People who slip or fall on someone else’s property might choose to pursue legal action against the owner of that property. However, there is no guarantee that the owner is liable for damages. A fall victim in West Virginia would need to show that a hazardous condition existed that the property owner knew about but failed to remedy. Fall victims may also need to show that their injuries weren’t caused by their own negligence.
Homeowners may be able to limit their liability by securing trampolines, swimming pools or other objects of interest on their properties. Business owners may be able to limit their liability in a slip-and-fall case by taking steps to warn individuals about potentially dangerous conditions. In the event that a hazard had only recently presented itself, it may be possible to argue that there wasn’t enough time to do anything to fix it.
It may also be possible to argue that neither the company’s owner nor its employees even knew that a problem existed. Furthermore, if a person falls over an object that had a legitimate reason to be where it was, an injured victim may receive little or no compensation for his or her injuries. Individuals may need to prove that they had a legitimate reason for being where they were when they slipped, tripped or fell.
Many factors are likely to be reviewed by a judge or jury when deciding the outcome of a premises liability case. An attorney may be able to explain to an injured victim what those factors are and how they may impact his or her ability to obtain compensation. If a claim is successful, an injured victim may receive a financial award to pay for medical bills or other damages related to a fall.