In many personal injury cases, there is no question as to whether someone is liable for injuries caused in an accident. When someone hits someone from behind or veers into oncoming traffic and hits another car head-on, we can all agree that these individuals will usually be liable for any resulting injuries.
In slip and fall personal injury cases, liability for the injury is not always so clear. The owner of the premises must be negligent in maintaining the premises. This means there is some defect in the premises. The defect could be a hole in the ground, a slippery surface, or unstable steps. However, negligence alone will not win the case. If the defect was open and obvious, the injured person cannot recover for his or her injury. In some cases, this makes perfect sense. If the owner spots a hole and immediately puts posts and yellow warning tape around the hole, the owner has rendered the defect open and obvious. In many circumstances, the owner would not be liable if someone were to fall into the hole. Because people should be able to see the hole, they should be able to avoid it. What if the owner did this in an unlit portion of a parking lot? If the injured person could not reasonably see the warning, then the defect would no longer be open and obvious.
Do landlords get the benefit of the open and obvious doctrine? The Ohio Supreme Court held that if the defect is a violation of the landlord’s statutory duty to repair the leased premises, then the open and obvious doctrine will not protect the landlord from liability. If there was no such violation, then the landlord can use the open and obvious doctrine. To read more about this, see the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision.
To learn more, read my other related personal injury posts, where I wrote about negligent entrustment, medical bills in Ohio personal injury cases, bifurcating personal injury trials in Ohio, Ohio traffic accident tips, Ohio personal injury tips, Don’t forget to look at my personal injury page.
Attorney Gigiano is a Medina County personal injury attorney in Wadsworth. His hard work has earned high reviews of Daniel Gigiano in numerous websites and articles and links to his work. If you have questions about this or other questions you need answered by an Akron personal injury lawyer near Barberton or a Wooster personal injury lawyer near Orrville, please call Attorney Daniel F. Gigiano at 330-336-3330.