After being involved in an accident on someone else’s property, you may wonder if you are entitled to compensation. If the accident was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover damages. However, if a warning sign was posted, you may worry that it will affect your ability to receive compensation. After the accident, the insurance company may argue that a warning sign limited their liability in order to discourage you from pursuing a claim. An Ohio premises liability lawyer will investigate every detail of your claim, including whether you had appropriate warning.
Generally speaking, property owners owe a duty of care to any visitor on their property. If any visitor becomes hurt, the property owner can then be held liable for paying damages.
Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees, who are individuals that visit the property for the owner’s benefit, such as customers that enter the premises of a business. Under this duty, property owners must ensure they maintain safe premises for anyone that enters the property. These property owners also have a duty of care to warn visitors about any dangerous conditions on their premises.
When property owners breach this duty of care to invitees, they can be held liable for paying damages when someone becomes injured. Property owners do not owe this same level of care to licensees, who are people on the property for their own benefit. Property owners have an even lower level duty of care to trespassers that are on the premises illegally.
Property owners only have a duty to take reasonable care toward visitors. This means they must repair hazardous conditions and warn you about any dangers that are not obvious. One way property owners do this is by using signs, warning visitors of the potential hazards.
When a property owner has used a warning sign but you became hurt anyway, it could provide a defense to your claim. The insurance company that provides coverage to the property owner may argue they are not liable because you had appropriate warning of the danger. They will also argue that you likely assumed the risk. This means that you should have seen the warning, but you proceeded anyway, and became injured as a result.
Fortunately, just because the property owner posted a warning sign does not automatically shield them from liability. Warning signs should notify you of hazards that are not readily apparent, and they must be large enough to be visible, placed in an appropriate location, and the message should be clear. When a warning sign has not met these requirements, the property owner can still be found liable.
If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, do not think you do not have a claim just because there was a warning sign. At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, our Ohio premises liability lawyers will investigate your case and determine whether the property owner breached their duty of care. When that is the case, we will hold them accountable for paying the full settlement you deserve. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can review your case.
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