What to Do if You Slip and Fall
Always seek medical attention after a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property. A slip and fall may cause a serious injury that you do not notice right away. If you are able, collect as much information as possible about the circumstances of your accident, including taking a photo or video of exactly where you fell as well as the surrounding area.
If a doctor determines that you have suffered a serious injury, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. The consequences of a slip and fall accident can be serious as well as costly; it is crucial to find out if you are legally entitled to compensation. It is also important to remember that you do not have to speak with an insurance company or accept any offer of payment. Insurance companies may offer you much less than the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
Laws Affecting Your Right to Compensation
You may have the legal right to compensation if your accident and resulting injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence. Business owners are legally responsible for maintaining their premises and ensuring that it is reasonably safe for their patrons. Homeowners and other private property owners also bear legal responsibility for proper maintenance.
In Virginia, plaintiffs pursuing compensation for slip and fall accidents are also subject to certain rules, including the statutes of limitation and shared fault laws.
A statute of limitations specifies the amount of time a victim has after an accident to file a lawsuit. The court typically dismisses cases filed after the statute of limitations expires. In Virginia, different statutes of limitations may come into play depending upon whether the lawsuit includes a claim involving personal injury or wrongful death.
Shared fault specifies circumstances in which some of the legal blame falls on the person who was injured. Virginia follows a contributory negligence rule for premises liability, whereby plaintiffs may be barred from recovering compensation if they are proved to be partially at fault. For example, injured persons may be found to share some of the blame if they crossed a caution tape or if they were texting on the phone while walking before they fell.
Common Slip and Fall Accident Locations
Most falls occur during the day because that is when people are more active. However, falls can occur anywhere, and at any time. Some common locations of falls resulting in serious injury include:
- Construction sites
- Retail stores
- Sidewalks and parking lots
Playground accidents may be caused by defective playground equipment. Falls in restaurants, grocery stores, and retail establishments may occur due to wet floors. Many slip and fall accidents occur on flat surfaces, such as sidewalks. When slip and fall accidents occur on staircases, property owners may be held accountable if the stairs were not built to code or were otherwise unreasonably hazardous.
Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
Approximately 20 percent of all falls cause serious injury. Common injuries include:
- Broken arms and wrists – These injuries may result when the person falls forward and tries to use their arm to break the fall
- Broken ankles – Often caused by a rolling of the ankle
- Hip fractures – Most common in senior citizens, these may occur when a person falls sideways
- Head injuries – Most common in accidents involving falls from heights
Virginia Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers Seek Compensation for Victims of Property Owner Negligence
If you or someone you love suffered a significant injury due to a slip and fall accident that occurred at a business location or someone else’s property, contact the experienced team at East Coast Trial Lawyers. We understand the nuances of Virginia premises liability laws and can help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. From our offices in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we represent accident victims in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk as well as throughout North Carolina and nationwide. Contact us online now or call 757-352-2237 for a free consultation with a seasoned Virginia Beach slip and fall lawyer.