If you recently sustained injuries in a slip and fall or other accident on someone else’s property, you could be entitled to compensatory damages. Property owners have specific obligations to certain types of guests that enter the premises. If a landowner violated their legal duty and you got hurt, consult with our Columbus premises liability lawyers to discuss whether a case for compensation can be brought.
Our personal injury attorneys will investigate the chain of events leading up to your injury and determine whether you have a justifiable case for compensation. If so, our attorneys will review the full extent of your losses and explain what damages may be available to you in a successful settlement or monetary award.
Establishing a Legal Duty in a Premises Liability Case
One of the first steps for a lawyer in Columbus in a premises liability case is to establish whether or not the property owner owed you a specific duty of care. Property owners owe different degrees of care to invitees and licensees who enter the premises.
An invitee refers to an individual who is invited onto the property to benefit the landowner. A patron at a shopping mall, for instance, would be considered an invitee. Licensees are also allowed to enter the property, but the owner does not expect an economic advantage by their presence. A friend who is invited over to another’s home is a licensee.
A property owner owes a duty of reasonable care to invitees to ensure their safety and make them aware of hazards that they would not otherwise find on their own. Furthermore, if a property owner is aware that the licensee is on the premises, they are required to exert reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injuries and make unseen hazards known to them.
By contrast, a trespasser is not permitted to enter the premises and would be owed a lesser duty by the property owner. However, property owners must still avoid intentionally or carelessly harming a trespasser, per Ohio Revised Code § 2305.402.
Proving Landowner Negligence
Once a Columbus premises liability attorney establishes that the property owner owed you a duty of care, they would then work to establish landowner negligence. The doctrine of negligence contains four elements — duty, breach, causation, and damages. Accordingly, if the property owner owed a visitor a duty, violated that duty, and was the proximate cause of the visitor’s injuries and damages, the property owner can be liable.
Under Oh. Rev. Code § 2315.33, the injured party may receive limited financial damages if the court finds them partially to blame for their losses. The law states that the claimant would still be entitled to damages if they were no more than 50 percent negligent.
What are Examples of Property Hazards?
Common premises liability incidents include slip and falls, balcony incidents, escalator accidents, and drowning or almost drowning incidents. Acts of violence, improperly maintained pavement, stairs, or walkways, and fire-related harm also give rise to a premises liability claim.
Deadline to Start a Occupiers’ Liability Claim
Ohio law provides premises liability plaintiffs two years to get their case for compensation filed. It is best to speak with one of our premises liability attorneys in Columbus as soon as possible once an injury is discovered. If you delay to start your case and miss the deadline, you could be ineligible for monetary damages.
A Columbus Premises Liability Attorney Could Handle Your Case
If you think you could be owed compensation after a recent accident on someone’s property, it could be in your best interest to reach out to our Columbus premises liability lawyers to discuss your legal options. We are attorneys you can trust to assess the circumstances of your claim and fine what compensation may be obtainable. To get legal counsel regarding the next steps for your potential claim, contact our office today and schedule your first consultation.