Slip and fall injuries are a type of premises liability claim that can arise when a property owner fails to maintain their property in a safe and reasonable manner. Slip and fall injuries occur when a person falls on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition such as a wet floor or a hazard caused by rain, ice, or snow.
Common examples of slip and fall injuries are when someone slips on a wet substance in the grocery store aisle, falls when coming into a business out of the snow, or slips on an icy sidewalk.
Proving liability in an Ohio slip and fall case will often depend on the unique circumstances of the incident and whether the property owner acted reasonably to prevent the condition that caused the fall. However, some basic rules govern premises liability lawsuits in Ohio that will affect whether you are eligible to recover compensation for your injuries.
Proving Slip and Fall Injuries
While there are many hurdles facing someone injured in a slip and fall accident, winning these cases is far from impossible. However, there are pitfalls for the unwary. If you were injured because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, you should work with the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc.
To succeed in a claim for a slip and fall injury, the injured person must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that:
A property owner has a legal duty to use reasonable care to prevent a guest from reasonably foreseeable injuries. In many cases, it is reasonable for the property owner to repair the hazardous condition or warn a guest of the potential danger.
Challenges to Bringing a Successful Slip and Fall Claim
While bringing a case for a slip and fall injury case seems simple enough, these are some of the more complex cases to win. As a matter of law, a property owner is not responsible for addressing every hazard on their property. Instead, property owners are only liable when they have superior knowledge of the danger and fail to take steps to prevent an injury to someone who enters their property. If the injured person had or should have had the same knowledge of the hazardous condition as the property owner, the hazard is said to be “open and obvious” and the injured person cannot recover damages.
Ohio’s open and obvious doctrine is an objective test. A judge or jury will decide whether a hazard was one that the injured person should have discovered using ordinary care. If a person walking around the property would have known about the hazardous condition, it will likely be considered open and obvious and will act to bar your right to compensation.
Similarly, property owners are not liable for a “natural accumulation” of ice or snow because these hazards are known risks posed by Ohio’s climate. However, a property owner may be liable for an unnatural accumulation of ice or snow if they created a condition that was substantially more dangerous than a person would have expected, such as by diverting runoff from a roof or removing ice and snow in a way that creates an unexpected risk of a fall by causing water to accumulate in an unexpected place.
Damages in an Ohio Slip and Fall Claim
If you were injured because of a fall on a slippery surface on someone else’s property, you might be entitled to compensation for:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
How to File a Slip and Fall Claim
While there are many hurdles facing someone injured in a slip and fall accident, winning these cases is far from impossible. However, there are pitfalls for the unwary. If you were injured because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, you should work with the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. Ohio personal injury attorney Tom Robenalt has more than 30 years of experience representing people who were injured in slip and fall accidents. He understands how complicated these cases can be, and he knows how to win.
During your free consultation, Attorney Robenalt will analyze your situation to determine whether you may be entitled to compensation. He will answer your questions, explain the claims process, and work to negotiate a favorable resolution to your claim. If a successful resolution is not forthcoming, he will file a lawsuit and fight for your right to financial recovery in court.