SLIP & FALL ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS IN VIRGINIA
CONTACT OUR OFFICES IN NEWPORT NEWS, OR VIRGINIA BEACH
At first glance, a slip and fall accident may not seem too serious. However, these incidents can cause serious injuries and can even prove fatal. Huffman & Huffman Brothers-in-Law, PLLC is committed to helping slip and fall accident victims and their families seek answers and fair compensation for their injuries and losses. Since 1973, we have dedicated our practice to the representation of the injured. Our lawyers have over 150 years of collective experience and a track record of outstanding results even in the most complex premises liability cases. Whether you were injured in a slip and fall accident at a retail store, a restaurant, a local hotel, office building, or other residential or commercial property, you may be entitled to financial compensation if the property owner/manager was negligent in maintaining the premises. These are typically referred to as premises liability claims and may cover slips, trips, and falls that occur due to hazardous conditions at a property.
Find out more about your right to compensation by calling (757) 599-6050 and arranging a free consultation with a Virginia slip and fall accident attorney.
Potential Causes of Slip & Fall Accidents
Any type of hazard can cause a person to slip, trip, or fall. A property owner may be legally responsible if the condition should have been prevented, identified, or repaired in a reasonable and timely manner.
Huffman & Huffman takes on slip and fall accident cases involving:
- Wet floors
- Ice and snow
- Debris in walkways
- Defective stairways and railings
- Escalator accidents
- Falls from heights
- Poor lighting
Broken bones, head trauma, and serious back injuries may all result from a slip and fall accident. These can cost a considerable amount of money to treat, and a victim may miss work or may be unable to return to work in the same field or at all. Our Newport News slip and fall accident lawyers can help you pursue compensation to cover your losses and expenses, giving you the chance to put your life back on track.
Injuries Suffered in Slip & Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents have the potential to cause catastrophic injuries, as mentioned. Insurance companies will sometimes try to argue that falls cannot cause bad injuries, and so the claimant must be exaggerating or reporting preexisting injuries. This argument can be countered through convincing medical evidence and strong arguments from our attorneys that prove otherwise.
Serious injuries that sometimes occur in slip and fall accidents include:
- Multiple broken bones
- Brain injuries (TBIs)
- Back injuries
It is important to see a medical professional soon after your slip and fall accident to be medically evaluated. Without a diagnosis related to the fall, it will be easier for the insurance company to refute your claim or at least the severity of your injuries and the extent of their related damages.
Determining Liability After a Fall in Public
Premises liability laws can make pursuing a slip and fall accident claim more difficult than you might initially expect. Defendants can often find room to argue against a claim by saying that you, the claimant, must have contributed to your fall through your own negligence, which is the basis of the legal defense of contributory negligence. They can also often argue that a slip was caused by a hazard that they, the property owner, had no reasonable way of knowing existed and, therefore, they cannot be held liable for the harm it causes.
Consider these two examples of how liability could be assessed in a slip and fall accident claim:
- You are in a grocery store when you slip on a spilled product and get hurt. The store should have staff members walk the aisles frequently to look for such hazards. Holding the store liable through a claim could be possible.
- You are visiting your friend’s house when you slip on a package left on the walkway by a delivery courier. Your friend was not home all day and did not know the package was there. Holding your friend liable for the accident would be unlikely, even though it was on their property.
Call for Honest, Reliable Representation
Taking care of difficult cases for clients in need is the foundation of what we do here at Huffman & Huffman. Our Virginia slip and fall accident attorneys are dedicated to doing the most for you from start to finish, which means pursuing a maximized amount of compensation in your name. We won’t be satisfied with a case outcome unless you are!
Slip & Fall FAQs
- Can you get seriously injured from a slip and fall accident?
Insurance companies sometimes try to minimize the harm that a slip and fall accident claimant has suffered. In the response to the initial claim, the insurance representative might delay payment of the claim until the company has a chance to review the claimant’s full medical record. The idea is that the injuries are exaggerated or preexisting because “slip and fall accidents don’t cause serious injuries.” Of course, slip and fall accidents can and do cause serious injuries all the time, including broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and brain damage.
