Proof of Business Owner’s Fault for Premises Liability Case: A Virginia Beach Personal Injury Lawyer’s Advice
Generally I, as a personal injury attorney, am expecting my client upon the initial call to have some idea what it is that they think that the business owner did wrong causing a dangerous condition which led to the injury. Most of the time this is true in that they have a sense for what they thing was done wrong. The question of proof then arises as to how am I going to be able to show that the business knew that the dangerous condition existed before my client was hurt and what they should have done about it.
In some circumstances, another customer or person with knowledge will make themselves known at the scene to the injured person. For example, I am working on a case now where a delivery truck driver indicated to my client that the restaurant had had the dangerous condition namely a tripping hazard for some time and that he, the delivery truck man, had specifically warned the business that they needed to do something about it.
I have also represented a client where another customer in a checkout aisle told the person that got hurt that the dripping beer that was the cause of the slip-and-fall had been reported to the cashier 20 minutes before by this particular customer and yet the store failed to clean up the mess. These are really the perfect scenarios because you have clear proof from an independent witness. Most of the time the clients are not so lucky as to have a Good Samaritan who has information and takes steps to make their information about notice available to the claimant.
Another avenue for information to prove that the store did something wrong is the store’s own employees. It is not uncommon that a staff member or even manager makes some statement to the injured person or their family saying something about how the accident happened. Sometimes the employee will say something that they later wish they hadn’t admitted or they get criticized by their manager for having been too honest about the situation. Statements could be like one case I worked on where an employee said that the restaurant knew that there was grease on the floor near the buffet bar and had failed to clean it up even though the manager had instructed an employee to do so 15 minutes before.
Sometimes the party admission by the employee will not be quite as clear but will give some clues as to what probably happened. Generally in the law such party admissions by the business owners and employees can be used as evidence of proof of notice of the dangerous condition and fault. If you have been hurt at a business call Cooper Hurley at 757.455.0077.