It's something that can happen to anyone. One minute, you are strolling through the grocery store thinking about what to make for dinner and the next, you are on the ground in pain after slipping and falling.
If this has happened to you, you could have grounds to file a premises liability claim. But before you make any assumptions about your legal options, there are a few basic elements of these claims that you should understand.
Proving liability and negligence
Several elements will affect whether a property owner is liable for damages after a slip-and-fall.
First is your status on the property. Property owners owe a duty of care to people on their property. However, this duty is higher for some people, like invited parties, than it is for others, including trespassers.
You will also need to prove that a dangerous condition existed and that the property owner failed to properly address it in a timely manner. This can be complicated to do without legal guidance.
While a dangerous condition can include anything from a slippery walkway to a broken handrail in a stairwell, you will need to establish that the property owner knew about (or should have known about) the condition and did not take appropriate steps to address it.
The clock is ticking
According to Ohio laws, parties have just two years to bring a claim for bodily injury after the injury occurs. Further, the longer you wait after an accident, the more difficult it can be to collect and preserve evidence.
Expect a defense
Property owners typically challenge lawsuits. They might argue that you are to blame for the accident, or that they took reasonable steps to warn you about a potential hazard. They might deny that a dangerous condition even existed, or claim that they did not have the opportunity to clear it before the incident.
Do not let a party's defense claims dissuade you from pursuing the compensation for which you are eligible.
Know your rights
The legal process can seem intimidating or overwhelming, especially when you are dealing with a serious injury. Rather than give up or dismiss your legal options, you can discuss your case with an attorney who can explain your rights and help you seek the compensation you may deserve.