Portsmouth, VA Premises Liability Lawyer (Injuries at Businesses)
As a customer at a store, you have a right to expect that the business will be run in a safe way. All commercial building owners in Portsmouth, Virginia have a duty to protect visitors too. Under certain conditions, the landowner, or business using the property, may be liable for a visitor who is injured on its property. These cases are known as premises liability cases and involve the plaintiff providing proof that the business or landowner was negligent in their maintenance of the property.
If you were seriously hurt on a commercial property like a store, restaurant, or hotel because of an owner’s carelessness, a Portsmouth, VA premises liability lawyer could help you hold the at-fault establishment or landowner responsible for its actions. Seasoned personal injury lawyers can perform in-depth investigations into the incident, determine your legal rights, and pursue compensation on your behalf for your injuries and losses.
Injuries Sustained on Unsafe Property
A premises liability injury is any injury suffered by a claimant due to a landowner or company’s failure to keep its property safe. While the most common cases are based on slips and falls, premises liability injuries can result from many other situations such as falling merchandise.
All landowners must keep their property in a safe state from a construction or structural standpoint. This means injuries occurring from any broken steps, loose handrails, or even collapsing walls can fall in the category of premises liability cases. The duty of a hotel, motel, or innkeeper to protect guests from needless accidents is especially high.
In addition, landowners may have a duty to protect people from the actions of others, especially those involving clear and immediate security threats. This may require an owner to implement security systems such as locks, cameras, or even trained staff to keep their visitors safe. Assaults, sexual abuse, or even homicide on the property could result in a premises liability claim against the landowner if their poor security practices allowed the attack to occur.
A Portsmouth, VA premises liability lawyer could examine the actions of property owners and their property management companies to determine if they were negligent. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we know the legal strategies to help an injured person pursue the compensation they deserve for their losses. For example, getting access to video surveillance, internal accident reports, and witness statements are key components to winning a premises liability lawsuit.
Protections for Visitors
While landowners and corporations running businesses have an obligation to protect visitors on their land, this obligation depends upon the visitor’s classification. Visitors may be classified as an invitee, licensee, or trespasser.
The greatest level of protection is given to invitees. These are people such as customers who enter a property for a business purpose. Property owners must take reasonable care to protect invitees from harm by proactively inspecting their property and placing warning signs to tell invitees of all known hazards.
Guests in a social setting are called licensees. Property owners in this instance must refrain from any act of open negligence. This means that landowners must fix any known problems and warn visitors about potential hazards.
Finally, trespassers are those who enter land without the owner’s permission. A landowner’s sole obligation to a trespasser is to refrain from intentionally harming them. It is important to be aware that insurance defense attorneys will argue that lesser duties are owed to get out of paying claims.
Regardless of a visitor’s status, they must be sure to file their case within the time limit prescribed by law. Known as the statute of limitations, VA Code §8.01-243 requires all personal injury cases to be filed in court no more than two years from the date of the injury. If an injured individual fails to file a lawsuit within this time, the court may refuse to hear the case, thus barring them from any compensation.
Other special deadlines may also exist under Virginia law, like rules that require notice to a city or county government within six months of the accident or the right to sue is forever lost.
Speak with a Portsmouth, Virginia Premises Liability Attorney Today
An injury that occurs because of a landowner’s negligence can result in severe consequences such as large medical debt and lost income from being unable to work. Additionally, the insurance companies that handle these claims may attempt to take advantage of an unrepresented plaintiff and attempt to settle his claim for less than it is worth or refuse to pay at all.
If a major injury happens at a business to you or a family member, you should call an experienced premises liability lawyer as soon as possible.
A Portsmouth, VA premises liability lawyer has detailed knowledge of the laws concerning the obligations of landowners to keep their visitors safe. They could work with you to discover the relevant evidence of the case, communicate the negative impact of the injury on your life, and demand the fair compensation you deserve. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.