A trip to the grocery store or to someone’s house should not normally bring a risk of injury with it. Unfortunately, dangerous conditions and unaddressed temporary hazards could cause tremendous harm if an unaware visitor stumbled upon them.
If you suspect that a property owner’s negligence directly led to an injury you recently suffered, talking to a Defiance premises liability lawyer could be in your best interest. A seasoned personal injury attorney familiar with these types of cases can help you identify recoverable damages and effectively seek compensation for them.
Circumstances Determining a Property Owner’s Liability
While one of the common reasons for a premises liability claim is a slip, trip, or fall in a retail establishment, numerous circumstances could justify civil litigation. Anything from exposed electrical wiring to broken furniture or flooring, or even an assault or robbery occurring due to a lack of proper security could be grounds for a Defiance property liability attorney to pursue a case on a plaintiff’s behalf.
How Does Visitor Classification Impact a Landowner’s Responsibility?
Just because an injury occurred on someone else’s land does not mean the owner or manager is automatically liable. Ohio state law divides visitors into categories based on their reasons for being on the premises and assigns property owners different duties of care for each type of visitor.
Landowners must provide invitees or people who visit for the financial benefit of the owner, such as retail shoppers, with ordinary care.
This means owners must fix known dangers and warn invitees of hazards that a typical visitor might not notice. Conversely, landowners only owe licensees, or people who visit the property for their own benefit, and trespassers a duty of not knowingly inflicting harm on them.
Exceptions to Visitor Categories in Defiance
Under Ohio Revised Code §1533.181, landowners do not owe a duty of ordinary care to people who use nonresidential property for recreational purposes, such as hunting or fishing, nor are they responsible for protecting invitees from “open and obvious” hazards. However, landowners can be held liable for injuries sustained by children who trespass on their land due to an “attractive nuisance”, like a swimming pool. Legal counsel can offer further clarification about which exceptions could impact a plaintiff’s claim.
What Damages Can a Plaintiff Recover?
Once they demonstrate liability on the part of a property owner, a person injured by the owner’s negligent upkeep can seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. These can include but are not strictly limited to:
- Damage to personal property
- Pain and suffering
- Bills related to both short-term and long-term medical care, including physical therapy and prescription medications
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of both current and future work wages
- Loss of consortium
If a plaintiff is found to bear some liability for their own damages, ORC §2315.33 allows a court to proportionately reduce the value of their total damage award.
However, a dedicated premises liability lawyer in Defiance could contest these kinds of allegations on a plaintiff’s behalf with the goal of maximizing recoverable compensation.
Contact a Defiance Premises Liability Attorney for More Information
If you suffered an injury while on someone else’s property, it is always worthwhile to talk to an attorney and examine your legal options. Through a successful negligence case, you can recover compensation for the financial and personal losses you experienced as a result of a landowner’s carelessness. Call today to schedule an appointment with a Defiance premises liability lawyer.