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Can you claim if your child is injured trespassing in Ohio?

by | May 11, 2020 | Personal Injury

Remember when you were a kid growing up in Ohio, how you used to love to explore? How a no-entry sign meant they must be hiding something interesting that you just had to discover?

Despite the reports that kids spend their lives glued to their screens, exploring and play is still part of children’s nature. Kids still have it in them to find ways to get into mischief in places they are not supposed to be.

What happens if your child gets injured playing on a property they’re not meant to be on? 

“Tell me again,” you say to your child,”there was a missing maintenance hole cover, and you fell into the hole.” Now that may sound like a reason to sue. You may think it is negligence on the part of the owner. 

Maybe you are right; maybe you are not. When it comes to claiming damages against property owners for injuries suffered on their premises, the law is not crystal clear. 

Ohio law acknowledges that children like to explore and so it protects them more than adults when trespassing. However, bringing a premises liability claim can require you to prove the landowner knew about the hazard and could have done something about it.

So if your child fell down a hole on a property owner’s driveway, a court may consider the landowner knew about it and could have easily fixed it. If the hole was on a remote part of the property and hidden under a tangle of thorns, a court may decide the owner did not know it was there, which could avoid them being held responsible.

So it just depends. If you think you have a premises liability claim because your child was injured on someone else property, seek legal advice to see where you stand. 


Nathan J. Stuckey