MANSFIELD’S INJURY LAWYER

How does Ohio premises liability work?

Not everyone is equal in the eyes of Ohio law when it comes to premises liability claims. The success of a claim depends on who you are, why you were there and what you were doing.

To bring a premises liability claim, you need to prove there was negligence on the part of the landowner. You need to prove they had a duty of care toward you and failed to carry out that duty of care.

Under what terms were you on the property?

If you are an adult and you were trespassing on someone’s land, a court may choose to dismiss a claim. A child may get more leeway, as the law accepts that children are curious.

If you go to a hotel or a store, the business owners have a duty of care toward you, because they are inviting you to be a client. Even if a landowner invites you onto their land and no money exchanges hands, such as a school open day, they have a level of duty to make sure the place is safe.

Recreational users generally receive less protection. If someone is letting you use their land for hiking, snowmobiling or fishing, the law often considers you do so at your own risk.

Did the landowner know about the danger, and could they have repaired it?

Some hazards are obvious; some are hidden or have only just occurred. The easier it is to notice, and the longer it has existed, the more it would be expected that a landowner knows about it.

Was the hazard open and obvious, and could you have avoided it?

You pull into a store. There is a hole outside cordoned off by hazard tape and a sign saying, “Danger — hole.” The landowner could reasonably argue that they warned you of the danger.

Bringing an Ohio premises liability claim for injuries suffered on someone else’s property requires understanding Ohio laws. That is why it is best to seek legal help if you need compensation for your injuries.