Have you had a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall on somebody else’s property? You could have an accident claim against the property owner and other parties. If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident in Virginia, turn to D. Michael Mullori, Jr., Attorney at Law for help pursuing financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other injuries and losses.
Since 1999, Mike Mullori has dedicated his career to advocating for the rights and interests of accident victims throughout Virginia and the DMV region. He genuinely cares for his clients and works hard to help them through the challenging process of recovering from accident injuries. Call today for a free initial claim review to discuss your options with Prince William County slip-and-fall attorney.
What Are Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
Most slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents occur due to a hazard on the ground that can cause a visitor to slip or trip and lose their footing. Some of the most frequent causes of slip-and-fall accidents in Prince William County, Virginia, include:
- Standing water
- Snow or ice
- Mud or plant debris
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Food or liquid spills
- Broken tile or hardwood flooring
- Loose or torn rugs or carpets
- Broken stairs or missing handrails
- Broken or malfunctioning escalators or elevators
- Broken or uneven pavement
- Uneven flooring surfaces/half-steps
- Divots, holes, or ditches
What Are Common Places Where Slip-and-Falls Occur?
A slip-and-fall accident will most likely occur in public, as public buildings and properties tend to get much more foot traffic than private residences. Examples of places where slip-and-falls or trip-and-falls tend to occur include:
- Supermarkets and grocery stores
- Bars and restaurants
- Malls and shopping centers
- Hardware stores or garden centers
- Department stores
- Hotels and other lodging facilities
- Office buildings
- Government buildings such as administrative offices, courthouses, or libraries
- Apartment or townhouse complexes
- Swimming pools
- Gyms/fitness facilities
- Sports facilities
- Amusement or recreational parks
What Is Virginia Law for Pursuing Compensation After a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
In Virginia, a slip-and-fall accident victim can pursue compensation in a premises liability claim when the accident occurred on someone else’s property due to the negligence of the property owner or another party.
Under Virginia premises liability law, property owners owe specific duties of care to lawful visitors to their property. The exact nature of the duty depends on the visitor’s status. Property owners owe the highest duty of care to invitees or individuals that a property owner invites onto the premises for the owner’s benefit, such as business customers. The property owner must advise the invitee of any hidden hazards and take ordinary care to keep the premises in a reasonably safe condition. They must also inspect the premises for unknown hazards and correct them.
Property owners also owe licensees a lower duty of care. Licensees include any visitor who lawfully enters the property for their own benefit, such as a door-to-door salesperson or a utility worker. For licensees, property owners must remedy any known hazards or warn licensees of the presence of known hazards that a licensee would not readily notice.
Property owners owe unlawful visitors or trespassers a duty to refrain from intentionally injuring the trespasser. However, this rule does not apply to minor children who suffer injuries from a dangerous property condition that the property owner could reasonably expect would attract children to illegally enter the property. Examples include construction equipment that may look like playground equipment to a young child.
In addition, under Virginia law, a property owner does not have a duty to maintain the property in a safe condition when they permit others to enter the property for recreational purposes, such as hunting, fishing, or hiking.
Who Could Be Liable in a Slip-and-Fall Accident Case?
In most cases, a property owner will have liability to a victim of a slip-and-fall accident, because property owners bear responsibility for maintaining their property. However, some property owners delegate maintenance and repair duties to other parties who may have liability in a slip-and-fall accident claim. Examples of other parties who might be liable for a slip-and-fall accident include:
- Commercial tenants
- Residential tenants, if a slip-and-fall occurs within the tenant’s exclusive leased premises
- Property management companies
- Janitorial services companies
- Landscaping/property maintenance companies, including snow/ice removal companies
What to Do if You Were Hurt in a Fall on Someone Else’s Property
When you’ve slipped or tripped on someone else’s property, you can take steps to protect your legal options for pursuing slip-and-fall compensation and put yourself in the best position to succeed in your claim. Critical actions to take after suffering injuries in a fall on someone else’s property include:
- Report the accident to the property or business owner. If the accident occurred on commercial or government property, ask for a copy of any accident/incident reports and request that they preserve any surveillance footage.
- Take photos of the accident scene if you can, including whatever you believe caused you to fall.
- Seek immediate medical attention, to have a doctor diagnose injuries you suffered in the accident. Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations.
- Preserve or photograph what you wore in the accident, such as clothing and footwear.
- Keep any records of expenses you incur due to your injuries.
- Gather your pay stubs or income records if you can’t work or have reduced earnings during your recovery.
- Avoid discussing the accident or your injuries on social media, and refrain from posting photos or videos while you treat and rehab your injuries.
Finally, contact a slip-and-fall lawyer in Prince William County to discuss your legal right to financial recovery for your injuries and losses.
What Compensation Could Be Available in a Slip-and-Fall Accident Case?
In a slip-and-fall case, you may have the right to recover compensation for various financial and personal losses you’ve incurred due to your injuries. Slip-and-fall compensation can include money for your:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses
- Long-term care expenses to help with permanent disabilities you may have suffered
- Lost wages/income if you need to take time off work or go on part-time/light-duty work
- Lost future earning capacity due to permanent disabilities that would prevent you from ever working again
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced qualify of life caused by disabilities or permanent scarring or disfigurement