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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Premises liability is not just about slips and falls

Jan 5, 2023 |

Ohio property owners have an obligation to keep their property reasonably safe so that others are not hurt in a preventable accident.

These obligations might be different depending on why another person is on the property. For example, someone who is on property without permission has fewer legal protections than, say, an invited houseguest or a customer at a business.

In any case, those who own homes or businesses in the Cleveland area need to watch their property and keep it in good repair.

If property owners notice a dangerous condition, they should either fix it or at least take steps to keep visitors safe from it. While Ohio property owners are not expected to stop every possible injury, they must take reasonable care for the well-being of others.

On this note, people may most often think of making sure floors and parking lots are both even and clear of snow or standing water. These indeed are important steps.

That said, the responsibility to keep one’s property safe for others goes far beyond slips and falls.

In the summer, for example, one can think of swimming pools, fire pits and other common outdoor recreations which can cause personal injuries. Owners must do what they can to prevent drowning accidents, burns and other injuries.

Another example, appropriate for this time of year, is that property owners may need to clear icicles that form on their gutters. Heavy icicles may fall suddenly when the weather warms.

Someone who gets hurt on another person’s property may have legal options

Someone who suffers any kind of injury on another person or business’s property may have legal options.

Even if the injury is not a slip and fall, the landowners could still be responsible to pay victims compensation for their losses.

Determining who is legally responsible for an injury can be a complicated matter. Doing so may, for example, require the help of an engineer or other expert.

Personal injury lawyers may also have to work closely with a victim’s medical team to make sure the victim gets properly compensated for their losses.