Being a property owner comes with a variety of responsibilities, including keeping the property safe for others. Following an accident on a property in Westerville, the accident victim can usually pursue damages in the form of a lawsuit under Ohio’s premises liability laws.
What is premises liability?
Premises liability governs both property owners’ responsibilities for maintaining a property as well as the rights of those harmed on the property. Essentially, the law stipulates that a property owner must keep his property free from hazards that could be harmful to anyone entering the property. If a property owner violates this duty of care and a person sustains an injury as a result, the injured person has the right to file a lawsuit for damages.
Examples of Common Premises Liability Accidents
Some examples of premises liability accidents are below.
- Slip and fall accidents
- Objects falling from above
- Drowning in a pool
- Food poisoning
- Fall from height
- Staircase accidents
- Elevator accidents
When any of the above accidents occurs, a victim can sustain a myriad of injuries. These injuries may include broken bones, head injuries, cuts, bruises, internal injuries, and even death.
Often, these injuries occur as a result of a property’s owner failure to maintain or repair a dangerous condition, such as a broken walkway, torn carpet, etc. If the property owner knows of a hazard on the property and fails to repair it, the property owner may be negligent. If the negligence leads to harm, then the property owner may be liable for the victim’s damages.
A Property Owner’s Duties to Visitors
A property owner has a duty to three different groups of people who may enter the property.
- Invitees – Those invited to the property for the benefit of the property owner. For example, visitors to a store.
- Licensees – Those who enter the property for his or her own benefit. For example, a social guest at a property owner’s home.
- Trespasser – Those not invited onto the property and who do not have any legal right to be on the property.
A property owner may be liable for an invitee’s or licensee’s injuries, but may not be liable for harm a trespasser suffers. Exceptions include if the property owner willfully caused the injury or if the trespasser was a child who was not able to understand potential hazards (attractive nuisance doctrine may apply in this case).
The state recognizes recreational property differently. Owners of property who open it up for recreational use (e.g., allow others to fish or hike on the land) do not have the same duties or liability. They may be immune from liability as long as they do not receive any payment or other benefit from the person using the land.
Hurt on someone’s property in Westerville? Call David Bressman
Filing a lawsuit against someone you don’t know can be difficult; filing a lawsuit against some you do know can be even more challenging. At Bressman Law, we understand these can be sensitive matters, especially if you suffered injuries at a friend’s home or at a store or restaurant that you frequent.
Property owners should have insurance that covers their liability if someone suffers an injury on the property. This can compensate victims for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages they might suffer.
Under Ohio Law section 2305.10, a claimant must file the claim within two years of the incident, so get started today. Contact Bressman Law at 877-538-1116 to set up a consultation if you suffered injuries and wish to review legal options.