Virginia Beach Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Slip-and-fall accidents can have devastating consequences. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that falls send more than 800,000 people to the hospital annually and are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in the United States.
Many slip-and-fall accidents happen in stores, businesses, hotels, and restaurants because of careless property owners. Property owners are responsible for maintaining a safe environment for visitors and guests. Neglecting this responsibility can lead to accidents – accidents for which they can be held liable.
Have you been injured on someone else’s property? The slip-and-fall accident lawyers at Deering Hedrick are standing by to help. Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick have long track records of securing compensation for accident victims in Hampton Roads. For more information on how our team may be able to help you seek the money you need to recover from a significant slip-and-fall accident, contact our Virginia Beach office today.
What Is a Slip-and-Fall Accident?
Slip-and-fall accident cases fall under the category of premises liability. Premises liability cases seek to hold careless property owners responsible when people are hurt on their property. Property owners are responsible for ensuring that their property, residence, or place of business is safe for guests and visitors. When a property owner fails to take reasonable action to address known safety concerns and an accident happens, they may be held liable for resulting injuries and financial losses.
Common Causes of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Falls can happen anywhere. However, slip-and-fall accidents are common in areas where property owners or landlords fail to maintain their premises. Neglecting hazards or failing to warn visitors of potential dangers can result in a traumatic accident. Some of the most common causes of slip-and-fall accidents include:
- Wet floors
- Torn carpeting
- Loose rugs
- Uneven flooring
- Breaks or cracks in flooring or sidewalks
- Merchandise blocking aisles
- Stairs without handrails or stairs with broken handrails
- Unmarked stairs
- Poor lighting and low visibility
- Ice or snow left on walkways
- Improper signage warning guests of a safety hazard
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, report the incident to a manager or the property owner. Always ask for a copy of the accident report. Seek medical attention for your injuries and consult with a knowledgeable Virginia Beach slip-and-fall accident lawyer.
Injuries Associated with Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Some assume the most damaging consequence of a fall is a bruised ego. This is often far from the case. A slip-and-fall accident can cause devastating injuries, especially in older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that one out of every five falls cause a significant injury, such as a broken bone or traumatic brain injury. The National Floor Safety Institute estimates that falls account for nearly 8 million emergency room visits and are the leading cause of ER visits in the U.S. Common injuries associated with falls can include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
Dealing with the physical ramifications of a significant fall can also lead to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Compensation for a Slip-and-Fall Accident
The value of a slip-and-fall accident claim depends on the circumstances of the accident. Generally, the severity of your injuries, the cause of the accident, and the amount of insurance coverage available will heavily factor into what your claim is worth. In most cases, an individual can seek compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Recovering compensation in a slip-and-fall case also depends on proving liability. The burden is on the victim to establish that a careless property owner neglected to maintain their property and keep explicitly or tacitly invited visitors safe. You must also prove that the property owner knew or should have reasonably known about the unsafe conditions and took no action to remedy the situation before the accident occurred.
Another crucial factor is that Virginia follows a contributory negligence rule in personal injury cases. The contributory negligence rule states that anyone found partially at fault for causing an accident cannot recover compensation for their injuries. Even if an individual is just 1 percent to blame for the slip-and-fall accident, they still cannot recover compensation for their financial losses.
The contributory negligence rule binds all civil court decisions. It also influences how an insurance adjuster will value a slip-and-fall accident claim. Many accident victims find the contributory negligence rule harsh. Seeking the advice of an experienced slip-and-fall attorney is the best way to ensure you have the support you need to recover the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations on Premises Liability Lawsuits
Are you considering legal action following a slip-and-fall accident? Discuss your case with a skilled attorney as soon as possible. Virginia gives you limited time to file a premises liability case against a careless property owner. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a civil lawsuit against the property owner. Filing a lawsuit after the statute of limitations can result in the dismissal of your case. After a lawsuit dismissal, you may have few if any options for recovering the compensation you need.
Furthermore, the sooner you higher an attorney, the quicker they can get to work finding and preserving the evidence you need to prove your case. The stakes are high, and there’s no time to waste.
Contact Deering Hedrick for Help Today
Mike Deering and Chris Todd Hedrick are committed to helping slip-and-fall accident victims seek the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Property owners must be held accountable when their actions cause a significant accident. At Deering Hedrick, our legal team wants to protect your legal rights and help you seek justice.
Have you been injured on someone else’s property? Contact our Virginia Beach office for legal advice. We can discuss your situation in detail and help you understand your legal options for recovering meaningful compensation.