsibility to people who are invited into the premises, such as a grocery or retail store customers. The second highest responsibility is given to licensee’s, or those who are guests at a non-commercial property. Property owners owe no responsibility to trespassers unless the owner knows someone is trespassing on the property. In that case, the owner must still make reasonable efforts to warn the trespasser of dangers.

Premise Liability “Open And Obvious Doctrine”

A valid defense to slip, trip, and fall accidents is the “open and obvious doctrine.” This defense holds that if a trier of fact finds that the residential or commercial hazard that caused the fall was open and obvious to the eye, then the injured plaintiff cannot recover for injuries sustained from the hazard. A 2009 Ohio Supreme Court decision held that the “open and obvious doctrine” is applicable whether or not the hazard violated building codes.

The test to determine if a danger is open and obvious is whether “an average user with ordinary intelligence would have been able to discover the danger and the risk presented upon casual inspection.” Because the test is objective, Courts “looks not to whether plaintiff should have known that the condition was hazardous, but to whether a reasonable person in his position would foresee the danger.

About the Cochran Firm – Ohio

The Cochran Firm – Ohio is an experienced full service, personal injury law firm with offices in Cincinnati and Dayton and handles personal injury cases throughout all of Ohio. Founded over 40 years ago by famed attorney, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., The Cochran Firm – Ohio has established itself as one of the premier personal injury law firms in the United States and has been recognized for delivering successful results to their clients across a broad range of claims stemming from car / auto accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, premises liability, and product liability lawsuits. For over 40 years, The Cochran Firm – Ohio’s team of experienced lawyers continually fight for justice for all its clients. If you’ve been injured call Ohio’s experienced full service law firm “The Cochran Firm – Ohio” today at 513-381-HURT.