Top Tips If You Are Injured At A Virginia Store, Hotel, or Restaurant
Virginia law requires that businesses maintain their physical locations in a reasonably safe condition and to protect people from hazards that the business should have discovered. Common scenarios in which a business may be liable for your injuries include merchandise falling from shelves, failure to provide security, failure to clear snow and ice, and falls caused by liquids, protruding objects, and poor lighting.
Recently, John Cooper of Cooper Hurly Injury Lawyers presented educational material on premises liability to other Hampton Roads and Virginia Lawyers. These cases can pose a challenge for personal injury lawyers and their harmed clients. Here are 5 Tips to remember in case you are injured at a store, hotel or restaurant:
- Know How Claims are Handled
It may seem obvious but you need to have suffered an injury in the first place to have a valid claim.
An invitee who is invited to a business, such as a shopper at a store, has the strongest case if he or she is hurt while a trespasser is unlikely to have much luck suing a landowner or a business owner. It is important to know whom to sue, as a number of people may be responsible for your injuries.
Parties responsible can include the business owner, property owners, maintenance or construction companies or possibly individual managers whose employees are actively negligent. Often insurance companies will ignore minor injuries and only take significant injuries seriously. Because of the expense of these cases, you should have suffered a serious injury to make a claim.
- Proving the Business was at Fault
You must prove that a business did something wrong to hold it responsible for your injuries. The burden is on you to prove that it did something wrong. Under the doctrine of contributory negligence in Virginia, a business is not at fault if you share any fault in causing your injury such as being drunk or distracted at the time of your injury. Therefore, it is important to remember to use your smartphone or a camera to take any photographs, videos and any measurements of the scene and ask the business to secure any surveillance footage it may have of the injury.
- Get Med Pay
Remember to ask the adjuster if a business has Med Pay (medical payments insurance). Med Pay can assist you with your medical bills even if fault is not proven.
- Show Your Harms and Losses
Once you’ve proven that an establishment was negligent and responsible for your injuries, it is important to keep a record of your harms and losses. Don’t let the business or insurance company short change you and cause you to receive less money than you deserve. You may be entitled to payment for past and future medical expenses, lost time and wages, and any past, present, and future pain and suffering.
- Hire the Right Experts
The main expert you will hire is the right personal injury lawyer. A good premises liability attorney will have access to a wide range of experts such as building code, construction, and property management experts who can explain exactly what a business did wrong and help you build your case.
We hope that these tips have been helpful. You can watch our video or obtain the book The Top 10 Tips If You Are Injured At A Store, Hotel Or Restaurant in Virginia for free via our website. If you have been hurt at premises and believe a landowner, building owner, store, manager or another person may be to blame, call us at (757) 455-0077.