Most days, residents in Virginia enter and exit the properties of others. Whether it is a grocery store, post office, clinic, gas station, department store or the home of another, most do not view these places as dangerous or prone to risks. However, when a property owner is negligent and dangerous conditions are not addressed, this could result in a visitor or patron being seriously injured.
During Northern Virginia business hours, parking lots are beehives of activity, with cars, trucks and pedestrians constantly moving about. Collisions and injuries seem to be inevitable, but the legal duty of retailers to post appropriate signs and otherwise regulate traffic in these lots remains an open legal question. A recent state court appellate decision on this issue may affect premises liability cases in Virginia and other states.
When a person calls up their friend and asks the friend come over to their house for dinner, the friend may be considered an invitee into the home of the person hosting them for a meal. Situations like this happen each day in Fairfax, but interactions between property owners and others do not end at these straightforward pleasantries. If a person visits a store to buy goods, are they considered an invitee at the store? Or does their status as a visitor change because they were not specifically requested to come to the property owner's building? This post will explore the different statuses individuals may have when they visit properties and how those statuses can change their rights if they are harmed in premises liability accidents.
Although online shopping and advancing telecommunications have made it easier to live a home-based life, it is the rare person who can exist without ever stepping foot outside of their residence. Fairfax residents work, shop and play in locations near and far to their houses, and when they leave the places that they call home they must trust that the entities that own and operate the stores, restaurants, offices, schools and other businesses and buildings they frequent are maintaining them in safe condition. Most of the time individuals can do what they need to do outside of their homes without encountering dangers. However, in unfortunate instances victims of premises liability accidents suffer serious harm due to hazardous conditions on another's property.
Virginia residents may be aware generally of the concept that once they enter someone's property, they have the reasonable expectation that they will not get hurt on the property owner's property. This is why property owners spend time cleaning oil slicks and shoveling snow off the driveway-to ensure that they are creating the safe environment that they are legally responsible to. This concept is known as premises liability.
As the winter months progress, it becomes increasingly important that properties are maintained in a safe manner for users. In a community a few hours from the Roanoke area in a neighboring state, a woman recently brought a claim for damages against the owners of a shopping center parking lot asserting their negligence led to the injuries she suffered. The victim was shopping at the shopping center and while walking across the parking lot, she tripped and fell and suffered injuries including a broken leg. According to the woman's complaint, she tripped and fell on a large, broken and uneven section of the shopping center parking lot.
Premises liability law offers protection for victims injured by an unsafe property condition. A woman in a community several hours west of the Fairfax area has brought a claim for damages against Walmart following a slip-and-fall accident in one of their stores. The victim asserts that the negligence of the retailer led her to suffer serious injuries in a slip-and-fall accident. The woman filed the lawsuit based on her assertions that the retail super center failed to maintain safe premises and breached its duty of care.
Virginia residents may have heard of the tragic death of a young boy in Kansas following an accident at a waterpark there. A 10-year-old boy died following a ride on the Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn waterpark in Kansas City. Currently, it is unclear whether the injury was due to a lack of repair of part of the ride or other circumstances.
As summer approaches, Virginians will undoubtedly gather with friends and family at backyard pools. While these occasions are normally joyous, it is important to be aware of essential pool safety precautions and what can be done when a failure to abide by those safety measures results in harm.
Virginia property owners have a duty to keep their property safe. Unfortunately, this duty is not always complied with, and commonly, Virginians fall due to dangerous property conditions. When a Virginian is injured in a slip-and-fall accident on another's property, he or she may have a cause of action for a premises liability lawsuit.