Reston Slip and Fall Lawyer

Getting hurt due to a sudden slip or trip over an unseen hazard can be a deceptively dangerous experience, especially if you land awkwardly or hit your head on the way down. Unfortunately, for various legal and procedural reasons, successfully holding a property owner liable for this kind of incident can be an incredibly complicated endeavor even if you have extensive evidence supporting your right to civil compensation.

Fortunately, help is available from an experienced Reston slip and fall lawyer with a history of achieving positive results for people just like you in situations similar to yours. The assistance of a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can make all the difference in complex claims like this, whether you just want to recover for short-term medical bills and wage losses or you need to stabilize your future prospects in light of a catastrophic injury.

When Are Property Owners Liable for Slips and Falls?

Importantly, the fact that an accident occurs on someone else’s property does not automatically make the property owner or manager financially liable for that accident’s consequences. Under Virginia premises liability law, property owners are obligated to check their property for dangerous conditions and warn about known hazards to protect “invitees”—lawful visitors on the property for the owner’s financial benefit—from harm.

However, when it comes to protecting “licensees” on property legally for their own financial benefit, owners and managers are only responsible for injuries caused by hazards they knew about but failed to notify licensees about. Additionally, property owners generally have no obligation whatsoever to protect trespassers from harm, so long as those owners do not set traps or otherwise knowingly and intentionally harm unlawful visitors.

Finally, it is worth noting that Virginia courts adhere to a “pure contributory negligence” approach to liability by civil plaintiffs, under which injury victims found partly to blame for their own damages are ineligible to recover any compensation for the incident in question. In light of all that, consulting with a Reston trip and fall attorney before trying to pursue litigation alone is almost always a good idea.

Filing Deadlines for Civil Litigation

Another legal restriction on slip and fall litigation that prospective plaintiffs should be aware of is the filing deadline set by the statute of limitations. According to Code of Virginia §8.01-243, individuals who sustain personal injuries due to negligence generally lose standing to recover compensation for ensuing damages if they wait longer than two years after their accident occurs before starting the litigation process.

In a substantial departure from equivalent statutes of limitations in many other states, Virginia does not have a “discovery” rule, which means that the statutory filing period for personal injury claims usually begins on the date of the initial incident regardless of when the injured party discovered they were hurt due to someone else’s negligence. However, there are some exceptions to this standard deadline under unique circumstances that a slip and fall lawyer in Reston could discuss in further detail.

Contact a Reston Slip and Fall Attorney Today

Whenever a sudden fall leads to serious injuries, the question of civil recovery for the financial and personal losses that follow can be a crucial and complex one to answer. Liability for these sorts of accidents can vary depending on the circumstances, and even plaintiffs with viable claims may have trouble securing fair financial compensation without help from dedicated legal counsel.

If you want to explore whether civil litigation could help you recover from a slipping or tripping accident, you should speak with a Reston slip and fall lawyer sooner rather than later. Call today for a consultation.