Did you know Virginia has rules that dismiss an injured person’s slip and fall claim? Since property owners are responsible for noticing, preventing, and repairing conditions that patrons or guests can trip and fall on, there are instances in which they aren’t held liable.
Premise liability regulations can vary from state to state. If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property, our Virginia Beach slip and fall accident attorneys from Christina Pendleton & Associates can review your case and advise you if you qualify for compensation.
Causation of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and falls can be an act of negligence from the defendant or the claimant. No matter who is to blame, common causes of such incidents are:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Weather conditions such as rain puddles or snow
- Obstructions on a walkway like cracked concrete or loose carpeting
- Visibility issues caused by poor lighting
- Broken handrails or stairways
In any instance, when the property owner is aware of any of the situations listed, they are responsible for repairing it or communicating it in a timely fashion to anyone permitted to be on their premises. Patrons are expected to read all signage and be attentive to their surroundings.
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Personal Fault for Slip and Fall Accident
In Virginia Beach, a claimant can jeopardize their ability to file a claim if they are even one percent at fault for their slip and fall injury. Our lawyers discuss Virginia’s standard of contributory negligence in the consultation process as it has posed a conflict for some.
Under this stringent rule, the injured party is unable to collect any damage from the defendant. There usually has to be an eyewitness or video footage to prove this but if there is any doubt that you share fault in your accident, reach out to your personal injury lawyer right away.
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Successful Slip and Fall Cases in Virginia
Slipping and falling is a common incident that can lead to serious injuries. When a slip and fall accident claim is made, there is an entire investigative process that begins to assess liability and calculate damages.
The complexity starts when the insurance company begins minimizing the extent of injuries and the property owner claims that they were not at fault or were unaware of hazardous conditions. It is important to take calculated steps to empirically prove that:
- You didn’t contribute to the slip and fall accident.
- The condition of the area is what caused the fall to occur.
- That your injuries correlate with the fall.
The success of your slip and fall claim will heavily rely on evidence such as photos of the dangerous environment, expert testimonies regarding the injuries and witness testimonies that saw the incident occur.
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Falling on a Family Member’s Property in Virginia
The rules for residential property owners are similar to those of commercial property. Under §8.01-219.1, each owner is legally responsible for maintaining safe conditions. This is referred to as “duty of care.” Negligence on their part means that the injured party can bring a suit against them if the fall happened on their property.
It can be a tense situation when a claim is filed against a family member or friend’s insurance policy. We recommend that in any situation, you allow a slip and fall accident attorney to submit the claim on your behalf. Our Virginia Beach legal team can professionally manage your case.
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The Legal Deadline for Slip and Fall Claims in Virginia
All states have a statutory limit on how much time can pass before a claim is invalid. In Virginia, a slip and fall victim has two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. Since your health comes first, we understand that recovery may prevent you from filing quickly.
Unfortunately, the courts do not offer exceptions. If the claimant misses the deadline, the case is automatically invalidated and no compensatory damages can be sought from the owner of the property. Having legal help can guarantee that no submission deadlines will be missed.
Slipping and Falling on Snow in Virginia
There is no statewide imposed regulation in Virginia that requires residents to shovel the snow off of their sidewalks or put down salt. However, certain counties have rules regarding sidewalk responsibilities.
If you’ve been injured from slipping and falling on a homeowner’s or business owner’s sidewalk, seeking legal advice from an attorney in Virginia Beach may be necessary. A legal representative can do a thorough investigation to find out who is liable in this situation.
Defenses Against Slip and Fall Injury
Oftentimes, defendants find or create ways to argue against the claimant. Premise liability laws can be complex, creating an uphill battle for those seeking compensation. Ways that property owners challenge a claim can look like:
- The property owner refused to admit knowledge of the hazardous condition
- The property owner blamed the claimant for fault, stating that they cause the fall to happen
When the owner denies knowledge of the condition, they relinquish responsibility for fixing it. If they were aware of the dangerous area and failed to repair or warn others, they are automatically liable.
On the other hand, a claimant can contribute to the slip and fall accident simply by being on their phone, wearing appropriate footwear for the condition of the grounds or trespassing.
Get Legal Help From a Slip and Fall Attorney in Virginia Beach
The legal office of Pendleton Law is composed of a team of dedicated slip and fall accident attorneys in Virginia Beach. From beginning to end, you will receive legal support while you recover from your injuries.
If your injuries have caused financial hardship, we offer a free initial consultation and do not require a retainer fee. Contact us today to win the highest possible settlement for your slip and fall accident.
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