When you slip and fall on another person’s property, the case may seem simple enough. However, when the property owner claims that the hazard was “open and obvious,” it can impact the outcome of your case and your ability to recover compensation. As such, it’s critical to understand the steps you must take in these circumstances to protect yourself and receive the justice you deserve. The following blog explores what makes a hazard open and obvious and how a Monroe, Louisiana slip & fall lawyer can assist you during these challenging times.
What Makes a Hazard “Open and Obvious?”
In personal injury cases that involve a slip and fall, it’s necessary to understand that the victim doesn’t automatically win the case because they were injured. It generally must be proven that their injuries were a direct cause of negligence on behalf of the property owner.
As such, hidden dangers are what most commonly lead to injuries. These include wet spots on the floor, improperly installed fixtures, and wires that aren’t properly taped to the floor. However, when someone is injured because of a hazard deemed “open and obvious,” the case can be more complicated.
An open and obvious hazard is something that the victim was aware of or should have been aware of prior to the injury. For example, if there is a large planter along a walkway and a guest looking at their phone veers to the side and trips over it, they may have a tough time holding the property owner negligent, as the property owner can claim the hazard was in plain view of the injured party. If they had been paying attention, they would have known to avoid the hazard, preventing the injury.
How Can I Recover Compensation if Injured?
If you are injured by what’s being called an open and obvious hazard, it’s imperative to take the necessary steps to improve your chances of recovering the justice you deserve. As such, the most important thing you can do is contact an experienced lawyer to discuss your case.
Your attorney may be able to craft a defense to help you in these circumstances. For example, you may still be able to prove that the property owner was negligent, as a hazard being open and obvious does not absolve them of all liability. They still have a duty of care to those on their property and must take reasonable steps to prevent injury.
Additionally, you may be able to prove negligence per se. Essentially, this means someone can be held liable if they violate a law in place to protect the general public from harm.
As you can see, open and obvious hazards can impact the outcome of your case in many circumstances, including your ability to recover compensation. That’s why it’s imperative to ensure you have competent legal representation to help you prove that you were not liable for your injuries. At Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, LLC, we understand the complexities of these cases. Our team is committed to helping you through these challenging times. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.