Important Issues in Virginia Slip and Fall Cases

If you are involved in a slip and fall accident in Virginia the following is what you should know about what to look for the help your claim and what an attorney will likely be looking for as well. If you would like to discuss your case in more detail, call and schedule a free consultation with a Virginia slip and fall lawyer today.


Probably the most important thing to look for is notice.

If somebody slipped on a humongous liquid spill at a bar or grocery store, and there’s video footage to show that somebody spilled it literally just before the person fell, then that’s going to be a tough case. It’s probably a case that a lawyer would not accept because without notice of the unsafe condition, there’s not really anything that could have been done to prevent the fall.

However, that’s not to say that you can never recover unless the business or landowner has actual notice of a dangerous condition. There are different types of notice. There’s actual notice, where either the defendant or its agents or employees are aware that a dangerous condition exists, but then there’s also constructive notice, which is, for example, if you slipped on lettuce that has already turned brown, then that’s indicative that it’s been there for some time. If it’s got dirt all over it, that means people have been walking on it, so you know, that shows that somebody knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Both constructive or actual notice will work, but that gets you a lot of the way there on a premises liability or a slip and fall case.

Witness testimony, sometimes you can still have a good case without actual notice, but it’s much more difficult.  This is where witness testimony becomes extremely important. Notice and witnesses are going to be probably two of the most important things in a slip and fall case, but we also always want to check all of the other facts and circumstances. We want to see what the area looks like where the fall occurred.

If a dangerous defect is open and obvious that any reasonable person would have seen that and recognized the danger and to the person who was injured just failed to see it, then that’s going to be a problem, and if it’s an open and obvious condition, then we wouldn’t really accept the case in that situation.

Important Questions A Lawyer May Ask

Well first off, an attorney will want to know what they tripped on or what made them fall.

A lawyer will want to know where the injured person was looking—if they were on their phone, writing a text while they were walking, something like that.

An attorney will also want to know what a victim’s footwear was like, what they were wearing. If you’re wearing something that’s unreasonable for the circumstances—like if you know it’s icy outside and you’re wearing flip flops—that could be a problem.

Attorneys just want to know the practicalities about what happened and why it happened.

Those are some of the most important things we’re going to ask first: what was going on, where were you, who owned or operated a business where you fell, that sort of thing.

If you’re in a situation where people are really tightly packed in a restaurant and there are lots of people, you wouldn’t reasonably be expected to see something that could come into play in a different scenario.

If it’s a retail situation where you’re walking with a grocery cart, it might be less reasonable to expect someone to be looking every step of the way where they’re walking because they might be looking at the displays, which is what the retailer wants. They want you to look at their display.

Retailers don’t want you to look at the floor the whole time. So the facts that kind of put everything in context to help us piece together what happened and why it happened and see if there’s anything we can do to help.