Filing a Premises Liability Lawsuit

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: December 16th, 2016 |

Unlike many legal terms, most people can infer the meaning of “premises liability” from the usual definitions of its components. The owner or legal resident of a property has responsibility for protecting visitors to their property. This applies to homeowners, renters, and businesses. A common example of a premises liability case — a classic slip and fall — involves a shopper losing his or her footing on a wet floor after spilled liquid was not mopped up.

Collecting on a claim for such an incident is not automatic, however. The injured shopper would have to show that the store owner acted negligently in knowing about the spill but not doing anything about it. The shopper would also need to prove that an injury occurred and that, as a result, he or she incurred medical bills and lost money by spending time out of work while recovering. Working with an Ohio premises liability attorney will help, but the victim would also benefit from acting on his or her own to collect information to support the claim.

Recognize What Constitutes Premises Liability

Premises liability exists when known or potential hazards exist. The property owner or legal occupant has a legal duty to minimize the risk of injury from all identifiable sources. Breaching that duty to prevent a problem, fix a problem, or warn people sufficiently to allow them to avoid a problem makes the property owner responsible for compensating injury victims.

A partial list of causes of potential injury at a home, apartment, or business includes

  • Badly maintained stairs, ladders, balconies, or railings
  • Storing heavy objects overhead in an unsafe manner
  • Old, overloaded, or exposed electrical wiring
  • Potholes, cracked sidewalks, or sunken entrances that present tripping hazards
  • Dead trees and branches overhanging walkways
  • Improperly stored chemicals
  • Uninspected elevators or escalators
  • Loose rugs or frayed carpeting
  • Icy and snow-covered sidewalks
  • Wet or slippery floors

Intentional use of substandard building materials, violating building codes, and using shoddy construction techniques can also give rise to premises liability.

Take Pictures and Speak with Witnesses

Pictures taken in the minutes after an accident at someone else’s home or a business can provide essential evidence for substantiating a premises liability claim. So can eyewitness accounts. A dedicated premises liability in Ohio will endeavor to gather this information after the fact by requesting security tapes, tracking down people who were at the scene, and taking statements from the defendant.

Keep Records of Every Medical Visit and Bill

Succeeding with a premises liability claim requires proving that economic and other damages occurred. The surest way to prove this is to present detailed medical records, treatment plans, prescription orders, and bills from health care providers. Statements from an employer regarding medical and unpaid leave will also establish financial losses from an injury.

Be Prepared for a Long, Tough Fight

Insurance companies and policyholders can be counted on to contest premises liability claims vigorously. A principal strategy they will use involves arguing that the injured victim caused the accident by ignoring warnings or taking unnecessary risks. Countering those assertions is much easier when the injured person can show photos and call witnesses who tell what really happened.

If you suffered a preventable injury outside your own home, contact the Ohio premises liability attorneys with the Jones Law Group to discuss your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. You can request a consultation online or call us at (614) 545-9998.

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