Winter weather can lead to snow and ice-covered surfaces, which is a serious condition for people who are traveling. Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries such as sprains and strains, head and neck injuries, and back injuries. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can be permanent and life-altering. Seemingly minor injuries can turn into long-term health issues that require costly medical treatments. If you slip and fall on ice, who is liable for your injuries? It depends on numerous factors, the most important issue is where the accident occurred.
Private Property Versus a Business
Every property owner has a legal duty of care to those around them. This means that they must make sure their property is safe to a reasonable degree by either remove existing safety hazards, like snow and ice, or warn visitors about an existing safety hazard. A property owner does not undertake full responsibility if you were not acting within reason. In Virginia, it is not uncommon to see these cases in the courts. However, Virginian homeowners and business owners have different responsibilities.
While business owners and landlords must remove snow and ice accumulations within a reasonable amount of time and warn visitors about slippery conditions, homeowners are not required to post warnings. Homeowners should clear their sidewalks in a reasonable manner. Failure to clear hazards does not necessarily make them liable in civil cases. However, they could be fined and punished in a criminal case. Fines and punishments for failure to comply with local ordinances varies by city and county.
Every slip and fall accident is unique and proving a property owner’s negligence can be complicated. Some landlords are truly negligent in reacting to snow and ice conditions by not clearing stairs and walkways, allowing water to pool and freeze. Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall do the following:
- Document the circumstances of the slip and fall in as much detail as possible. Take photographs of where you fell immediately. Obtain statements and contact information from any eyewitnesses.
- See a medical professional for any injuries, and be sure to mention you were hurt in a slip and fall accident. Take photographs of your injuries.
- Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will evaluate your case and provide you legal counsel.
Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyers Help Those Injured in Slip and Fall Accidents
If you suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers will help evaluate your case and will advise you on the best legal strategy. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we also serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, throughout North Carolina, and nationwide.