Business establishments and property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their land, buildings and walkways are safe for their authorized guests. If a person sustains catastrophic injuries or dies because of dangerous conditions on another person’s property, the property owner may be liable.
While premises liability cases often refer to “slip and fall” accidents, there are several other types of property owner negligence that can result in people suffering serious injuries. Because a property owner will almost always argue that your injuries were the result of your own carelessness in these cases, it is extremely important to contact a skilled personal injury attorney who can help you hold negligent parties accountable.
Attorney for Premises Liability in Cincinnati, OH
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed because of a property owner’s negligence, you should obtain legal representation as soon as possible. Steiden Law Offices represents victims in slip and fall accidents and other premises liability cases throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Our firm has been serving residents of Hamilton County in Ohio as well as Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky for 20 years. We can review your case and discuss your legal options.
Call for a free consultation by calling today.
People who sustain injuries in slip and fall accidents have a short period of time to pursue a legal claim. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a premises liability lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury, and a victim has only one year in Kentucky.
In these cases, the victim will need to prove three things in order to prove the property owner was negligent:
- The property owner or an employee of the business on the property either caused the dangerous condition or should have known about the dangerous condition, and the property owner or the employee should have known the authorized guest would not recognize the danger
- The property owner or an employee of the business on the property did nothing to make the dangerous condition safe for the authorized guest or provide warning about the condition
- The authorized guest did not know, was not provided warning, and had no reason to be aware of the dangerous condition.
In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff who files the personal injury lawsuit must show:
- the existence of a duty;
- the breach of the duty;
- injury resulting proximately from the breach of that duty; and
Under Ohio law, the scope of the legal duty owed to that person depends on the status of a person who enters the land of another.
The Business Invitee
A business invitee is one who enters another's land by invitation for a purpose that is beneficial to the owner. For business invitees, the duty of the owner is to keep the premises in reasonably safe condition and warn of dangers that are known to the owner. Liability only attaches when an owner has superior knowledge of the particular danger which caused the injury, as an invitee may not reasonably be expected to protect himself from a risk he cannot fully appreciate.
If a danger is open and obvious, however, a property owner owes no duty of care to individuals lawfully on the premises.
Ohio’s “Open and Obvious” Doctrine
To be open and obvious, a hazard must not be concealed and must be discoverable by ordinary inspection. The relevant issue is not whether an individual observes the condition, but whether the condition is capable of being observed.
“Attendant circumstances” may affect the applicability of the open and obvious doctrine. Attendant circumstances have not been and probably cannot be precisely defined, but the term has been held to include any distraction that would come to the attention of a person in the same circumstances and reduce the degree of care an ordinary person would exercise at the time.
Both circumstances contributing to and those reducing the risk of the defect must be considered. The totality of the circumstances of each case must be examined to determine if, as a whole, they create a substantial defect.
For attendant circumstances to negate the application of the open and obvious doctrine, they must not only be present. Instead, they must create a greater than normal or substantial risk of injury.
When taken together, the attendant circumstances must:
- divert the attention of the person;
- significantly enhance the danger of the defect; and
- contribute to the injury.
The attendant circumstances do not include regularly encountered, ordinary, or common circumstances. Instead, the attendant circumstances do not include the individual's activity at the time of the fall unless the individual's attention was diverted by an unusual circumstance of the property owner's making.
Find a Lawyer for a Premises Liability Case in Ohio
Steiden Law Offices helps the victims of premises liability cases including slip and fall accidents. Our personal injury attorneys represent residents of such Ohio and Kentucky communities as Cincinnati, Blue Ash, Forest Park, Norwood, Covington, Erlanger, and Florence. The attorneys at Steiden Law Offices represents the victims of premises liability accidents throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Our firm has offices in Cincinnati and Mainesville, Ohio, as well as Covington and Florence, Kentucky. Our caring and compassionate personal injury attorneys can review your case.
We will fight to obtain all of the compensation you are entitled to for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call right now to have our firm provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 1, 2017.