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Virginia law requires all landowners and businesses to maintain their property in such a way as to not cause harm to a lawful visitor. Sometimes, however, landowners or companies fail in this duty by allowing a hazard to persist, such as a spill on the floor or an icy sidewalk. These often result in slip and fall or trip and fall injuries.

Landowners have a duty to warn visitors about any danger and to fix that danger when they know about it or when they should have known about it. If they fail to do so and this results in an individual’s injuries, they can be held liable in a slip and fall lawsuit.

A Chesapeake slip and fall lawyer could assist people who were injured in an accident on another party’s land with building a claim for compensation. A compassionate Chesapeake personal injury lawyer could request compensation for various damages including medical bills, economic losses, and pain and suffering. Our attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers typically bring cases to court that involve significant injuries, like broken bones requiring surgery or traumatic brain injuries.

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Obligations of Landowners

All landowners have a legal duty to protect visitors on their land. However, the extent of this duty depends on why the visitor was on the property. Virginia law recognizes three categories of visitors, each with their own level of protection.

The least amount of protection is given to trespassers. These are people who enter without the permission of the landowner or outstay a welcome. The law requires landowners only to refrain from intentionally injuring the trespasser. A trespasser generally is not eligible for compensation in a slip and fall case unless the owner intentionally causes the accident.

A higher level of protection is given to invited visitors who enter for their own benefit. These people are known as licensees and include, for example, a guest at a house party. A licensee is generally on the property more for their own benefit, not the businesses’ benefit. Property owners have a duty to protect licensees from any act of active negligence. This means a landowner or commercial tenant must warn a licensee of any known dangers and fix them as soon as they learn about them.

The most protection is given to visitors who enter land for a business purpose. This includes all shoppers or patrons of businesses. In these situations, a landowner has a duty to take reasonable care to prevent a visitor’s injury. This can include patrolling aisles to check for spills or making sure that no snow or ice has accumulated overnight.

All claimants should follow Virginia’s statute of limitations rule for personal injury cases. This law controls the deadline for when a court can hear a case. According to VA Code §8.01-243, claimants must file a claim within two years of the date of the accident to collect compensation. You do not want to wait to call a Virginia attorney after a slip and fall with serious injuries as the immediate investigation is so critical to a positive result.

Compensable Damages in Slip and Fall Cases

Slip and fall accidents can have a devastating effect on a person’s health. A sudden fall onto hard surfaces can place great strain on a person’s joints, nerves, and bones, potentially causing broken bones or a concussion. Often an ankle or wrist can snap as a person falls and tries to brace themselves.

A plaintiff in a slip and fall accident case can claim compensation for the costs associated with treating these injuries. However, the claim can also request compensation for other losses that have impacted a person’s finances and mental health.

Economic harm from a serious injury can include permanent harm like scarring, future medical bills, and disability. A Chesapeake slip and fall lawyer can help you properly evaluate your damages and push for a fair compensation from the insurance company.

Let a Chesapeake Slip and Fall Attorney Help

Slips and falls can cause serious personal injuries such as broken bones, torn tendons, and ruptured discs. These accidents can affect both a person’s health and their finances.

A Chesapeake slip and fall lawyer could help clients hold negligent landowners responsible for their actions. An experienced attorney could work to evaluate your rights as a visitor, examine the actions or inactions of the landowner to prevent the injury, and fight for the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact the slip and fall team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today to discuss your situation.

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