Accidents resulting from slips and falls can happen anywhere during your daily activities, but they are largely avoidable. If your slip-and-fall incident and the resulting injuries stem from someone else’s negligence, it is unfair for you to shoulder the financial and physical burdens alone. Thankfully, Virginia law provides an avenue for injured individuals to hold property owners responsible for their negligence and seek compensation.
If you’ve sustained injuries due to a slip and fall incident on another person’s property in Virginia, consider pursuing compensation through a slip and fall claim. Contact the seasoned lawyers experienced in handling slip and fall injury cases at Marquis Law Group by calling 703-777-6161. They can assist you in examining the specifics of your case and determining the most suitable course of action based on your unique circumstances.
Common Locations for Slip and Falls
The last thing you expect while perusing store aisles or searching for your seat at a movie or concert is sustaining injuries from a slip and fall. If you’ve experienced such injuries outside your home, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Reach out to Marquis Law Group’s slip and fall lawyer in Virginia today to explore your injuries and legal rights. Accidents involving slips and falls can happen in a variety of business or property environments, and some prevalent locations in Virginia encompass:
- Shopping centers
- Movies or live theaters
- Parking lots
- Grocery stores, such as Wegman’s, Giant, Safeway, and others
- Sporting events and arenas
- Hotels and resorts
- Busch Gardens and other theme parks
- College campuses, including UVA, VCU, and NOVA
- Common areas of condominiums or apartment buildings
Irrespective of where the slip and fall incident occurs, there is a potential for severe injuries. Typical injuries resulting from slips and falls include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Bone fractures or breaks
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue damage
The associated expenses and losses can be substantial if you have experienced injuries resulting from a slip and fall incident. If your injuries result from someone else’s negligence in a slip and fall, you are entitled to receive complete compensation for the damages you’ve incurred.
Causes of Slips and Falls Leading to Accidents
According to the Virginia Department of Health, in 2021, there were more than 18,000 hospitalized annually in Virginia due to unintentional falls. An even more concerning statistic is the roughly 1,500 people who have lost their lives to unintentional falls each year in Virginia over the past decade. A significant portion of these incidents involve slip and fall injuries.
These accidents encompass specific types of unintended falls where individuals lose their balance on surfaces like floors, stairways, or other areas. Many legal professionals also categorize trip and fall incidents within the broader scope of slip and fall accidents.
Various common scenarios that may precipitate slip and fall or trip and fall accidents include:
- Slippery surfaces resulting from rain, wet product usage, or spills from cleaning agents, wax, food, and water.
- Uncleared snow or ice on sidewalks, storefronts, apartment buildings, and parking lots.
- Walkways and sidewalks that are inadequately maintained.
- Falling debris from construction sites or dilapidated buildings.
- Insufficient indoor and outdoor property maintenance leads to hazardous conditions, such as broken tiles, loose carpeting, unstable stairs, and damaged handrails.
What Entitlements Do Visitors Possess on Another Party's Premises?
In Virginia, like many other states, regulations stipulate that property proprietors are responsible for their visitors. The specific duties and accountability for injuries stemming from slip and fall incidents fluctuate according to the visitor’s category. Virginia identifies three visitor types: (1) invitees, (2) licensees, and (3) trespassers.
Property owners extend invitations to invitees to engage in business on their premises. Examples of invitees encompass patrons in restaurants, customers in grocery stores, and patrons in hair salons. Public property visitors, such as those frequenting parks and libraries, also fall under the category of invitees. Property owners are obligated to provide the utmost duty of care to invitees, and any breach of this duty exposes them to potential liability for accidents.
In accordance with Virginia law, property owners are obligated to exercise ordinary care towards invitees, maintain the premises in a reasonably secure state, and promptly remove any potential hazards. Additionally, property owners must notify visitors of any known unsafe conditions or those they ought to be aware of.
Virginia law does present an exception concerning the use of recreational properties. Landowners are not obligated to ensure a safe environment when permitting others to use their land for activities like hunting, fishing, camping, water sports, boating, hiking, and various outdoor recreations.
Property owners have the discretion to decide whether or not they want to allow licensees onto their premises. Licensees who are invited are essentially social guests, such as friends and family, and the primary distinction from invitees lies in the absence of a business transaction.
In the case of uninvited licensees, there is generally an implied permission for them to access someone else’s property. Property owners are not obligated to warn uninvited licensees about known hazards, but they are required to exercise reasonable care to eliminate any known dangers on their premises. Instances of uninvited licensees encompass delivery personnel, maintenance professionals, and utility service providers.
