Many people seem to have a basic understanding of the fact that a property owner can be held liable for damages or injuries suffered by someone else if an accident occurs on the owner's property. However, many people do not understand the full potential extent of premises liability. In reality, premises liability refers to much more than simple slip-and-fall accidents or other accidents that occur due to dangerous property conditions or poor maintenance of the property.
Owners and even residents, in some cases, owe a duty of reasonable care to people who come onto the property with the owner's consent and at the owner's invitation. This category of people generally consists of customers or patrons-people whose presence on the property benefits both the property owner and the visitor. Because store owners or the owners of other public places are specifically intending for members of the general public to frequent their premises, they are responsible for ensuring that the premises are safe and do not pose unreasonable hazards to those who come onto the premises. If they not comply with this duty and provide safe premises or adequate warnings, owners and residents can be held liable for an injury suffered.
Even though Virginia consumers probably believe that shopping is a relatively safe experience, the reality is that there are many risks in public stores and facilities. Property owners do not always take adequate care to keep the premises in good repair or warn customers of temporary risks, like wet floors. As a result of this oversight, customers sometimes suffer injuries that are the fault of the property owner. One of the most common types of these occurrence is a slip and fall accident.
Restaurants and stores provide services and products to consumers. They also have a responsibility to maintain safe premises and ensure that the store or restaurant, including some exterior areas like parking lots and sidewalks, are free from unnecessary risks and safety hazards. When a Virginia property owner fails to fulfill this duty, he or she can be held responsible for a consumer's injury in a premises liability lawsuit. Premises liability lawsuits can result from slip-and-fall accidents, collapsing or dangerous stairwells, unlit or unsafe parking lots, defective sidewalks, and other problems.
Although many Virginia residents likely think of severe injuries and permanent disability in connection with major accidents, many minor accidents can have catastrophic effects on a person's physical condition and health as well. A slip and fall accident, for example, may seem minor to most people but frequently results in injury, severe pain and even permanent problems, especially if the person who fell is elderly or otherwise in a more vulnerable physical condition.
Virginia residents have to frequent a great number of public places, businesses, and establishments every day. They trust that these places are safe and well-maintained and that they will not be in danger simply by setting foot in the door. Unfortunately, property owners do not always take the care they should to ensure guest and customer safety. One of the most common problems is a slip and fall accident, which can often cause severe and painful injuries.