Did You Know that Michigan has Very Restrictive Slip and Fall Laws?
Most people seem to think when you fall on some business property, the business is automatically required to pay for your expenses and injuries. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the more obvious/blatant a particular condition is, the chances of recovery are reduced. It is known as the doctrine of “Open and Obvious”.
Over the past several years, Michigan Courts have increasingly been preventing persons who have been injured on someone else’s property from recovering any damages based upon this “open and obvious” defense. Property owners are held by Michigan law to have certain duties to keep their property reasonably safe. However, Michigan Courts have increasingly held that property owners are NOT required to protect you from dangers that are “open and obvious”. This means that, if the Court feels that a “reasonable person of ordinary intelligence”should have discovered the condition that caused your injury, the property owner is entitled to assume that you would discover that condition as well and then take steps to protect yourself. This rule can sometimes have harsh consequences in its application because persons are often distracted as they walk and assume that a property owner had maintained their property in a reasonably safe manner. Therefore, if the dangerous condition that causes your injury is “open and obvious”, the Court will often rule that the property owner owes no duty at all to protect you and your claim will fail.