Each year, thousands of people suffer injuries from slip and fall accidents. Proving fault can be challenging because there are many factors that lead to these occurrences, and liability can be due to a property owner, the victim, or both. If the slip and fall happened from circumstances beyond the victim’s control, the next step is proving liability.
These accidents can occur at work, at home, or elsewhere. Property owners may be responsible for hazards such as uneven walking surfaces on their property’s walkway or torn carpeting on a flight of stairs. In most cases, it must be shown that a reasonable person would have realized the danger and attended to it, if there was opportunity to do so, or it must be shown that the person caused the hazard. In other words, had the person been more careful, the slip and fall could have been prevented.
Dealing with Dangerous Conditions
Property owners must take reasonable steps to make sure that properties do not present dangers. Homeowners should keep their swimming pools covered, industrial machinery should have barrier guards, and the like. Conversely, those on the properties must use common sense to prevent falls. For example, someone who ran on a wet floor may not be able to hold the other party liable.
Every case is different, but to prove liability, there are guidelines. If a broken floorboard was present for several months, it must be proven that the owner knew about the hazard, yet failed to repair it. Proof is needed to show that the employer or owner did not act in a reasonable way to prevent the fall. Other components of proving fault include whether the victim was behaving in a safe manner when the accident occurred, had a legitimate reason for being on the property, and if they were being reasonably cautious.
Slip and Fall Cases in Virginia
Virginia considers contributory negligence in slip and fall cases. This means that if the plaintiff is shown to have contributed fault to the accident, they cannot receive compensation from the defendant. The property owner may argue that the plaintiff holds some of the responsibility for what occurred, so therefore it is important to gather evidence to support any claims. There are also statues of limitations in Virginia for slip and fall claims; injured parties have two years to file lawsuits in the state’s civil court system.
Our Virginia Beach Slip and Fall Lawyers Help Victims Injured on Public Property
If you or someone you know was injured in a slip and fall accident, do not hesitate to contact the knowledgeable Virginia Beach slip and fall lawyers today. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will hold the negligent party liable for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. Call us today at 757-352-2237 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we serve clients from the surrounding areas, including Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk.