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Losing your balance and tripping is, of course, quite common. Most of the time, a little embarrassment is the only damage done. But sometimes, a slip can cause more serious injuries and potentially lead to long-term physical harm.
If you slipped and suffered injuries on another person’s property, a West Virginia slip and fall lawyer might be able to help. By pursuing a civil lawsuit, you could secure financial compensation to cover your medical bills and address other challenges that come with a trip and spill injury. Discuss your options with a dedicated personal injury attorney before moving forward with your case.
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property, do they owe you damages? It depends. Getting injured on another person’s property does not, in itself, make you eligible to receive damages from the property owner. However, there are some cases in which the owner may be held liable. In general, the owner may be made to pay damages to the fall victim if the owner’s negligence – or direct actions – created conditions that were unsafe. For example, the owner could be held liable if ice or snow has accumulated on the property, sidewalks are damaged, or potholes and debris pose a risk to walkers, and reasonable steps to remedy the situation have not been taken.
However, this kind of negligence is not always easy to establish. In most cases, the property owner must have been aware of the unsafe condition prior to the fall. If the owner could not have been reasonably expected to be aware of the hazard, they likely won’t be held liable.
Furthermore, if the owner was aware of the hazard but did not correct it, they still aren’t likely to be considered liable if proper notice was posted. For example, if a damaged sidewalk is in the process of being repaired, the municipality probably won’t be held liable for someone falling if warning signs have been posted and the area under repair has been roped off.
Property owners are also unlikely to be held liable if the hazard was extremely obvious. For example, if there is a very large hole in a parking lot, it is expected that those walking through the lot will see it and go around it. In general, individuals are considered responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure their own safety.
There are different types of damages that might be available following a slip and fall, most of which relate to the physical injuries that come with a serious falling accident. However, it is possible to secure compensation for emotional losses as well.
Medical bills often make up a large part of most slip and fall injury claims in West Virginia. The cost of emergency medical care alone could be overwhelming to some people. If injuries are so severe that they require long-term care, these bills could be substantial.
In some cases, an injured person might require medical treatment for the rest of their life. By filing a slip and fall lawsuit, it could be possible to recover both past and future medical expenses from a negligent property owner or their insurance company.
Injuries suffered in a fall cause the victim debilitating pain and suffering. Because pain is subjective, it can be difficult to determine the amount of compensation that is appropriate for these damages. It is therefore in an injured person’s best interests to let a practiced attorney calculate his or her damages and present their findings to a court.
Another important form of compensation that could be available is lost wages. Many people who are hurt in a fall require days, weeks, or even months to recover from their injuries. If someone is unable to return to work during that period, it could cause him or her to miss multiple paychecks.
Replacing these wages is particularly important for anyone facing significant medical debt due to their fall. Compensation could be available for both past and future lost wages if a trip and spill lawsuit is successful.
Sometimes the emotional impact of a serious injury can last long after the physical scars have healed. Mental anguish refers to reliving a traumatic injury. This mental anguish could occur during the healing process and even after the fall victim has made a full physical recovery.
Dealing with an injury following a tripping accident is never easy. If you were hurt after a fall on another person’s property, you could pursue legal action against the property owner.
Demonstrating that another party is liable for your slip and fall can be difficult. If you would like legal advice, feel free to contact our team of West Virginia slip and fall lawyers anytime.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law