If Someone Falls on your Property, are you Liable?
Updated: Nov 4, 2020
If someone slip and falls on your property, it can be a very stressful experience for you, too. You might be wondering whether or not you are liable and if you have to provide compensation to the person who has fallen. Fortunately, there is an injury law with accompanying regulations surrounding cases like this, which work both to protect property owners and people who slip and fall as the result of someone else's negligence.
Much like with an auto accident, there are a number of factors that have to be present for someone to be considered negligent in the case of a slip and fall accident. If someone is injured on your property, the law does not automatically regard you as responsible, or that you have to compensate them. The concept of premises liability establishes certain conditions that have to be met before the person who fell can be eligible for compensation or a settlement from you. A good attorney at a personal injury law firm can explain this further to you.
What Happens When Someone Falls at your House?
Negligence and Liability
The fact that someone has fallen at your property does not automatically make you responsible for the injury. Nor does it mean you must compensate the person who has fallen. Whether or not you have to compensate them for their injuries depends on a number of factors, according to Ohio's slip and fall laws. First and foremost, there has to have been a reason for them to be at your property. If you did not invite the person to your property or there was no reason for you to have known or expected that someone would be at your property, injury law states that you then do not have to compensate them for their injury. However, you should consider contacting a law firm regardless if this occurs, to make sure that you aren't going to have to compensate the injured party.
You are therefore not going to have to compensate someone who was illegally on your property for any injuries or damages they may have suffered while on your property. Generally, if the person fell at your house, then you need to have asked them to come to your property for some reason. If you run a business and the person fell at that property, then you need to have expected people to be at the property at that time. Injury law does not require you to compensate a trespasser who has been in an accident at your property.
If you have invited someone onto your property and they have fallen, or somebody has fallen at a property where you would have expected people to be, then the law requires that that person needs to establish that you had a duty of care over them and that their accident was a result of your negligence in some way. For example, if there is a danger or hazard on your property that is difficult to see, it is considered to be your duty to inform anybody on the property of the danger. If you invite someone to your property and fail to inform them of a danger or hazard that is not obvious and they get injured as a result, then this may be considered negligent behavior.
However, if you invite a friend to your property and they trip over an obvious object in broad daylight, it's much less likely that you are going to be considered to have been negligent in this case. Injury cases like these are more complicated because someone getting hurt on your property is not the only condition that has to be fulfilled for a person to seek compensation under premise liability laws. If somebody has been injured at your property, it's wise to get in touch with a personal injury at a good law firm.
Licensee vs Invitee
If you invite a person to your property, the level of care you have over them and your duty to protect them from dangers and hazards depends on the purpose of the visit. When you invite a friend to your property for a social purpose, your obligation is to inform them of hidden dangers and hazards so they can reasonably protect themselves from injury. Under these circumstances, your friend is legally considered to be a 'licensee.' However, you are not obliged to remove these dangers before they visit. If you inform them of these dangers and they get injured anyway, it's unlikely they can successfully sue you for compensation, even though you are the property owner.
However, if you invite a person to your property for a business purpose, then that person is considered to be an 'invitee.' An invitee is not the same as a licensee. You have a greater obligation to protect an invitee on your property from danger and injury than you do a licensee. If an invitee comes to your property, you need to remove any hazards or dangers before they set foot on the property- simply warning them is not considered to be sufficient under injury law. An attorney at a personal injury law firm can explain these differences further to you, if you have any concerns.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Accidental Falls?
Most homeowner's insurance plans cover accidental falls to some extent. There are different elements of Homeowner's Coverage, and these generally cover different types of cases. For example, liability coverage is part of many homeowner's plans, and this covers injury in the case of negligence by the property owner. Regardless of the type of coverage the property owner has, you should ask them to contact their insurer as soon as possible (or you should contact your insurer as soon as possible, if you are the property owner). You should also contact a personal injury attorney at a good law firm.
The longer you wait to contact your insurer, the more likely it is the insurer thinks your case is not legitimate. There is no law about when you need to inform your insurer of the accident, but as with an auto accident, the insurer is within its right to deny you a settlement if it thinks your case is not legitimate for some reason.
Can Someone Sue You for Falling Down your Stairs?
Stairs are often the most dangerous part of a property. There is no separate law covering stairs compared to the rest of your property. If a person has fallen down the stairs at your property, then they may be able to sue you if they can demonstrate that their accident was a result of your negligence and that they had a good reason to be at your property. If a person has fallen at your property, we recommend you contact a law firm or a good injury lawyer. The best way for you to avoid getting in trouble with the law with cases like these, or avoid huge payouts, is by building up a good defense with a competent lawyer at a good law firm.
Injuries on stairs are often more serious than on other parts of a property, because people tend to fall further down the stairs than they might if they slipped on a flat surface, for example. Injury law stipulates that a person needs to have experienced damages as a result of their injury to be eligible for compensation. A person is more likely to have substantial damages from falling down the stairs. However, they still need to prove that you were ultimately responsible for them when they were on your property and that their accident was a result of your negligence.
Common Staircase Accidents and Injuries
Serious injuries are, unfortunately, relatively common in accidents on staircases. While the presence of stairs on your property is not enough to constitute a dangerous condition that makes a person eligible for compensation, things like a broken banister or torn carpet may be considered a dangerous condition if they are near a set of stairs.
Common injuries as a result of staircase accidents include whiplash, broken bones, dislocations, traumatic brain injury, or even stroke. These are all serious injuries that often incur considerable damages for the person who has been injured. If you are found to be liable for the accident in some way and your homeowner's insurance doesn't cover negligence, then you are likely going to have to pay considerable compensation for injuries like these.
