What defense might be used in a premises liability case?

There is an old saying that lets you know that you must get to know your adversary if you are going to beat them. This saying applies to legal cases today. You need to be able to foresee what the other side is going to do so that you can adjust your side of the matter when it is necessary.

If your case is a premises liability case, the other side might use the open and obvious defense. This is one that is surprising simple for them to put together, but it is possible to battle against it if you plan properly.

Essentially, this defense option boils down to the defense claiming that a reasonable person would have been able to see the hazard that caused the accident and take steps to avoid it. This doesn't mean that they are claiming you did see it; they are simply saying that most people would have seen it and done something differently from what you did.

One of the primary concepts that comes up in premises liability cases is that the defendant must have a duty to protect the victim. For example, if you are in a store, the store has a duty to either alert you that the floor is wet or clean the floor. The goal of both of these is to prevent you from being involved in an accident.

For the most part, the burden falls on the property owner to keep the premises safe. Any element of negligence has the potential of swaying the case in your favor as it moves through the court process.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is the 'Open and Obvious' Defense?," accessed May 04, 2018

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