What is Premises Liability?

Premises liability is the legal concept in a personal injury claim that an injury was caused by an unsafe or defective condition on another person’s property. In order to present a successful claim in a premises liability case, the injured person must prove that the property owner was negligent with respect to the maintenance and/or ownership of the property. In general, negligence means that that the property owner failed to take reasonable care in connection with the property and that the property owner knew or should reasonably have known that the premises were in an unsafe condition, and still failed to take proper steps to correct the situation. Slip and Falls are the most well-know type of premises liability cases.

Types of Premises Liability Cases:

  • Falling hazards, such as loose or broken floors, sidewalks, steps or stairs
  • Tripping hazards, such as uneven floors
  • Slipping hazards, such as wet floors from spilled liquids
  • Unnatural accumulation of snow and ice

Statute of Limitations

In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases gives an injured person two years from the date of the injury to either settle the claim or to go to court and file a lawsuit against those responsible for the injury (or the underlying accident). If the injured party is under the age of 18 at the time of the injury, the injured party will have two (2) years from the date of their 18th birthday to settle or file a claim.

Common Defenses to Premises Liability Claims:

  • You weren’t paying sufficient attention to where you were walking (you were using your phone at the time you slipped and fell, for example).
  • The footwear you were wearing was inappropriate or even dangerous considering the circumstances.
  • You were on part of the property where customers or visitors aren’t usually allowed, or where customers or visitors aren’t usually expected to be.
  • The dangerous property conditionshould have been obvious to you.
  • The dangerous condition was cordoned off by cones and signage (reasonable steps were taken to protect visitors, in other words).

If you or a loved one have been injured and you believe you have a premises liability claim, contact the personal injury attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein.

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