Roanoke Slip & Fall Lawyer
Severe injuries are often associated with car accidents or violence; however, each year approximately 2.8 million people are treated in emergency rooms for fall injuries. A slip and fall can occur when a business or property owner fails to use reasonable care to ensure that their premises are safe for customers or visitors.
Slips and falls can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Uneven or Broken Walking Surfaces
- Frayed or Worn Carpeting
- Lack of Lighting
- Broken or Nonexistent Handrails
- Wet or Otherwise Slick Floors
- Holes in the Ground
- Objects Protruding from the Ground
- Snow, Ice or Water
Under Virginia law, if you or a loved one suffered an injury in a slip-and-fall accident that was caused by the property owner’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation through a premises liability claim. Because liability can sometimes be difficult to prove, it’s important to get help from an experienced Roanoke lawyer who understands Virginia premises liability law.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we have been successfully representing slip-and-fall and other injury victims for over three decades, and have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for clients. If you slipped and fell in a grocery store, department store, “big box” store, at another place of public accommodation (such as a school parking lot), or even at a neighbor’s house or apartment, we can assess your case and provide advice on whether you may be able to bring a claim.
If you are hesitant about reaching out to our firm out of concern about the cost, you needn’t worry. We represent premises liability victims on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you will not be responsible for paying a fee for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf. Call our offices to schedule a free case evaluation to learn more.
What is a Slip-And-Fall Claim?
Slip-and-fall accidents, also referred to as trip-and-fall incidents, can occur when an individual slips on a wet floor, trips over the edge of a carpet or rug, steps in a hole, or falls from leaning on a railing and is injured. Other types of slips and falls are also possible. When these types of accidents occur, civil lawsuits can be brought under a legal concept called premises liability.
Under premises liability, a property owner has a duty of care to make sure that the property is maintained in a reasonably safe condition. If the property owner or caretaker is negligent and allows an unsafe condition to occur, and that unsafe condition causes an injury, then they are responsible for the related expenses.
For example, if the staff at a coffee shop mops the floors and fails to put up a sign notifying customers that the floor is wet, if you slip on the wet floor and break your arm, the coffee shop may be liable for your medical expenses and other damages.
If I Win A Slip-and-Fall Premises Liability Case, How Much Money Can I Get?
The compensation awarded in a premise liability claim can vary, but the extent of your injuries and how the injury has affected your life will be taken into consideration. You may be entitled to receive compensation for some or all of the following:
- Medical Bills
- Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages and earnings
- Vehicle or Household Modification if you are permanently injured
- Permanent Injury or Disability
- Scarring or Disfigurement
- Loss of Job or Ability to Work
How Do I Prove A Premises Liability Claim?
At the outset, it’s important to understand that property owners are not automatically liable for injuries resulting from a slip and fall; you will need to show that the slip and fall was caused directly by the negligence of the property owner.
If you intend on making an injury claim against a property owner, it is likely that the other party will argue you are at least partly responsible for the slip and fall. To prevail in Virginia, it is necessary to prove that you do not bear any responsibility for the incident; otherwise, you may be unable to recover.
Virginia is one of a handful of states that follows a contributory negligence rule. Under contributory negligence, if you are partly to blame for the underlying accident, you cannot recover any compensation from any other at-fault party, even if you were only 1% responsible.
As a result, property owners will typically assert the following to try to prove that you were responsible in part for your injuries:
- You were utilizing part of the property that you or other visitors were not allowed on
- You were wearing unsafe footwear
- You were not paying attention to where you were walking
- You were distracted by your phone
- The dangerous condition should have been obvious
- Reasonable steps were taken to protect you (e.g., a warning sign was posted, cones were put out, etc.)
Thus a grocery store owner might make the argument that although the floor was wet from a spill caused by another customer, you should have seen this spill, except that you were busy looking at your phone while you were walking down the aisle. Their argument would be that a prudent person should watch where they are going without walking and texting at the same time, and that if you had done so, you would not have walked into the spill on the floor and gotten hurt.
Contributory negligence is considered in both lawsuits and in settlement negotiations. As such, it is necessary to compile proof and build a strong case demonstrating that you are without fault.
In addition to demonstrating that you were not contributory negligent, you must also prove that the property owner had a duty of care, that they breached the duty, and that their negligence caused your injuries. While proving these elements may seem straightforward, many other factors (such as whether signs were posted, if the area was private, if trespassing was involved, etc.) can make a case complex. As an experienced slip and fall and premise liability attorney, Mark Hurt can assess your claim and discuss your legal options.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Statutes of limitations are laws that limit the amount of time that you have to file a claim to have your lawsuit heard in court. If you attempt to file a claim after the deadline has passed, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case, and you will be unable to recover compensation.
In Virginia, there are three statutes of limitations that are applicable to slip-and-fall accidents. Generally, anyone injured in a trip and fall must file within two years of the date of the incident. If you desire to file a lawsuit over property damage (such as for a broken watch), you have up to five years. Lastly, if a person dies as a result of a slip and fall, the suit must be brought within two years from the date of the death.
Call the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
It is likely that the person responsible for your injuries did not intend to cause you harm, but it is not right for you to incur medical and other expenses and damages due to their negligence. Property owners have a responsibility to adhere to reasonable standards of safety, and to provide visitors with a safe environment.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand that the thought of filing a lawsuit may seem daunting and overwhelming, but it is important to hold those responsible accountable so that others may not face the same fate. We can assess your claim and represent you in seeking full compensation for your damages and injuries. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation to get started.
“Mark took over my car accident case from another attorney that I fired. Mark worked hard on the case for several months to get ready for trial. Shortly before trial he got more than the offer my first lawyer tried to get me to take.”
Google 5 Star Review – Jerry C.
Key Injury and Violence Data, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/overview/key_data.html.
 VA Code § 8.01-243.
 VA Code § 8.01-243.
 VA Code § 8.01-244.