Common Slip or Fall Injuries
There are a number of common injuries in cases involving a slip or a fall. These can include soft tissue injury, spine injury, herniated disc, traumatic brain injury, dislocation, and even paralysis or death in an extreme case. Many of these injuries might require emergency treatment or even hospitalization, depending on how severe they are. One must seek medical attention as soon as possible if experiencing any symptoms of serious injury or brain damage, like extreme headache or pain at the site of the injury.
Can You Sue if you Fall on Ice?
Ice is a very common slip hazard, and often the reason for slip and fall accidents in the winter. If you have fallen at someone's property, or somebody has fallen at your property because of ice, they might be able to sue for compensation. However, this depends greatly on the other circumstances surrounding the case. If somebody slips and falls on ice in broad daylight that is easy to see, it might be difficult for them to sue you based on injury law. Also, injury law generally only requires that you inform people visiting your property of hazards or dangers that are difficult to see. If the property is clearly icy, then it is probably going to be difficult for somebody to sue you under injury law if they fall on the ice at your property.
If you are going to attempt to sue a property owner for compensation due to injury, you must contact an attorney at an injury law firm. Such a law firm has expertise in successful personal injury cases. An attorney at a personal injury law firm can help you build up a strong claim, which you must do if you want to successfully claim compensation. Also, an attorney at a good law firm can support you throughout the claims process, and the other staff at the law firm can assist you when necessary.
However, if you have a property which gets icy inside (a freezer, for example) and this ice is difficult to see, then you may be liable if somebody injures themselves falling. For example, if your floor inside gets icy, you should make this obvious somehow, so that people know the floor is icy and to avoid walking over the icy part. If you fail to do so despite knowing that your property has a 'dangerous condition,' then you could be considered liable based on injury law, and you may be required to compensate the injured party. This is why you must contact a personal injury law firm as soon as possible if such an accident occurs, to build up a strong defense.
What if There is an Auto Accident on my Property?
An auto accident at your property can be a tricky situation to resolve, as it's often unclear who is liable and if there has been any negligence. If somebody is in an auto accident at your property and this is the result of you failing to inform visitors of a dangerous condition or hazard, then they may be able to sue you due to your negligence. In the case of an auto accident due to ice, for example, it is expected that you should inform visitors to your property that there is ice on the ground and to be careful. If you have any concerns about this, you should work with an attorney at a personal injury law firm so that you fully understand your responsibilities.
If somebody is in an auto accident on your property due to other factors, the court or tribunal is going to look at the circumstances surrounding the case. One challenge here is to establish your liability. It is very difficult to establish premises liability in an auto accident. If somebody is driving a car on your property and is in an auto accident, it is often much less clear if negligence came into play or not. Premises liability requires that you have been negligent in some way and that this was the cause of the accident. Therefore, if there is an auto accident on your property and somebody is trying to sue you for compensation, it is going to be difficult for them to prove that the auto accident was your fault, and not a result of their own negligence while driving.
What Should I Do if Somebody is Injured on my Property?
Regardless of whether somebody has fallen on your property or been involved in an auto accident, the one thing you must do is contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can. A personal injury attorney can help you defend against accusations of negligence, both in the case of an auto accident or a fall. In the case of a personal injury claim, you should easily be able to defend yourself in the case if you can establish that you have not been negligent.
In such a case, the law generally requires that the accuser proves that you have been negligent. By law, if they cannot demonstrate this, then you cannot be held accountable for any liability. One condition of a successful personal injury case is proving your negligence, and you cannot be made to compensate the injured party for the accident if they are unable to prove this somehow.
This is why you must contact an experienced attorney if somebody is injured on your property. Even if the law is in your favor if there is an auto accident on your property or somebody gets injured, you still need to be able to prove why you were not negligible as the property owner and that liability, therefore, does not apply. The law of premises liability protects you from being taken advantage of if somebody tries to get you to compensate them for an injury that was not your fault.
However, only an experienced injury lawyer working at an established law firm can help you defend yourself in cases like these. This is why you must get in touch with an injury lawyer or law firm as soon as you can if there has been an accident at your property. As the property owner, people may often assume that you are liable if there has been an accident on your property.
How Can an Injury Lawyer Help?
An injury lawyer at a specialized law firm works with cases like these every day. At a personal injury law firm, you can work with an injury lawyer who can help you build your defense if there has been an accident at your property. A law firm specializing in accident and injury can help you establish why you were not negligible in your behavior, and why you are otherwise not liable for the accident.
Under the law of premises liability, the property owner must compensate somebody who has been injured at their property in an accident if they have failed to prevent it. Even if there has been an auto accident or another kind of accident that is not your fault, somebody can still attempt to sue you with their attorney or contact your insurance provider for compensation.
As a property owner, you must do everything you can to keep your property safe. This is one condition that is part of property liability laws. However, you can't completely avoid accidents and injury- this is also a condition in injury law. While you must do whatever you can to keep people safe on your property, an auto accident or fall may still occur. If this does, contact an experienced attorney to explore your options.
If you are interested in similar slip and fall questions such as "Do most slip and fall cases settle out of court?" or "How much compensation do you get from a slip and fall case?" the attorneys at The Keating Firm LTD. can get you an answer.
Disclaimer: The details included in this blog is offered for educational purposes only, and should not be taken as lawful guidance in any way. No recipients of material from this blog, clients or otherwise, should or should not act on the basis of any material consisted in the blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional guidance on the particular facts and situations at issue from an attorney accredited in the recipient's state.