Proving Fault in a Virginia Premises Liability Lawsuit

Under Virginia law, every property owner has a duty of care to keep their properties safe for anyone that is invited on their premises. This applies to both residential and commercial properties. If a victim is injured because of a hazard while they are visiting the property, they may be entitled to financial compensation for the losses that result from those injuries.

It is not always easy to prove that the property owner had a duty of care to the victim in a premises liability lawsuit. There may be circumstances that could jeopardize the victim’s claim. Because these cases can be complex, it is best to consult with a Virginia personal injury lawyer to find out what the best legal options may be.

Even if the victim was invited or had permission to be on the property, some of the factors that could cause the court to question the property owner’s liability include:

  • The danger or hazard that caused the injury was obvious and could have been avoided by the victim.
  • There was no way for the property owner to have been aware the hazard existed.
  • The victim behaved in a reckless manner that created their risk of being injured.

While the property owner may claim one of the above factors in order to avoid paying for the victim’s losses, a seasoned injury attorney can effectively defend against those claims if they are false. The more evidence that can be introduced in the lawsuit, the more likely the court will rule in the victim’s favor.

Some of the different types of evidence that are key to proving a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Photographs from the scene of the accident that clearly show the dangerous situation that resulted in the victim’s injuries. If possible, these photographs should be taken immediately following the accident before the property owner has a chance to repair the hazard or install warning signs.
  • Videos from the scene of the accident from nearby security cameras. These videos may have captured the actual moment the accident occurred. A personal injury attorney can subpoena these videos in order to sue them as evidence.
  • Witnesses who were present at the time of the incident. Witnesses can testify in court about how the accident occurred and whether they saw the dangerous situations, too. If there are witnesses at the scene, victims should make sure to get their names and contact information.
  • Documents that show that the owner was aware of the hazard. For example, a notice from a building inspector that states the hazard existed and needed to be repaired. The victim’s attorney can obtain this type of document from the municipality the property is located in.  

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Despite how many safety tips a person follows, there are many slip and fall accidents that are caused by the negligence of another party. For example, if a property owner fails to address a safety hazard, this can result in a visitor to the property falling and suffering a serious injury. When this happens, the victim can pursue damages for financial compensation for the losses their injury caused them.

There are a number of damages that victims can pursue in their injury lawsuit. These include medical expenses for treatment of their injuries, lost wages and benefits if they were unable to work while they recovered, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and more.

Call a Virginia premises liability attorney from Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn to find out how we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries. Our accident attorneys have successfully represented numerous accident victims and have the legal expertise to handle these complex cases with positive results. Call 800-752-0042 for a free case evaluation.

 

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Eric K. Washburn
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia