Proving a Virginia Premises Liability Claim

Whenever someone is injured on another party’s property, the property owner may be legally liable for the injuries suffered by the injured party under the theory of premises liability. Premises liability cases are based on the legal theory that landowners owe a duty of care to keep those whom they invite onto their land safe. The level of duty owed to the guest depends on the relationship between the landowner and the guest.

Hotel BathroomIn Virginia, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant property owner owed a duty of care to the injured party that was violated by some action or inaction. Most often, these cases are brought after a property owner fails to take some kind of action to remedy a hazard on their property. For example, an unshoveled walkway or puddle of water can very easily result in a guest slipping and falling.

Virginia premises liability plaintiffs must also prove that the property owner was negligent in their failure to remedy the hazard. This often entails showing that the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. If a plaintiff cannot prove that the landowner had the requisite level of knowledge, it is unlikely that their claim will be successful.

Similarly, a plaintiff must also be prepared to show the court that the injury was not due to their own carelessness. In many Virginia personal injury cases, landowners will try to evade liability by shifting the fault of an accident onto the injured party.

Hotel Unsuccessfully Argues Guest Was Negligent When Getting into the Shower

In a recent case in front of a Kentucky appellate court, a slip-and-fall plaintiff’s case was decided in his favor after the lower court improperly dismissed his claims. In the case, Goodwin v. Al J. Schneider, the plaintiff was injured when he slipped and fell while getting into the shower. There was a hand rail to assist guests as they entered the shower, but there was no anti-slip bathmat to prevent falls.

At trial, the defendant was successful in convincing the court that the plaintiff’s fall was due to his own negligence. However, on appeal, the court rejected that argument, holding that the hotel had a duty to prevent these kinds of accidents. However, since the lower court never reached the question of whether the hotel violated the duty it owed the plaintiff, the case was sent back to the trial court for further analysis. Depending on how the court answers this question, the plaintiff may still be entitled to monetary compensation for his injuries.

Have You Been Injured in a Virginia Slip-and-Fall Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in any kind of Virginia slip-and-fall accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, this may include amounts for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you endured as a result of your injuries. Call Charles B. Roberts & Associates to discuss your case with a dedicated personal injury attorney. Calling is free and will not result in any obligation on your part unless we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call 703-491-7070 today to get started.

See More Blog Posts:

A Business’ Obligation to Keep Its Customers Safe, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, October 17, 2016.

Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Lawsuit Permitted to Proceed Despite Signed Arbitration Agreement, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, November 3, 2016.