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What Is a Premises Liability Claim in Virginia?

Property owners and managers have a legal responsibility to keep their property safe for anyone who may use them. Inadequately maintained premises can be dangerous for unsuspecting patrons and visitors, often resulting in serious personal injury.

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers- Hotel Safety Tips by Janaye

High-traffic commercial areas such as hotels, restaurants, stores, and other businesses owe a duty of care to their patrons. When they fail to adhere to basic safety standards, they can be held liable by a Virginia premises liability lawyer for any injuries that occur because of their negligence. To learn more or get started on your claim, schedule a consultation with an injury lawyer in Virginia today.

What Constitutes a Premises Liability Claim?

Traditionally, premises liability has focused on as injuries that happen at businesses or other public spaces. Common examples of premises liability cases include injuries that happen at hotels or motels, grocery stores, department stores, and any other sort of business open to the public.

These cases require a thorough initial investigation, and a Virginia Beach premises liability attorney will want to know the facts and circumstances that caused an accident and injury. There are some laws that apply to premises liability claims that may prevent injured visitors from suing a business. Therefore, a lawyer must thoroughly review the facts of the case to determine if it is viable under state law.

What are the Challenges of Filing a Claim Against a Business?

Oftentimes in premises liability cases, the evidence is not preserved. This can be problematic because the injured person has the burden of proof, and if their injury cannot be verified using evidence, it can make it more difficult to prove a case.

For example, if someone slipped on a wet floor of a department store, a lawyer would have to prove that the store knew or should have known that this slippery hazard on the floor was present. Many times, the wet floor is cleaned up immediately after the accident and witnesses disappear. As a result, when an injury occurs at a business, it is important to get everything documented, take photographs, and do a thorough initial investigation to improve the chances of success.

Examples of Premises Liability

Hotel Safety Tips infographic

Most people think of slip-and-fall accidents when they think of premises liability. While this is a common type of premises liability accident, this area of law encompasses a much wider range of situations, including:

  • Inadequate lighting
  • Inadequate security
  • Hazardous walkways
  • Improperly stored merchandise
  • Dangerous structures
  • Improper maintenance
  • Defective conditions

In short: if you sustain an injury on someone else’s property – even if that injury was caused by a third party – you may have a right to file a premises liability lawsuit. Our Norfolk premises liability attorneys John Cooper and Jim Hurley can thoroughly examine your claim to help you determine if a negligent property owner can be held responsible for your injuries.

Does the Type of Property that an Incident Occurs on Affect a Case?

The type of property where an injury occurs can affect how a premises liability case is handled or approached under the law. For example, if someone is hurt at a government building, a certain set of rules may apply. Oftentimes, governmental entities enjoy certain immunities and require special notice of a personal injury claim happening at its premises, whether it be a public park or a governmental building.

Businesses open to the public, such as a typical department store or local grocery store, owe invitees a duty of care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and guard against foreseeable harms to these customers. They are not entitled to immunities that may apply to government entities.

In Virginia Beach, a different set of rules could apply if someone is attempting to sue a landlord. There are specific aspects of the law that can apply to a claim against the landlord for injuries caused on his premises. This is why it is critical to consult with an experienced Virginia Beach attorney if someone believes they have a viable premises liability claim.

Consequences of Improper Property Management

The consequences of a landowner’s negligence vary from case to case. Some of the most common premises liability cases that warrant the attention of a Virginia Beach premises liability lawyer come from injuries such as:

  • Physical and sexual assaults
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Concussions
  • Coma
  • Broken bones
  • Burns

Injuries sustained on an improperly maintained premise may result in significant medical expenses, an inability to work, substantial changes in lifestyle, and physical and emotional pain and suffering. Damages may be short-term or last for a lifetime, but all of these factors should be considered when seeking compensation for your injuries.

Contacting a Virginia Beach Premises Liability Lawyer

If you or a loved one has sustained an injury due to a badly managed property, please contact our Virginia Beach premises liability attorney today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has offices in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, representing injured victims throughout Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, and the Hampton Roads area. (Please be sure to schedule an appointment before visiting our Virginia Beach location.)

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