Premises Liability/Security and Slip and Fall
The West Virginia premises liability attorneys of Heavens Law Firm are industry leaders in the practice of premises liability law. We are dedicated to helping victims who suffer injuries caused by a dangerous condition on property. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in compensation from negligent owners in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Premises liability provides legal recourse to people who are injured on property. Like other personal injury cases, liability is based on negligence. Negligence refers to the breach of a legal duty owed to another, resulting in liability for that person’s injury.
Property owners owe invitees a duty to exercise reasonable care in maintaining the premises. The property can be a home, apartment, store, or even an empty lot. Invitees may include workers, shoppers, and other guests who are on the property for any legal reason. In order to fulfill their legal duty to invitees, owners must keep the premises clear of dangerous conditions and perform necessary repairs. Otherwise, these dangerous conditions may lead to injuries caused by:
- Animal attacks
- Drowning accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Exposure to drunken patrons
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Criminal acts by third parties
Examples of dangerous conditions on property that give rise to legal liability include:
- Vicious pets
- Uneven steps
- Slippery floors
- Loose handrails
- Lead paint
- Broken locks
- Dark passageways
- Inadequate security
Premises liability claims generally allege that the landlord or other party in control of the premises was negligent by failing to prevent or repair a dangerous condition that caused the claimant’s injury. This constitutes a “breach” of the owner’s duty to invitees and can result in liability for their harm. In determining liability, lawyers and courts look at the “status” of the entrant and ask whether the property owner’s actions were “reasonable” under the circumstances. Invitees may be entitled to a higher duty of care than trespassers, and can recover damages where the owner’s action or omission falls below this legal standard.
Owners of vicious pets, for example, are placed on notice when their dog bites another person. From that point on, the owner has a duty to either keep the dog restrained or enclosed within the property. If the canine gets loose and mauls a child, the owner may be liable for maintaining a dangerous condition on the premises. This duty applies to landlords who have a duty to protect their tenants from unreasonable harm. This may require them to fix broken stairs or unlit common areas that cause the tenants to trip. Stores have a similar responsibility to clean up spills and block wet areas where customers are likely to slip and fall. These accidents can result in cuts, fractures, broken bones, and even death.
In today’s world, it is more and more common for businesses to utilize video surveillance equipment. It is important for anyone who is harmed in a premises liability case to immediately request that the business preserve all video surveillance of the incident. Failure to do so may permit the business and its insurance company to dispose of incriminating video footage. The preservation of evidence is extremely important in all cases, but especially premises liability cases because insurance companies and the lawyers they hire to represent wrongdoers often accuse the injured party of wrongdoing (not paying attention or other improper conduct). Video surveillance footage is the best way to shut down frivolous insurance company defenses. The Heavens Law Firm web site contains examples of video surveillance that we requested on behalf of clients. Those videos were instrumental in obtaining significant results for our clients.
If you were injured by a dangerous condition on property, call the Charleston, West Virginia premises liability lawyers at Heavens Law Firm today. Our firm has successfully handled many types of premises liability cases, recovering substantial verdicts and settlements for injured parties in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states. We have extensive experience investigating animal attacks, slip-and-fall accidents, Dram Shop cases, inadequate security cases and other cases where injuries or deaths are caused by a property owner’s negligence. At Heavens Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality personal legal representation and helping you achieve the best outcome possible in your case. To us, your case is not just business, it’s personal. Call us at 1-866-HEAVLAW for a free consultation or contact us online.