Whether you are at work, out for dinner, running errands, or enjoying a weekend away, you expect the places that you visit to be safe. Businesses should keep up with building maintenance, promptly remove snow and ice, and ensure that conveyance equipment like elevators comply with the safety code.
When property owners neglect these duties, issues can arise, often to the detriment of guests or visitors. A Hanover County premises liability lawyer could help you or a loved one who has been injured on someone else’s property. An empathetic lawyer could understand how difficult it is to make the adjustments necessary to recover from personal injuries and fight for a favorable resolution.
Premises liability occurs when a visitor gets hurt on someone else’s property and the landowner had a duty to protect or warn them of potential hazards. Visitors are either trespassers, licensees, or invitees. A visitor’s legal status will vary depending on why they are on the property. This affects the degree of responsibility the property owner has to the visitor.
Under Virginia law, a property owner generally owes no duty to protect a trespasser from injury on their property unless they become aware of their presence.
A licensee is a person who enters another’s property, with permission, for their own purposes and benefits. Examples would be a house guest or a hunter. A landowner must safeguard these visitors against hazards that the licensee would not know or have reason to know of. Additionally, landowners must protect licensees from hazardous activities taking place on the property.
A landowner owes the greatest duty to an invitee. An invitee enters another’s property with an explicit or implicit invitation. A business that is open to the public is an example of an implicit invitation. A landowner must ensure the maintenance of the premises is up to a reasonably safe standard for an invitee’s visit.
When a plaintiff brings a case for damages arising from their injuries, they should be aware of the defense of contributory negligence. Under Virginia’s pure contributory negligence rule, a plaintiff may not recover damages if they are even one percent at fault for their injuries, except in certain circumstances.
To successfully raise this defense, a landowner must show that a plaintiff did not act reasonably under the circumstances concerning their own protection and safety. The burden rests on the defendant to prove that a plaintiff was contributorily negligent A Hanover County premises liability attorney could help a plaintiff establish liability and fight against claims of shared fault.
People injured due to premises negligence deserve their day in court to possibly obtain the compensation they may be entitled to. Compensation could include reimbursement for medical expenditures and lost wages, as well as damages for the pain and suffering endured.
Legal counsel could help you act against the party who wronged you. A lawyer could advocate for your rights either in settlement negotiations or at trial. Call a Hanover County premises liability lawyer today to learn more about your options.