Ohio law holds owners responsible for ensuring their homes, businesses, and other properties are safe for guests. Known as premises liability, this law allows injury victims to hold the property owner or occupier financially responsible for their injuries in some cases. If you believe a property owner acted negligently and caused your Central Ohio injuries, you should consult the premises liability lawyers at Bressman Law as soon as possible.
At Bressman Law, we know which laws are relevant to your case and can help you understand your legal options for compensation after a personal injury. We have successfully navigated the claims process for hundreds of clients and can give you the best shot at getting the maximum payout available in your case. Call our office today at (614) 538-1116 for a free case evaluation with one of our premises liability lawyers in Dublin, OH.
Who Can File a Premises Liability Claim?
Property owners have an obligation to maintain their buildings and land, to warn visitors of any hazards, and to provide proper lighting and security. This applies to private homes, businesses, and public property alike. This allows you to enter any restaurant, store, or friend’s home with the expectation that you are not at an unreasonable risk.
However, not all situations are the same. Premises liability law does not apply in the same way to every person who suffers an injury. It depends on why you were on the property and how the injury occurred. In certain situations, you can file a claim against a property owner who failed to provide you with reasonably safe surroundings. In others, premises liability law may not protect your right to file a claim.
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If you were trespassing, you may not be able to file a claim.
If you illegally entered the premises and the owner was not aware of your presence, they are not liable for your injuries in most cases. However, if the property owner learns of your presence and fails to warn you of a hazard, you may have a case against them.
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If you were trying to sell goods or services, the property owner may not be responsible for your accident.
When you visit a property for your own benefit, such as to offer a great deal on a security system or tell them more about your pest control services, you are what Ohio law considers a “licensee.” The property owner has the same obligations to licensees as they do to trespassers. If they are aware of the visitor, they must warn them of hazards. However, they have no duty to inspect or repair their property to prevent injuries.
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If they invited you in or you were a customer, you may be able to file a claim for your injuries.
Most victims of injuries who file a premises liability claim are “invitees”. This includes friends, invited guests, and customers. Property owners have an obligation to find and repair any potential hazards on their property in areas where invitees may be present. If that is not possible, they must warn their guests of the hazard.
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How can I get compensation for my accident-related damages?
Most premises liability cases settle without ever resorting to filing a lawsuit. An insurance claim based on the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance or business liability policy usually pays out, covering the damages. This means you can file a claim for compensation even if you suffered injuries at a friend or family member’s home. They should have insurance for situations like this and filing a claim does not have to create a rift between you.
Unfortunately, though, these cases are rarely as easy as filing a claim. To win you money from a premises liability claim, we will need to identify, collect, and provide evidence the property owner or occupier acted negligently. This means showing they knew of the problem but failed to correct it or warn you of the risks.
Even then, the insurance company may attempt to deny your claim based on one of the numerous exceptions under state law or downplay the severity of your injuries and offer you much less money than you deserve. We will go toe-to-toe with the insurance company, negotiating aggressively and fighting for the maximum payout you deserve based on your damages.
Why are premises liability cases so complex?
Ohio has complex and nuanced premises liability laws, making it almost impossible to handle this type of case without the help of a skilled and experienced attorney. There are notable exceptions to almost every category or type of person who files a claim.
For example, imagine your friend invites you over to hunt on their property but does not warn you about a vicious dog present on the grounds. The dog attacks you. Their insurance company will cover your dog bite injuries, right? Maybe not. Ohio law offers immunity for a landowner who allows someone to participate in recreational activities on their property, including hunting.
These exceptions may also work in your favor, though. If your child or teen suffers an injury while trespassing, the property owner may be responsible even if they did not know about it. This is especially true if there is an “attractive nuisance” involved, such as a swimming pool, tractor, or other object that might draw the attention of a child.
The bottom line is this: These cases are not easy to navigate. You need an attorney who understands the law and how it applies to your situation. We can help you understand if you have a viable claim, your likelihood of winning compensation, and your options for obtaining the cash you need to pay your bills. We can manage the entire process for you while you focus on getting better.
How much can I get for my claim?
There is no way to know exactly how much you will collect for your injuries until we reach a settlement with the insurance company or the court announces an award in your favor. We fight for the maximum amount available based on your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, plus our calculation of your pain and suffering damages. After we collect the proof of these losses, we can give you a better idea of how much you may expect.
It is also important to consider that if you shared the fault for your injuries in any way, you may not receive the full amount for your damages. Ohio’s comparative negligence laws bar you from collecting anything if you were more than 50 percent at fault for your accident. These laws also limit your compensation based on your level of contribution. If your medical bills cost $10,000 but you were 30 percent responsible for your injuries, for example, the court may limit you to only $7,000 in damages.
How Can I Talk to a Dublin Premises Liability Lawyer?
At Bressman Law, our premises liability lawyers are ready to learn more about your case and go to work for you. Call us today at (614) 538-1116 for a free, no-obligation case analysis with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.
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