For Richmond premises liability cases, fault needs to be clear and lie completely with the irresponsible party. Because of Virginia’s strict personal injury fault laws, you need to have an attorney who can demonstrate how the wrongdoer was responsible for your care and how they violated that duty. Reach out to a reliable premises liability attorney who can work for you today.
The duty of care that all property owners must exercise depends on the class the injured party belongs to. An invitee is the highest class of plaintiff and is somebody invited onto the premises to conduct commercial activity. The landowner has a duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe fashion and seek out potential hidden defects. Property managers or owners have a duty to fix the defects or warn the invitee about them. If they violate that duty, that may constitute a lawsuit and an assigning of fault for a Richmond premises liability case.
With a licensee, the duty of the landowner is slightly different. If a person is visiting someone, the landowner does not have a duty to maintain the land in any specific way. They do, however, have a duty to inform the visitor of any defects that they are aware of or that they reasonably should be aware of. When there is a hidden defect that the landowner does not know about and it injures a licensee, the landowner has not violated any duty. Their only duty is that when they know or should know about a certain defect, they have to inform the licensee.
With trespassers, the property owner must not cause the trespasser intentional harm unless it is justified, and those are rare cases. They are not allowed to intentionally hurt the trespasser unless they have independent justification for doing so. There is almost no duty owed to trespassers except to avoid intentional harm.
In a premises liability case in Richmond, the first thing one should do is to document the issue that caused the accident in a normal premises liability case like a slip and fall. For example, there was a wet tile because something was spilled on the ground, or an individual mopped up the floor without drying it properly or putting out a warning sign. There could be a defect in the ground, or a stair step had a defect that caused someone to miss a step.
Documenting what caused the harm is extremely important because it is likely that what caused the harm is something that can be easily fixed. Evidence of fault in a Richmond premises liability case could only aid a victim’s chances of a successful outcome. A wet floor is eventually dry, so if the person does not take a picture of it, it is difficult to prove the floor was wet. It is the same thing with most defects like a staircase, a piece of carpet, or a threshold; it is normally easy to fix. Documenting the condition of the property that caused the injury is probably the most important thing. The individual should immediately take a picture, fill out an accident report, and write a brief statement about what caused the fall.
The second thing one should know is that in any premises liability case, they must prove that the landowner knew or should have known about the existence of the condition. It is not always possible to do that. For example, in a grocery store, if another customer spilled something on the floor, how does one prove that the grocery store itself should have known about that spill in time to clean it up?
Without a lawyer, it is difficult for an individual to obtain witness statements, security video evidence, and maintenance records that are necessary to prove the dangerous condition existed, and the landowner knew or should have known about its existence.
As with any personal injury action, the value of a premises liability case rests with the extent of the victim’s medical treatment. Sometimes, a person thinks they have grounds to bring a lawsuit against someone for something as simple as a sprained ankle. A premises liability case is normally a drawn out, complex, and contested case. It is important for people to know that if they do not have a somewhat serious injury, odds are they do not have a good premises liability case. If they sustained head trauma or a major spine injury, then their chance of success is much higher.
As with all personal injury cases, proving fault is a legal requirement. A case cannot exist unless a victim can demonstrate that another party owed him or her a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused him or her harm as a result of that breach. When proving fault in a Richmond premises liability case, it is critical that victims choose to work with an attorney who can do just that. Reach out to start your confidential consultation today.