Premises Liability Lawyer in Richmond
Richmond, Virginia Slip & Fall Injury Attorney
People that suffer injuries after suffering a slip and fall accident may be entitled to compensation paid by the owner of the property in which they fell. Premises liability is the area of liability law that covers slip and fall accidents, as well as other accidents that happen on someone else’s property. If you recently suffered injuries as a result of a slip and fall accident, you should consult a Richmond, Virginia slip and fall injury attorney immediately.
Portner & Shure, P.A. in Richmond can help you navigate your premises liability claim, which might be rife with complications and hurdles. We have spent more than 25 years practicing law with an intentional focus on complex personal injury claims managed solely for plaintiffs. When you need an ally to navigate the legal waters ahead, you will want us first.
Contact us by dialing (804) 282-0011 or by sending an online contact form.
What is a Premises Liability Claim?
Property owners are required to maintain their property and use reasonable efforts to keep their property safe for anyone on it. This requirement stems from a duty that property owners owe to every potential visitor to their property, including when they are not expecting any guests. The level of duty that a property owner owes to a potential visitor depends on the visitor’s status or reason for being present on the property.
Visitors can be sorted into these categories under liability laws in Virginia:
- Business invitee: This includes persons visiting a property for business purposes, including customers. Business invitees are owed the highest level of care. A property owner must make the property safe through reasonable inspections of known and hidden dangers. Additionally, the owner must warn of potential hazards.
- Licensee: This includes persons visiting a property for personal or family reasons, such as a social guest or family member. Licensees are owed a lower level of care. A property owner does not have to make the property safe or inspect the property. The owner of the property must provide a warning regarding known dangers.
- Bare Licensee: This includes persons that visit a property for their own reasons and must have permission to enter the property, such as a traveling salesman. Bare licensees are owed an even lower level of care. The owner must not do anything in a wanton or intentional manner to harm the visitor.
- Trespasser: These are people who enter property without the owner’s permission. Trespassers are owed the lowest level of care. The owner of the property must not do anything in a wanton or intentional manner to harm the trespasser and is prohibited from setting traps.
A victim has a viable premises liability claim when they suffer an injury on the property due to the presence of a dangerous condition.
Common dangerous conditions include:
- Broken stairways
- Spilled liquid
- Poor illumination
- Worn carpeting
- Hidden hazards
- Lack of handrails
Depending on the facts surrounding the dangerous condition, the victim’s fall, and the victim’s reason for being present on the property, a victim may be able to obtain compensation from the property owner for their injuries.
Laws Regarding Premises Liability Claims in Virginia
If a property owner had knowledge of a hazard and failed to provide sufficient warning of the hazard or repair the hazard, they may be liable for damages. If a hazard was obviously present and a property owner failed to learn of it through reasonable inspections, a property owner may be liable, too. The legal requirements for these claims, along with a person’s status on the property, provide several defenses for property owners, though.
Defenses to Premises Liability Claims
The most frequently used defense by property owners is a lack of knowledge. Successful slip and fall claims depend on the property owner failing to repair a hazard after learning of the hazard or failing to discover the hazard through the exercise of reasonable inspections. The knowledge or “notice” requirement stems from the idea that while the law requires owners to maintain and repair their property, a property owner cannot repair or provide warning of a hazard of which they are not aware. Accordingly, property owners frequently argue they are not liable because they were unaware of the hazardous condition.
Assuming a slip and fall victim can prove that a property owner had knowledge or that a hazard could have been discovered through reasonable inspections, a property owner can still invoke the defense of contributory negligence. This defense precludes a personal injury victim from recovering anything if it can be proven that they acted negligently, and their negligence contributed to their injuries. Concerning slip and fall cases, all persons have a duty to observe their surroundings and try to avoid hazards when identified. Property owners often argue that slip and fall victims were contributorily negligent because they failed to observe the hazardous condition and therefore contributed to their own injuries.
Injuries & Compensation in Your Case
Slip and falls cause a variety of injuries, such as:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Hip, knee, or ankle injuries
The severity of the injuries depends on the severity of the fall. Some slip and fall victims are left with permanent disabilities and lifelong pain.
Slip and fall victims often require emergency medical treatment and follow-up rehabilitative care to fully recover. The financial cost of this medical care can be staggering. Virginia law allows slip and fall victims to seek financial compensation for their injuries, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.
Contact Portner & Shure, P.A. Right Away
Insurance companies routinely deny claims by slip and fall victims by blaming them for their own injuries. When a case goes to court, insurance companies vigorously defend slip and fall claims as if their entire company’s future depended on it. Make no mistake — slip and fall claims are legally and factually complex.
If you suffered an injury as a result of a fall, you should seek representation by a knowledgeable and aggressive Richmond, Virginia slip and fall injury attorney.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your slip and fall claim with our lawyers, contact us at (804) 282-0011 now.
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