Slip and falls occur when a property owner or manager has failed in his or her duty to you to keep property reasonably safe and free from hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, the failure to uphold this duty can result in serious bodily injury. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a property owner, you need the West Virginia law firm of Hewitt & Salvatore by your side. With our ability to expertly navigate the legal system and our thorough understanding of the laws associated with slip and fall claims, we are the legal team you need to get through this process. We are here to relentlessly fight for your right to full and fair compensation for your injuries.
The Laws of Slip and Fall Injury Claims
Slip and fall claims are intended to compensate the injury victim for the damages they sustained as the result of a property owner’ or manager’s negligence. A person in control of property has the responsibility to upkeep their property and keep it safe for visitors. However, this does not mean that a property owner will be responsible for immediately eliminating any potential hazard. It also does not mean that a property owner will be held financially responsible every time someone on their property slips or trips. The key to a slip and fall claim is proving the following:
- There was a dangerous condition on the property;
- A reasonable person would have known or should have known about the dangerous condition; and
- You were injured as a result of the condition.
Dangerous conditions include:
- Flooring in disrepair
- Torn or bulging carpeting
- Wet floors
- Concrete cracks or potholes
- Icy patches
- Poor lighting
- Exposed wiring
Additionally, you must be able to show that you upheld your own duty to exercise reasonable care. Being distracted or careless can render a claim void or reduce your ability to recover monetary damages. West Virginia operates under a modified comparative fault standard. This means that, if you are found to have contributed in some way to the slip and fall, you will be assigned a percentage of fault. Your damage award will be reduced by this percentage.
Proving that the property owner or manager was negligent can turn on whether or not they acted “reasonable.” Would it be “reasonable” to expect the property owner to know about the hazard? Did the property owner take “reasonable” steps to ensure safe conditions? The answers to these questions depend on factors such as:
- The length of time the hazard was on the property;
- The property maintenance and inspection protocol in place (if any); and
- The reason the hazard was present.
A successful slip and fall claim can help with the expenses and other damages incurred as a result of your injuries, including:
- Medical bills
- Cost of future medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Right after you suffer a slip and fall, make sure to report the incident to the property owner or manager. Take steps to ensure that an incident report is generated as a result. This type of record will act as much needed evidence to support your claim. You should also seek medical attention right away. Your medical records will also be the evidence to support your claim, showing the damages you have incurred as a result of the slip and fall.
Make sure that your claim complies with West Virginia’s statute of limitations, the time limit you have to bring your claim. Under West Virginia law, you have two years from the date of the accident to bring a personal injury action against the property owner or manager. Doing so after the two-year limit will most likely lead to a dismissal of your case.
Devoted Legal Counsel for Slip and Fall Victims
It is overwhelming to find yourself injured and facing the daunting legal claims process that follows. At Hewitt & Salvatore, we are a small firm that prides itself in providing the personal attention to each case that bigger case mills just cannot match. We are devoted to each individual case and meeting the needs of our clients. You can trust us to see your claim through to a successful conclusion. Contact our office today and get the legal help you need.