Arlington Premises Liability Requirements

A premises liability is a subsection of general personal injury law. As such, premises liability is simply a term used to describe a certain type of case involving torts that occur on real property. There are many requirements to determine when handling a premises liability case, many of which can be difficult to obtain. For this reason, an individual should be sure to contact an experienced premises liability attorney that can assist in gathering such information. With the correct premises liability requirements, a lawyer can assist you in recovering the damages you deserve.

Gathering Information

Any attorney will want to know all of the facts involved in the case they are working on. They will want to know when and where the incident occurred, who was involved, and what happened. Moreover, the attorney will want to know what happened after the incident, such as whether a report was taken or emergency services were called. Since the requirements to prove premises liability is so expansive, an attorney will require a wide variety of information in order to help a person with their case. It is important that any individual who is contacting a personal liability attorney regarding a case be prepared to provide all relevant information and details surrounding the incident.

An attorney will require a wide variety of information in order to help a person with their case. It is important that any individual who is contacting a personal liability attorney regarding a case be prepared to provide all required elements to accurately prove a premises liability case.

Type of Property

There are a number of ways in which the type of property on which the incident occurred can impact a personal liability case. For example, there is considerable distinction between public property and private property. While private property may include places such as a mall, a grocery store, or a residential home, public property could include places such as a park, a school, or a government building. This distinction can affect certain requirements as to how the case is pled or notified and, in turn, how premises liability is determined.

Recoverable Damages

As in all personal injury cases, if an individual is damaged as a result of the negligence of another, they can recover damages. Generally, there are two categories of damages: special damages and general damages.

  • Special damages would include such damages as medical bills and lost wages. These are the damages that are easily quantifiable.
  • General damages, also known as compensatory damages or pain and suffering damages, are damages that are not easily quantified. These include factors such as the loss of enjoyment, pain, and suffering.

An attorney who is experienced in premises liability can help an individual who has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another to understand the damages to which they may be entitled within the specific context of their case.

Contributory Negligence

The most common defense strategy in a premises liability case is one which involves attempting to prove that the plaintiff, or injured party, was without fault in the incident. Here, it is important to note that Virginia is a contributory negligence state. This means that, if a plaintiff is found to be even one percent at fault in the incident, then they are legally barred from recovery.

For example, consider a situation in which an injured party brings a premises liability case against the owner of a grocery store because they slipped and fell while walking on the grocery store owner’s property. If it is found that the injured party was talking on his or her cell phone when the incident occurred, they may be barred from recovery as they were not paying attention at the time and, as such, was partially negligent. Such a defense strategy is often used in premises liability cases.

Lack of Notice

Another strategy that can often be used in conjunction with contributory negligence involves establishing that the property owner or manager did not have notice of the conditions that caused the incident. Under Virginia law, a property owner or manager must have actual or constructive notice of potentially dangerous conditions. If an injured party cannot prove that such notice existed, they will be barred from recovering damages.

It is not uncommon for certain commercial premises, such as restaurants and stores, to have regularly scheduled clean-ups throughout the premises in order to document all times that they were made aware of and tended to dangerous conditions. This allows the owner or manager of the premises a shield from many instances of liability, and enables them to shift blame to the injured party.

Benefits of a Lawyer

Any individual who is considering taking action in a premises liability case should seek out an experienced lawyer who is familiar with not only the law, but also the local practices and procedures. The Arlington Circuit Court has its own procedural guidelines regarding the manner in which motions must be filed, and how cases may be set for trial. Such nuances are important, and can stand between an individual and the compensation they deserve.

Thus, any individual who has been injured in Arlington County due to the negligence of another should seek out the assistance of an experienced, local attorney who can work to ensure that they are awarded the damages to which they are entitled.