With the recent overturn of the Open and Obvious Doctrine, the potential for claims and lawsuits against Michigan property owners has increased significantly.
The open and obvious doctrine was a legal principle that protected Michigan property owners for accidents and injuries as they were not held responsible for hazards that were clear and obvious to people coming onto the premises. If it’s the middle of winter and snowfall is all around, we know that slipping and falling, getting out of vehicles or walking into businesses is something that happens frequently. Therefore, we were not able to sue a property owner for what was open and obvious; icy walkways.
With this overturn, injured parties can still recover damages if they are deemed less than 50% responsible for the incident that caused their injuries. The courts will now look at the landowner to see if they should have anticipated the harm to the invitee.
Once again, insurance comes into play to protect home and business owners when it comes to these issues. An umbrella liability policy can be purchased to increase your limit of liability in order to help pay if you are deemed responsible for someone being injured on your premises.
An umbrella is a separate policy that you purchase that extends over your assets. For residential homeowners, it extends over your home, personally owned vehicles, household members and drivers, and is usually best priced when purchased with the same carrier as your home and auto insurance.