If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident (or “trip and fall”), you may be entitled under Virginia law to collect financial compensation. It is important that you know and understand your legal rights so that they are not forfeited or misapplied.
Slip and fall accidents are considered premises liability cases. In order to be eligible for a financial award in Virginia, the plaintiff’s (victim’s) lawyer must prove several facts. Proving these is not an easy undertaking, and therefore requires the professional assistance of an experienced Virginia slip and fall accident lawyer.
I've Been Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident- Now What?
By now you have already likely been through the accident and are seeking legal assistance. Hopefully you reported the incident to security or the property owner where the accident occurred. It will also be helpful if police came to the scene, documented the evidence and created an incident report.
If you have sought and received medical treatment, keep all documentation. If you have not, now is the right time to contact an attorney who will guide you through the process. At this stage you should not speak to anyone besides your attorney in order to not jeopardize your case.
In Order To Win Your Lawsuit, Several Facts Must Be Proven
The question is: did the owner cause or was he or she aware of the condition and did nothing about it, or, should the owner have known about the condition?
It must be proven that the condition was actually what caused the accident – this is called causation. Eye-witness testimony, business records and experts can be used here.
Virginia law applies contributory negligence to slip and fall cases. This means that if you contributed to the accident in any way, your claim will be denied. Did you ignore warning signs, or were you distracted by using your cell phone?
Known as statutes of limitations, Virginia law requires slip and fall accident victims to file a claim within two years after the accident occurred. If not, no compensation will be granted.
Slip and Fall, or Trip and Fall Common Causes
Liability refers to who is legally at fault for causing the accident as a result of negligence. As discussed previously, the defendant (business owner) must be 100% liable, not even 99%.
Below are some of the common causes of slip & fall and trip & fall accidents. If you’ve been involved in such an accident, do not attempt to determine yourself whether you have a valid claim – instead allow us to analyze your case and give our opinion.
Receiving Financial Compensation for Your Injuries
In slip and fall accident cases, injuries and losses are called “damages,” which can be recovered via a jury verdict or a settlement. In Virginia, an accident victim can recover damages related to four general categories:
- Medical expenses,
- Property damages,
- Value of time missed from work, and
- “Pain and suffering”
Determining medical, property and employment damages can be relatively straightforward using receipts and documentation. Determining the monetary equivalent for “pain and suffering,” also known as intangible losses, is a much more complex and challenging undertaking.
Even if all “economic” damages were recouped, the accident victim is still faced with “non-economic” losses, i.e., the impact that the accident and injuries had on his or her life, past, present and future. Creating justification for the financial equivalent of these losses is an integral part of the case, and once again should be undertaken by an experienced Virginia slip and fall injury attorney.
Contact Paragon Law Firm Today to Learn How We Can Help You
There are time limitations on your right to file a slip and fall accident lawsuit.
If these limitations are not met, the claimant/victim would be solely responsible for any medical bills, lost wages, and future medical expenses that result from the accident.
- if you are eligible for financial compensation,
- an estimate of your potential financial recovery, and
- how long you have to file your claim
Arash Zarei, Esquire
Virginia Personal Injury Attorney