Individuals who lack implied or express permission to enter someone else’s property are considered trespassers. If trespassers experience injuries due to slipping and falling, a Virginia court may not hold the property owner accountable for damages. Nonetheless, property owners are prohibited from intentionally causing harm to trespassers or setting traps that could result in injuries.
Losses Resulting from Slip and Fall Incidents
Following a slip and fall incident, a range of losses may arise due to the resulting injuries. Initial losses typically involve out-of-pocket expenses, encompassing emergency room medical costs, medications, and subsequent follow-up treatments. It is crucial to ensure comprehensive coverage for medical expenses, extending to immediate needs and accounting for future care necessitated by the slip and fall injury.
Beyond direct medical costs, a slip and fall injury can trigger losses that extend into both personal and professional realms. If the injury forces you to take weeks off from work, compensation should cover the wages or salary benefits missed during the recovery period. Additionally, changes to your personal life, such as the inability to participate in activities as before, warrant compensation for the loss of enjoyment in your life post-injury.
The compensation you seek for your injury aims to restore you to a position as close as possible to how things would be if the injury had never occurred. While medical treatments may address the injury, some symptoms might persist, altering your life permanently. When you find yourself unable to participate in familiar activities or experience varying degrees of pain and suffering during routine tasks, it is essential to claim damages for the impact on your quality of life.
Assessing the value of your injury and determining the appropriate compensation falls under the purview of your slip and fall lawyer. Many individuals significantly undervalue their claims, risking acceptance of an insurance settlement that falls short of what is truly warranted.
It may be tempting to quickly accept a $100,000 offer from an insurer to expedite the process without involving a lawyer. However, with legal assistance, you may discover that your past and future losses amount to more than $300,000. Your attorney will persistently negotiate to secure the comprehensive compensation required to cover all your losses. The specific worth of your claim hinges on the extent of your losses, and to gain confidence in your settlement, it is recommended to have our attorneys specializing in slip and fall cases in Virginia assess your situation.
When to Consult with a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Virginia
Contacting an attorney promptly following your injury is crucial, especially after receiving emergency medical care. If you sustain injuries, seeking immediate emergency medical care is essential for a swift and thorough diagnosis to establish a clear link between your injuries and the slip and fall incident. Commencing treatment promptly is also vital to enhance your prognosis and minimize potential complications.
Following emergency medical care, additional follow-up appointments may be necessary to assess and manage any long-term effects of your injuries and evaluate their potential impact on your ability to work. Professional medical opinions play a pivotal role in your case, providing an analysis of your injury and forecasting its long-term implications, including the anticipated costs of related treatments, medications, or rehabilitation.
In cases involving injuries, your compensation should cover the immediate medical expenses incurred at the emergency room and account for any future medical costs arising from the injury. Determining this requires the expertise of medical professionals familiar with the nature of your injury.
Apart from seeking compensation for your medical expenses, your lawyer specializing in slip and fall cases will also guarantee that you receive proper reimbursement for any other financial setbacks resulting from your injury. In the immediate term, you should receive remuneration for the income you’ve lost during your absence from work due to the injury, including any missed work-related benefits such as accrued sick time or vacation time. In the long term, you should be compensated for any diminished future potential resulting from the injury.
If you are unable to return to work or can only secure a position with a lower salary than before the injury, you should be awarded damages to compensate for the disparity in your earning capacity from the time of the injury throughout your working life.
For instance, if you were earning $50,000 annually before the injury and can now only manage a part-time job paying $20,000 a year, you should pursue damages for this income loss throughout your remaining working years, adjusted for inflation. While these calculations can be intricate, our experienced Virginia slip and fall lawyers at Marquis Law Group routinely handle similar cases, making such assessments a routine part of our practice.
To determine the potential value of your damages and chart the most effective course of action in your case, contact our Virginia slip and fall lawyers at Marquis Law Group for a consultation at your earliest convenience.
Reach out to an Experienced Slip & Fall Injury Lawyer in Virginia Today
Sustaining severe injuries in a slip-and-fall accident not only inflicts physical pain but also often results in accruing medical bills, loss of income due to missed work, and potential future expenses for medical care and lost wages, especially in the case of catastrophic injuries.
If you find yourself dealing with injuries caused by the negligence of another individual or company, reach out to Marquis Law Group or give us a call at 703-777-6161 for a consultation.
Our proficient premises liability accident lawyers are well-versed in anticipating strategies employed by insurance companies and defense legal teams. The legal team at Marquis Law Group is dedicated to safeguarding your rights and constructing a robust case against the property owner accountable for the negligence leading to your accident.
Our seasoned personal injury lawyers are here to guide you through understanding your options. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to schedule a consultation with an adept accident injury attorney.