- Are slip and fall accidents common?
Slip and fall accidents are the most common reason behind premises liability cases, which are claims filed by a claimant who was injured on someone else’s property. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 35 million slip/trip and fall accidents happen each year when only considering the elderly population. If you were in a slip and fall accident, then know that you are not alone and that you have legal options to seek compensation.
- Are slip and fall accident cases hard to win?
Even though slip and fall accident cases are quite common, each case can still be difficult to win. The problem with a slip and fall accident case from the perspective of the claimant is that you have an uphill legal battle to climb. The defendant will undoubtedly argue that you fell due to your own mistakes, inattentiveness, or clumsiness. Without empirical evidence like security camera footage or eyewitness testimonies, it will be a challenge to prove that this simple yet effective defense is untrue. This is yet another reason why it is so important to team up with an attorney as soon as possible.
- What are invitees, licensees, and trespassers?
In premises liability cases like slip and fall accident claims, the relationship of the claimant and the property owner/defendant is important. A visitor or claimant can be an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. The duty of care owed is the greatest for invitees and the least for trespassers. Invitees like customers are invited onto the property to benefit the proprietor. Licensees are allowed onto the property for the visitor’s benefit like a social guest. Trespassers enter a piece of property unlawfully and can be criminally prosecuted if caught.
- Can you sue a friend if you slip and fall on their property?
Residential property owners and commercial property owners alike owe you a duty of care to ensure that you do not slip and fall on an unreasonable hazard. This means that you can bring a claim against your friend if you slipped and got hurt on their property. Because this type of case can be stressful, even though you are filing against their insurance policy and not them directly, it is recommended that you allow an attorney to manage it for you from start to finish.
- Can you be blamed for your own slip and fall accident?
Many slip and fall claimants hit a challenge right away in their cases when the defendant blames them for their own fall. Most slip and fall accidents happen without anyone else around to see them, so there is theoretically room for the defendant to say that you must have done something wrong that contributed to the accident. This defense is especially problematic for claimants in Virginia, where the state’s harsh contributory negligence rule prevents you from getting compensation from a defendant if you are found to be even 1% liable for your damages. If there is any room for doubt about the legitimacy of your slip and fall accident claim, then you should speak with an attorney right away.
- What happens if the slip and fall accident happened on a rental property?
Slip and fall accidents on rental properties require thorough investigations to determine who is at fault. In many cases, the property owner is exempt from liability if the accident happened in an area controlled by the tenant. For example, if you slip in your friend’s rented apartment, then you would likely have to file against their renter’s insurance, rather than the company that owns and operates the apartment complex. However, if the accident happened in a public space on a rental property, like the stairwell leading up to your friend’s apartment, then the property management company or owner could be liable.
- What do workers do if they slip and fall while working?
In the average workplace, a slip and fall accident is one of the most common risks of injury. If a worker slips while on the clock, then they might be able to seek workers’ compensation as provided by their employer. However, workers who are not covered by workers’ comp will need to explore their options to file a slip and fall accident claim. The same is true if the accident is caused by a third party unrelated to the worker’s employer.
- Who is responsible if you slip and fall on public property?
When a slip and fall accident occurs on private property, it can be a straightforward process to figure out who is liable. But liability for slips and falls on public property like parks, bus stations, and other properties owned by the city is more complicated. Filing a claim against a public entity can be challenging because there are more laws to protect such entities from liability, such as much shorter statutes of limitations. Our attorneys can help investigate the situation to determine what entity or party should answer for your damages.
- Do homeowners have to clear snow off their sidewalk in Virginia?
Virginia does not have a statewide law to decide if homeowners and business owners need to clear snow off their sidewalks. Instead, each county and some cities have their own rules about snow clearing responsibilities. If you slipped on a snowy sidewalk, then you should let our attorneys investigate the case to see who is liable for your accident, like the owner of the property immediately adjacent to where your slip occurred.