Premises Liability: When A Building Owner's Responsibility To Safety Falls Short

Under the body of law known as premises liability, the owner of a building — such as a store, restaurant, hotel or even the owner of a residential property — has a certain amount of responsibility to maintain the safety of the building's guests. The property must be well-maintained and staffed with a reasonable amount of security, and any potential hazards must be removed quickly. Premises liability is a fairly broad area of the law, as it can come into play in a wide variety of situations.

If you suffered injuries because a property owner failed in their duty of care, then talk to the lawyers at The Attkisson Law Firm, LLC, in Dayton. We've handled hundreds of jury trial cases involving a wide variety of personal injury claims, including numerous premises liability cases. We achieved successful results in many of those cases because we're heavy hitters — we fight to win for our clients — and we will do the same for you.

What Does Negligence Look Like?

Common examples of premises liability cases include:

  • Slip-and-fall accidents — Caused by spilled liquids, food or other debris that can create a slippery or unsafe surface.
  • Staircase accidents — Caused by lifted up or torn carpeting, loose banisters or safety railings, broken steps, loose board or crumbling infrastructure.
  • Accidents arising from improper maintenance — Including failing to replace light bulbs, install proper lighting, repair electrical or mechanical problems, replace batteries in smoke detectors and more.
  • Failure to hire sufficient security — Which can result in assaults that can leave a victim seriously or fatally injured.
  • Failure to warn visitors of a dangerous animal — Resulting in serious dog bites or other animal attacks that can leave a victim with serious injuries.

If I Have A Case, How Much Will I Get?

There is a common misconception among many people that premises liability cases, in particular slip-and-fall cases, provide millions of dollars in compensation to unqualified victims. The fact is, however, that premises liability cases provide an amount of money appropriate to the situation; enough to compensate the victim for his or her medical bills, lost wages and loss of enjoyment of life.

If a case does result in a very large verdict, it is generally because the victim has suffered an extremely serious injury that will require lifelong care such as a head injury or a spinal cord fracture. Gross negligence can also lead to large payouts for punitive damages.

Not all settlement offers are created equal. To determine if you should accept an offer or not, it's always a good idea to have a practiced attorney review your case.

Ohio Law: The Open And Obvious Doctrine

In general, premises owners are liable if they allowed a hazardous situation to arise on their property. Spilled oil, for example, could be a slipping hazard to visitors if it is not promptly cleaned up. However, the state of Ohio has a law that makes it much more difficult for victims to successfully pursue their premises liability cases.

It's known as the "open and obvious doctrine." The doctrine states that if a person of reasonable intelligence could be expected to notice and recognize the premises hazard, then the premises owner is not liable for any injuries that the hazard causes. Victims, therefore, must not only prove that the spilled oil was negligently present, but also that it was not an obvious hazard.

This can be difficult, as the nuances of the law are somewhat subjective. Victims who wish to pursue a premises liability claim should consider speaking to a lawyer.

We Can Help You File A Claim

Whether you think you have a claim or you're unsure, don't hesitate to reach out to our Dayton law office and ask to speak to attorneys Kevin Attkisson, Matthew Jewson or Justin McMullen. They have 40 years of combined experience and a reputation for being heavy hitters. You can rest easy knowing they will have your back from beginning to end.

To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or call our main office at 937-802-0354. Consultations are available at any of our satellite offices throughout Ohio by appointment only.