Do I Still have a Case if the Defense Says the Hazard was Open and Obvious?

Video Transcription:
I want to talk to you about the situations where someone is injured because they stepped into a hole or there is some other defect with the property. A common occurrence would be a broken sidewalk or something that has been washed out or rutted so that it's dangerous for someone to walk across it.

People get injured everyday in these types of situations and typically, when you argue that type of case to the defense, they're response will be that it's an "open and obvious" condition with the implication being that if the person had been looking more carefully, they would have avoided it. A lot of times I've been told by clients when they first call the office, that when they reported it to an insurance company, that's what their response was. They said "it was an open and obvious condition that you should have avoided walking in it."

Well, it's true that the defense is always going to use the fact that something is evident, that if you had really been looking, you would have seen it. They could argue that which could reduce their liability or responsibility for the accident but it doesn't make it go away. The fact that a hole or a another problem with the piece of property is evident, doesn't relieve them of the responsibility to maintain their property in a reasonably safe fashion.

So, when you hear that term "open and obvious" don't let it necessarily convince you that nothing can be done with your accident. The circumstances of every case are different and I can tell you right away if it's something I can help you with.

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Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.