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The open and obvious defense to premises liability claims

Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that concerns the safety of property and the liability of property owners who fail to maintain their parcels and buildings. A Louisiana resident may have the option to file a personal injury claim based on premises liability against a property owner who failed to maintain their property in a reasonably safe manner and whose negligence caused the victim to suffer losses. Premises liability claims can arise from many different types of incidents, such as slippery floors and steps, inadequate lighting, loose flooring, and other instances of disrepair.

However, not all property-based dangers can serve as the grounds for premises liability claims. One defense that the Louisiana Supreme Court has recognized to premises liability allegations is that of the open and obvious doctrine. Put simply, if a property danger is open and obvious to everyone, then a property owner cannot be sued for the harm that it causes to alleged victims.

Under this defense, a property defect or danger that is open and obvious to everyone should not impart liability on a property owner if an individual should reasonably have recognized the danger and avoided it. When defects are hidden or not reasonably visible to individuals, property owners have some responsibility to remedy the existing dangers or warn others of their existence.

This post does not provide legal advice to its readers. Claims of premises liability losses can be overwhelming for property owners to confront on their own. When legal claims are lodged against property owners and they are concerned about how to protect their rights and interests, they can choose to contact personal injury attorneys who represent premises liability defendants.

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