Businesses and organizations have a legal responsibility to maintain safe premises for members of the public who have been explicitly or implicitly invited onto the premises while they are engaging in business or the location is otherwise open to the public. Under Virginia law, a person who enters a business while it is open is known as an “invitee” to the premises when the visit is of common interest to the business owner and the visitor. In such a case, a business owner has a duty to use reasonable care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, as well as to warn the invitee of any hidden dangers that are known to the landowner. If someone is injured by a dangerous condition as an invitee, they may be entitled to compensation.
According to one local news source, a married couple recently filed a West Virginia slip-and-fall lawsuit against an auction house, alleging that the owner of the premises did not exercise due care in keeping the premises safe. According to a local news report, the woman alleges that she was injured when she slipped and fell on a wet floor, and that there was not an appropriate warning to alert her to the hazard. The lawsuit is seeking damages for bodily injuries, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and medical expenses. The suit also claims the woman’s husband has suffered a loss of spousal consortium and is also entitled to additional damages.
How can Negligent Landowners be Held Accountable?
In order for a Virginia negligence lawsuit to successfully hold a landowner accountable for a hidden unsafe condition on the premises, an accident victim needs to demonstrate that the landowner knew of the unsafe condition or should have known of the unsafe condition. It is important to note that the landowner has no duty to warn the invitee of a danger that is obvious, reasonably apparent, or as well known to the person injured as it is to the landowner. As a general rule, the landowner is under no duty to protect invitees from the criminal acts of third parties on the premises, regardless of whether the criminal act is intentional or reckless.
Have You Been Injured in a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a Virginia slip and fall or been involved in a car accident of any type, contact the Virginia, District of Columbia, and Maryland personal injury lawyers at Charles B. Roberts and Associates, PC, by calling 703-491-7070 or (703) 798-3039, or send us a message using our online form. Our experienced legal advocates have the resources and skills to make the most of your injury claim, and we can walk you through the process to allow you to focus on your recovery. We have offices in the entire D.C. Metro area, including Arlington, Fredericksburg, Woodbridge, Virginia, and throughout Northern Virginia, as well as Southern Maryland.
See More Blog Posts:
Contact Sports and Traumatic Brain Injuries, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, December 14, 2015.
The Dangers of Fatigued Driving in Virginia, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, January 13, 2016.