A sudden slip or trip and tumble to the floor can seem to come out of nowhere. But often, these incidents happen because a store owner or property manager failed to keep the premises reasonably safe for customers and other visitors to walk through.
Injuries from a slip-and-fall caused by negligent property management are not random bad luck that the victim must pay for themselves. It results from a choice not to be a responsible property owner. Therefore, West Virginia law allows you to sue the premises owner where you got injured for compensation for your hospital bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. This is known as premises liability.
The duty property owners owe the public
Property owners owe a duty of care to people with a legal right to enter and be in their property. For example, a grocery store owner owes a duty of care to their customers, people delivering produce and so on. This duty requires the owner to take reasonable steps to repair “traps” (such as a wet spot on the floor, loose floorboard or broken staircase handrail) they know about or reasonably should know about, or warn visitors about the danger (such as by posting a warning or out of order sign). If a property owner fails to do so and you fall and suffer an injury as a result, the owner is liable.
Possible harm suffered
A sudden fall to the rocky ground or linoleum floor might not sound as dangerous as getting into a car accident, but you can get seriously hurt. Slip-and-falls can cause:
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
A particularly severe fall due to unsafe conditions can cause long-term or permanent disability. You could be forced to stop working, putting your household’s finances in peril just when you need thousands of dollars worth of medical attention. The pain and debilitation can have a serious impact on your quality of life and ability to be there for your spouse and children.