An 18-year-old Norfolk, Virginia (VA), man was shot and killed outside Mexican restaurant and dance club El Patron Cantina and Grill in the Greenbrier area of Chesapeake, VA, on August 20, 2011. According to the Virginian-Pilot, the young man was pronounced dead with no suspects or motives identified.
Every day, property owner’s unsafe premises cause people to get seriously injured or killed and to suffer emotional losses. Injuries to the hip, brain or spinal cord are particular risks from slips and falls at businesses and rental properties.
The law in Virginia on an owner or occupier of land's responsibility for criminal acts of another person are different than the laws for other types of dangers. Unless there is a special relationship -- like employee to employer -- between the business and the criminal or the person attacked, the liability is quite limited. Only when the business knew of a specific threat about to happen or where they allow a climate of crime with significant history of similar acts can you successfully hold them accountable for crime.
Premises liability laws other than crime events generally require business owners to keep property in a reasonably safe condition. Property owners must warn visitors of any hidden hazards, and fix unsafe conditions, that they know about or should know about. Examples of defective conditions:
- Hole in the ground
- Wet floor
- Object on the ground
- Unevenness on the ground
- Area under repair
An unreasonably long period of time for a business owner to allow a defective or unsafe condition to persist depends on the type of property and the time another business owner in a similar circumstance would recognize and repair or remove the hazard. For instance, for a parking lot owner, the reasonableness of time might be shorter than for remote premises where there is little public traffic.
Often, the property owner will have insurance to offset the risks and costs of premises liability lawsuits. Insurance companies will claim the injured person was not paying attention, assumed the risks of an unsafe situation or otherwise contributed to the injuries. Each seasoned Virginia injury lawyer at Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan, P.C. understands these obstacles from the defense.
Often, the legal aspects of premises liability cases require prepared attorneys who are experienced in these matters. Contact Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan, P.C. if you or a loved one suffer serious injuries from a defect or dangerous condition on business property.