Search Site
Main Office : 125 St Pauls Blvd, Ste 510, Norfolk, Virginia 23510   |   8 Hampton Roads Meeting Locations
Free Consultation Call or Text 24/7 757.455.0077
Virginia Injury Blog
The Legal Duty You Are Owed by a Landowner in Virginia

I focus on achieving favorable results with dedication & hard-work.- Griffin O'Hanlon

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

The Legal Duty You Are Owed by a Landowner in Virginia

By Bill O'Mara, Premises Liability Attorney

In a premises liability case, your rights are linked to whether you were entitled to be on a premises.

We know shoppers are entitled to be in the aisles of a store but if they are somewhere they are not entitled to be such as in a storage area, they do not benefit from the same rights if they are injured.


A landowner does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser, although the situation is slightly different with children.

The relationship between a landowner and someone who is on the property, falls into three main categories in Virginia.

1 An Invitee

Invitees are people who are invited to businesses. They are on the premises for the benefit of the business, so are offered the highest level of protection. Examples include shoppers at stores, dinners at restaurants and guests at hotels.

2 A Licensee

A licensee is a person who is at a business for his or her purposes such as a wholesaler or a delivery person. A licensee may be afforded less protection than an invitee if he or she is injured on a premises.

3 A Trespasser

If you are on land or in a building without permission to be there, you may be a “trespasser.” You are unlikely to be able to bring a premises liability action if you are hurt. An exception might be kids who stray onto a property to play and become injured if it’s not properly secured. A good example is a rail yard.

The question of why you are at a premises is pertinent to whether you have rights. Customers are vital to the success of a business and the owners or manager have a duty to protect them. However, a store owner does not expect someone to break in after hours, so owes no duty of care to a trespasser who may be hurt on a slippery floor.

If you or a loved one has had an accident at  premises, you should call out team at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077 or see

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


John Cooper

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.

View Full Bio
Jim Hurley

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.

View Full Bio
Bill O’mara

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.

View Full Bio
    • Spring Raffle
      Enter to win a $75 Food Lion Gift Card!

      In the spirit of spring, warm weather, and delicious food Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is excited to give away TEN $75 Food Lion gift cards to get your outdoor grilling started. To enter the raffle just click the button below. Contest Ends June 1st.

      Don’t forget to add your information so we are able to contact you if you win. Good Luck!

    • Recent Blogs Pedestrian Accidents in Hampton – Man is Seriously injured on Old Buckroe Road

      Pedestrian accidents in Hampton often make news headlines. The city on the Virginia Peninsula suffers from bad congestion and many streets are not easy to cross…. Read More »


      Read More
    • Download our FREE e-books

      At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we understand that the law is confusing. Learn about what to do after an accident. Explore our collection of FREE e-books.

      View Free E-Books
    • 2018 Scholarship Award

      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.

      Learn More
    Contact Us

    Please fill out form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
    8 Hampton Roads Meeting Locations

    Use the map below to find the location closest to you

    View more