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In Virginia Beach, commercial property is defined as a place where business activities are conducted, whether that be grocery stores, department stores, retail stores, or restaurants. Hotels, motels, and amusement parks would also fall under the umbrella definition of a commercial property.

If any commercial business acts with negligence, they can be held liable under state law for any injuries and damages suffered by visitors. A Virginia Beach commercial property liability lawyer could help you file a claim for damages if you sustained injuries while at a place of business. The skilled premises liability attorneys at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers have the experience to thoroughly investigate your case and prepare an effective claim.

How is Liability Assigned to Commercial Property Owners?

Property owners are required to act with care to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition. If a commercial property owner or occupier fails to act reasonably in maintaining their premises, then they can be held liable for the resulting injuries, losses, harms, and damages.

Liability can attach to any business or person who owes a duty of care to another and causes injury to that person. This can include the property owner, the building owner, the occupying business of the building, or property managers on site who have assumed the responsibility to act with care in the premises. For example, a property manager of a grocery store may be liable if a customer falls and hurts their ankle after tripping over a hole in the parking lot. An attorney in Virginia Beach could help someone determine if a commercial property owner is liable in a particular case.

Contributory Negligence in Commercial Premises Liability Cases

What people should know about Virginia Beach commercial property liability is that these cases are much more challenging than most other states because Virginia still follows the contributory negligence doctrine. Because of this, it is important to consult with a Virginia Beach lawyer who is experienced in handling commercial property premises liability cases. It is necessary to do a prompt and thorough initial investigation to show that the business acted with negligence and the injured person is free from fault.

Finding the Correct At-Fault Party

Identifying the proper defendants or at-fault parties in a premises liability case can be a challenge. Businesses operate under different names. Sometimes the actual, legal business name is different than the name it trades under and holds itself out to in the public.

This is why a thorough investigation, which sometimes includes searching business or governmental records can be very important. It is not always apparent who the true culprit is initially. Additionally, a claim could fail if the correct defendant or entity is not properly identified and named.

Statute of Limitations for Commercial Property Liability Cases

The statute of limitations for these claims in Virginia is typically two years from the date of the harm. It is important to note that this two-year deadline applies to claimants who are adults. The deadline if a minor is injured is extended to their 20th birthday. However, there are some limited exceptions to these deadlines.

This is why it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer in Virginia Beach about the given circumstances of a particular premises liability case involving a commercial defendant. If a claim is not resolved through settlement or a lawsuit is not filed within two years of the date of the injury or occurrence, then the claim may be barred.

Large Corporate Defendants

A major consideration with large corporations is they are often incorporated in states other than Virginia. This is relevant because if a lawsuit is filed, the corporate defendant may have a right to remove the case from state court to federal court where different rules apply. Still, the basic principles of personal injury law are the same, regardless of whether someone is injured by a small or large corporation. A lawyer in Virginia Beach could help someone in a commercial property liability case if the defendant is a large corporation.

Contact a Virginia Beach Commercial Property Liability Attorney

If you sustained injuries while visiting a store or other business, speak with a Virginia Beach commercial property liability lawyer. The team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers could assess your case and explain your legal options. To get started on your case, call today.

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