Understanding Premises Liability in Michigan

When you get injured in an accident on another person’s property, you’re protected under a law known as premises liability. Property owners are held liable for injuries that occur to guests on their land when it can be proven that they were somehow negligent in preventing the accident from occurring. 

In the state of Michigan, you can file a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner if you hope to seek compensation for your injuries. Most claims will qualify for a settlement; however, attorneys who routinely deal with slip-and-fall cases will likely inform you of the two ways in which you won’t qualify: If you were trespassing on the owner’s property when the injury occurred or if you blatantly ignored a hazard sign.

Because of premises liability, however, there’s a good chance that the property owner can be held liable in some way for your injury. When a guest, also known as an invitee, comes on to a land owner’s property, the owner has a responsibility to keep the property safe and protect others from harm. If any dangers arise, the owner must place proper warning signs out until the danger can be removed. 

The Open and Obvious Defense

One defense that a property owner may try to use when you file a premises liability lawsuit against them is the “open and obvious” defense. This defense claims that when a hazard is open and obvious on a land owner’s property, then the landowner shouldn’t be held liable for the damages that occur from the obvious hazard. Individuals should be held liable for their own negligence in these circumstances. 

Usually, the open and obvious defense has a hard time standing up in court. Judges and juries will likely be more willing to side with an injured victim in a premises liability case then they will be to side with a property owner. 

Staying Aware of the Law

There have been no recent changes to premises liability law in Michigan; however, knowing what the basics rules are regarding premises liability can keep you protected in the event that you’re harmed at the grocery store, at the mall, or at a local movie theater. Even if you were to be injured at a friend’s home, you’ll be protected under premises liability law. 

Injuries from slip-and-fall accidents and other property accidents can result in significant physical and emotional damages. You have the right to seek compensation for the damages you’ve suffered and now, you’ll be more aware of who’s potentially at fault.