Slipped and Fell While Trespassing – Can I still file a claim?
In the majority of circumstances, premises liability law protects those who are injured in a slip and fall accident on another’s property. For those who are involved in a slip and fall accident while trespassing, though, the amount of protection afforded varies depending on a few factors.
Ohio Premises Liability Law
Premises liability law is the set of regulations that allows a person who is injured on another’s property to file a claim for damages in the event that the injury was caused by the property owner’s negligence.
In other words, a property owner has a duty to ensure that the property is reasonably free from harm for those who enter; if the property owner doesn’t adhere to this duty and an injury occurs, the injured party can usually recover damages for any medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
What does Ohio law say about trespassing and premises liability?
There are two categories that trespassers fall into in Ohio – known and unknown. An unknown trespasser is exactly that: a person who is trespassing on a person’s property unbeknownst to the property owner. A property owner has no duty to an unknown trespasser other than to not cause intentional harm or to engage in wanton or reckless conduct.
But, if the trespasser is unintentionally harmed on the property owner’s premises, and the property owner did not act in a reckless manner, then the property owner will not be liable. This law can be found in Ohio code section 2305.402(B).
However, according to Ohio code section 2305.402(C), once the trespasser is made known to the property owner, e.g. if the property owner sees the trespasser whilst in the act of trespassing or there are other indicators that the trespasser is present, then the property owner has a duty to exercise ordinary care such as by warning the trespasser of any known hazards.
For example, if there is a potentially dangerous part of the property owner’s property, the property owner must announce to the trespasser that potential danger. If the trespasser is made known to the property owner, and the property owner fails to exercise ordinary care or warn of any known hazards, then the property owner may be liable for the trespasser’s injuries.
How do I file a claim for my slip and fall injury?
A slip and fall injury can cause a myriad of health complications, ranging from head injuries to broken bones. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident while trespassing, and if the property owner was responsible, then you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
In order to recover damages, you will have to prove that the property owner knew of or created the hazard that caused your accident, and that the property owner also was aware of your presence on the property.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for filing a claim for damages is two years from the date of injury, according to Ohio Laws and Rules section 2305.10. As such, consult with an attorney immediately for assistance filing your personal injury claim in civil court.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney Today
If you’ve been wrongfully injured on another person’s property while trespassing, you may still be able to pursue a liability claim. At Bressman Law, our attorneys can help you to understand your rights and can work with you to prove that the property owner was aware of your presence and should have provided ordinary care such as an adequate warning to prevent your injury. To start working towards getting the compensation that you deserve, call our offices now at 866-777-6680.