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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is the Cause of Action for Premises Liability Claims in Ohio?

Premises liability cases account for a significant proportion of negligence and personal injury claims in the USA. One of the important elements of any case is cause of action- but what exactly does it mean, and how does it impact a case?

The Quick Answer

The Quick Answer

What is the cause of action for premises liability? In short, this means the reason a person is taking legal action against a specific party. Cause of action in a premises liability lawsuit usually refers to a negligent action or inaction (something they did or did not do) on the part of a property owner that led to the claimant being injured.

Cause of Action Explained

Cause of action is a legal term for the what and why behind a personal injury claim, but there is more to it. To have a legally valid premises liability case, the cause of action must explain what a property owner should have done, what they failed to do, and how it caused an incident.

Ohio premises liability law breaks cause of action into three key sections.

Duty of Care

Property owners have a duty to provide a safe environment for anyone occupying the space in any capacity. This applies to private and public property.

The extent of the owner's duty of care depends on the nature of the occupation. Guests or invitees (including visitors, patrons, and customers) are owed the greatest care- since they are openly invited onto the property.

Owners still owe a duty of care to those who are not openly invited- such as licensees (someone using an optional service, for example) and trespassers (people who do not have permission to be there), but to a lesser extent.

Breached Duty of Care

Premises liability accident cases must also prove that the duty of care was breached. In other words, the property owner failed to provide a reasonably safe condition for the occupier. Cause of action lies heavily on this part- as it shows the owner failed to fulfill their duty.

Examples of this include:

  • Unmarked slippery surfaces

  • Uneven flooring

  • Unsecured objects that fall and injure people

  • Tripping hazards

  • An unprotected swimming pool

  • Malfunctioning mechanical equipment

  • A dangerous animal that is not secured (including pets)

  • Sudden drops or holes without warning or protection


The final element is causation. A victim must prove that their injury occurred as a direct result of the breached duty. They must show they were hurt because of something the property owner did or failed to do- and that damages were suffered as a result.

Premises Liability Explained

A premises liability claim is valid if an injury is sustained on someone else's property because the owner failed to provide a safe environment. Some common examples include:

  • Slip and fall accidents on sidewalks or in public buildings

  • Injuries on or near worksites because of unmarked hazards or falling objects

  • Attractive nuisance (usually involving children and un-enclosed swimming pools

  • Dog bite claims

  • Insufficient security measures

  • Poorly maintained walking surfaces

  • Falls on uneven staircases

How Does Cause of Action Apply in a Premises Liability Claim?

Cause of action is a crucial element in any premises liability claim. Without it, a victim cannot recover compensation. It is the fundamental basis for all claims brought against property owners by people injured on their property.

In Ohio, the date of the cause of action (a.k.a. when the owner's failure occurred) is the starting point for the two-year statute of limitations. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions like What is the difference between premises and general liability?

When Is the Property Owner Liable?

A property owner is liable when someone is injured because of their failure to execute their duty of care- as long as reasonable steps were not taken to warn visitors of a dangerous condition.

If an unsafe condition exists but the owner has done everything they can to warn and protect people, it is up to the occupier to exercise reasonable care. This is where contributory negligence may come into play.

Contributory Negligence in Premises Liability

When the occupier's failure to take care around dangerous conditions contributes to the cause of the accident, comparative fault applies. This is when both parties showed some level of negligence.

If the injured person's carelessness is partially to blame, the defendant's insurance company may dispute the compensation amount- or even the validity of the claim.

A property owner can still be held liable even if the injured person was careless- as long as the injured party is not more than 49% to blame.

When making premises liability claims, the cause of action must show that the property owner holds the majority of the fault if the injury victim hopes to receive monetary compensation.

How Can an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer Help Injury Victims?

How Can an Experienced Premises Liability Lawyer Help Injury Victims?

Navigating the various premises liability elements in a claim can be complicated- especially if a person has sustained a serious injury and is in recovery. Ohio premises liability law allows two years for these claims to be raised- so it is important to act quickly and have the legal support to put the case across effectively.

Trained Cincinnati premises liability lawyers can help detail the cause of action to support the claim and ensure the victim's injury does not go unanswered. Additionally, they can maximize the amount of compensation claimed by covering all the bases and collecting vital evidence.

Medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering damages are some of the things that can be recovered in premises liability cases- but insurance companies will try to negotiate the number down. An attorney can lead the charge in negotiations to avoid lowballing and pressure to accept less than the claim is worth. They can also answer question like What is the statute of limitations for premises liability in Ohio?

Arrange a Free Consultation Today with a Team that Goes to War for You

Schuerger Schunnarah Trial Attorneys of Cincinnati, Ohio, go to war for Cindy injury victims to get the justice and compensation they deserve. With years of experience in personal injury and premises liability law, this legal team is the best at what they do- leaving no stone unturned of fight unfought.

Contact the team today to arrange a free consultation with an expert premises liability lawyer who cares. Such negligence should not be let go, and the liable party must be held accountable for their actions.


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