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Just because a person slips and falls while on another’s property does not mean that the landowner is responsible to pay damages. This is why contacting a Findlay slip and fall lawyer might be important. These types of injuries are one example of an area of law known as premises liability.
Premises liability cases need to examine not just how the injury occurred, but also why the injured person was on the land. A dedicated slip and fall attorney would work within the frame of the law to help you pursue damages against negligent landowners.
At its simplest, a slip and fall accident happens when a landowner fails to properly warn visitors about a hazardous condition. This can include liquid spills, icy walkways, or moisture tracked in from the outside. But the mere presence of the hazard is not enough to prove a case.
Most slips and falls happen while a shopper visits a store. This means that the visitor is considered an invitee. This status provides them the maximum level of protection under Ohio premises liability law.
Invitee plaintiffs must demonstrate that the property owner knew about the condition, or should have known about it. Despite this, the owner made no effort to fix or warn the visitor about the hazard.
For example, if it is January, and a store owner knows that their awning drips every day forming ice the following night, this landowner should take care to salt the walkways every morning. If a visitor slips on this unsalted, icy walkway and is injured, the property owner may be legally liable to pay for the injuries.
Property owners may take steps to limit their liability. In the above example, if the owner places a sign that says, “Caution Ice” on the wall outside the store, the plaintiff has been warned about the condition.
Additionally, the defendant may argue that the plaintiff did not exercise reasonable care to avoid the icy walkway, especially considering that it was January at the time of the accident.
These factors combine to potentially limit the plaintiff’s recovery. Ohio is a comparative negligence state. This simply means that any claim of negligence, as all slip and fall cases are, must consider how much the plaintiff contributed to their injuries. If a jury finds that the plaintiff was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, the plaintiff cannot recover any damages. When the store owner places a caution sign, it could be argued that the plaintiff’s lack of caution contributed to their injuries.
Despite the high barrier that a plaintiff must cross, a skillfully handled slip and fall case can still obtain compensation. A Findlay slip and fall lawyer would examine the circumstances behind the individual’s injuries to determine the fault of the landowner, any steps they took to mitigate their liability, and how their actions may have contributed to the accident.
Skilled Findlay slip and fall attorneys know the right questions to ask about how often these hazardous conditions occur, how likely it was for the landowner to know about them, and any steps that the property owner took to fix the problem prior to the injury.
But even the clearest examples of slip and fall cases may fail if the injured person does not act quickly. There is a law in Ohio known as the statute of limitations that defines when a plaintiff can bring a case to court. According to Ohio Revised Code 2305.10, any slip and fall case must be started no more than two years from the date of the accident. If this time limit passes, the plaintiff’s case will be dismissed.
Slips and falls can be frustrating and confusing situations. An injured person may not be aware of what rights and protections they have under the law. Further, they may believe that the defendant’s insurance company can deny their claim, just because they state that the accident was the plaintiff’s fault.
A Findlay slip and fall lawyer would work with individuals to exercise their rights and to hold negligent property owners accountable for their actions. There is a limited time to file a claim so contact as soon as possible.