The law of premises liability in Virginia is so tough that unless there is a very serious and typically permanent injury it is not practical for me to represent a person who has been hurt in a store or restaurant slip, trip and fall case. It isn’t that you couldn’t have a potential case with a strained ankle or major bruised knee but as a matter of economics I can’t, as a personal injury lawyer, take a case that doesn’t have a certain level of injury.
The insurance companies and business owners fight premises liability cases too hard to make it practical to take a case with a soft tissue, low back injury all the way to a jury trial. So the injury that I’m looking for as an experienced personal injury attorney in the premises liability case is a higher threshold of injury that I would be looking for in a typical automobile accident case.
The kinds of injuries that would typically be big enough to pursue as a premises liability case would be a torn ligament in the knee requiring surgical repair, torn cartilage in a shoulder requiring at least arthroscopic if not open surgical repair, a traumatic brain injury or concussion that ends up having chronic symptoms, or any major broken bone.
Normally the kinds of injuries outlined above are going to have if not permanent, catastrophic consequence at least a lengthy period of disability and recuperation and likely tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of medical bills. Depending upon the kind of work the person does these sorts of serious orthopedic injuries or closed head injuries are going to negatively affect the person’s ability to earn a living. In my initial call in screening cases involving slip, trips and falls I am always interested to know right away the level of injury. If the injury is not of this more serious sort I will typically be forced to decline the case although giving the person some advice about how to deal with the store or their insurers themselves.
Call John Cooper at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers for a free and confidential consultation at 757.455.0077.