I am here to help you in your time of need.- Will Dudley
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Attorneys Make Video About Injuries at Stores, Hotels or Restaurants in Virginia
By Griff O'Hanlon, Virginia Premises Liability Lawyer
Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has a dedicated premises liability team. We have also written a book that provides some user-friendly tips about what to do if you get hurt at a business such as a store, a hotel or a restaurant. Recently, I joined my colleague Bill O’Mara in shooting a video about these top tips.
Virginia law requires business owners and landowners to maintain their premises in a safe condition and to protect people from known hazards or dangers that the business should have discovered.
There are a number of ways a business can be to blame for accidents at its premises. They include falls on liquids on the floor or due to poor lighting, merchandise falling from shelves onto customers and the failure of a business to provide security or to clear snow and ice.
Here are the top tips from Top 10 Tips If You Are Injured At A Store, Hotel or Restaurant in Virginia
1 Know How Claims Are Handled
It seems obvious, but you must have suffered an injury to have a valid claim. Insurance companies often ignore minor injuries, but if you have significant injuries, you can get them to the table. Because of the expense of these cases, you should have suffered a serious injury to have grounds to make a claim.
2 Prove the Business Was At Fault
It’s not always easy to prove the business was at fault for your injuries. You should look at the particulars of the business and how what they did caused your injury.
3 You Must Not Have Contributed to your Injury
Virginia has a somewhat archaic doctrine called contributory negligence. It means if you contributed to your injury you might not be able to claim. Examples include being drunk, running or being distracted when you had an accident.
4 Force the Establishment to Give Up Video Tape
It’s important that you take the steps to make sure the store secures video evidence of your accident. Your attorney can make sure the store doesn’t destroy the evidence.
5 Use Your Phone
Most people have smartphones these days. If you have been hurt, take pictures of the scene. If there are any witnesses, video their comments or take a voice note. Get their details such as names and contact numbers.
6 Get Med Pay
You should be aware that a store or business may have Med Pay (medical payments insurance) which can assist with your medical bills, even if the fault is not proved.
7 Hire the Right Experts
An experienced premises liability attorney in Virginia will have access to a wide range of experts. For example, if you were injured in a deck collapse, relevant witnesses could include structural engineers.
8 Know the Responsible Companies
You need to know who to sue. A number of people may be responsible, and you need to get the correct one. For example, if you are injured in an elevator, responsible parties could include maintenance companies, building owners or managers.
9 Show Your Harms and Losses
Don’t be shortchanged by an at-fault company. If you have been hurt, you may be entitled to a range of damages including payment for lost time and payment for any past, present or future pain and suffering.
10 Know the Duties Depend on the Type of Invitation
While an invitee who is invited to a premises, such as a shopper at a store, has the strongest case if they are hurt you are unlikely to have much luck suing a landowner or a business owner, if you are trespassing.
We hope this video and these tips have been helpful. You can obtain the book for free via our website. If you have been hurt at a premises and believe a landowner, building owner, store, manager or another person may be to blame, call us at (757) 455-0077.
John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.
Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.