ARLINGTON, VA PREMISES LIABILITY L LAWYERS
Accidents happen all the time, but many of those incidents that we call "accidents," are not accidents at all! They are entirely preventable situations, and would not happen if certain people utilized the usual due and reasonable care to keep their property safe. If you have been hurt as the result of someone else's negligence, you need to contact an experienced Arlington premises accident lawyer right away!
The team at Blaszkow Legal has been working hard for the residents of Arlington County, Virginia for over 40 years. From slip and falls, to negligent security claims, Blaszkow Legal has the knowledge and experience to hold at-fault parties accountable, and to get you the justice that you deserve.
Speak to a personal injury attorney in Arlington today, and call 703-879-5910 for a free consultation!
What Are Premises Liability Claims?
Premises liability claims include a wide range of claims against property owners and managers, when someone is injured as the result of that property owner's negligence. Property owners range from individuals to massive, multi-national corporations. The most common kind of premises liability claim is a "slip and fall," or a "trip and fall."
In order to prevail on a premises liability claim, we have to prove that the property owner owed you a duty, and that the property owner failed to utilize reasonable care in exercising that duty. Lastly, we have to prove that this breach of the property owner's duty was the proximate cause of your injuries.
There is a fallacy that merely because a accident happened on someone's property, that the property owner is responsible for it. This is not the case. Look at these two examples to illustrate important points about duty and notice - two elements required to prevail in a premises liability claim.
Example 1. While you are walking into the lobby of your apartment
building, you slip and fall on a substance on the floor. As you're trying
to get it up, a woman rushes over and says oh I'm so sorry, my son just
spilled his water. I was grabbing something to clean it up with.
In this scenario, with this fact pattern, there is no premises liability claim. Yes, the accident happened on someone's property, but the property owner did not create the defect, nor did they know about it. Even if that woman had run to the manager or the owner after it happened, not enough time had passed for the manager/owner to take reasonable steps to address the defect or dangerous condition.
Compare that however, to the next example:
Example 2. You have just moved into your apartment building,
and as you get off the elevator and turn into the hallway, you
slip and fall on a thin stream of Blackish liquid coming from a
door. As you get up, a woman comes up to you and says are you
okay? It looks like you slipped on that grease coming from the
supply room. We've been telling the manager about that 4 months!
In this fact pattern, you may have a premises liability claim. This is a very different set of facts, in that you now have reason to believe that the property manager knew of the dangerous condition, and failed to take the necessary steps to address the defects. Or, alternately, the management did not do enough to warn people such as yourself, about the existence of the dangerous condition, thus causing you to fall.
Different kinds of Premises Liability Cases in Arlington Virginia
Blaszkow Legal as the knowledge and experience to handle a wide range of premises liability cases throughout Arlington County, including:
Accidents at eateries and restaurants such as bars, diners and pubs
Incidents at grocery stores, shopping centers, shopping malls, and other businesses
Elevator accidents or incidents
Injuries caused by falling debris or flying objects
Falls due to improperly maintained roadways or sidewalks
Slip and falls due to leaks and puddles
Stairway incidents, such as falls from loose railings or insufficient lighting
What Damages Can I Claim After a Virginia Premises Liability Incident?
If you have been injured as the result of another person's or company's negligence, you may have the ability to file a claim for compensation. There are many different elements that go into the total computation of your damage. Some of the most common pieces of your claim include:
Future medical expenses
Time missed from work
Future lost wages
Sick leave and vacation leave used
Loss of earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Mental anguish and distress
Impairment in activities of daily living
Lost of enjoyment of life
Damage or destruction of property
It is important to remember that your damages are your damages. That means they are unique to you. If, for example, you are walking down the street with your mother, and you both fell on the same bit of broken concrete, you may not have the same case. Every individual is different, and a person's treatment is going to be different, as well. People heal differently. Your damages, and thus your case, is going to be viewed in isolation, cannot be compared to everyone else not just in the incident, but anywhere!
Common Injuries After Premises Liability Incidents
The injuries that people suffer very greatly, depending on how they were injured, and what parts of the body was hurt. However, there are some common injuries that we see in premises liability claims throughout Virginia.
Sprains and strains of muscles and soft tissue
Traumatic brain injuries
Of course, these are physical injuries. Every incident often causes other injuries which are not easily documented by an X-ray or CT scan. You can suffer injuries to your psyche as well, through pain and suffering, embarrassment and more. All of this will form part of your total claims for damage.
Liability in a Virginia Premises Liability Case
Virginia law places a duty on property owners, depending on how the person who is making the claim is classified. The law thus created different classifications of people based on their purpose on the property, and the duty that a property owner owes to that person varies based on that classification. Here is what that means:
Invitee. This is someone who comes onto a property because the property owner or operator specifically says "come on over." This can be an individual invitation, such as a homeowner to a friend, or can be an implied invitation such as a store with a sign that says open! The property owner, or the operator, such as in the case of someone leasing a property, has a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep invitees safe.
Licensee. A licensee is someone who enters for his own benefit, rather than that of the property owner's benefit. A property owner has a duty to make sure that a licensee is safe from direct negligent conduct, which is sometimes described as "willful or wanton," and to notify of "hidden dangers."
Trespasser. A trespasser is someone who comes upon a property without permission or any sort of implied right of entry. The only duty that a property owner owes to a trespasser is against deliberate harm, such as setting booby traps and whatnot. The duty of care here is relatively low
Investigating Arlington Premises Liability Claims
It is important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer immediately after your incident, because the longer you wait, the more time the defense has to prepare, and to attack and deny your claim. When you are bringing a personal injury complaint, the duty is on you to prove your case. It is not enough to merely allege what has happened.
At Blaszkow Legal, we are experienced with investigating these cases. We have a team of attorneys, paralegals, and investigators who are dedicated to getting started as soon as you become our client. But it is important to remember that time is the essence. We need to get started immediately. Camera footage is often overwritten if it is not saved, and people's memories begin to fade over time. You never want to run the risk that evidence may be lost, if that evidence is going to be helpful to you.
Always call a premises liability lawyer immediately after your accident!
There are some things that you can do to help your claim right away, and preserve your claim:
Report your accident to the property manager or owner immediately! Do not wait. Do not leave the premises unless you are being transported by ambulance. Make a full and complete report of what happened, and make sure that they see the condition or defect that caused your injuries.
Complete an incident report. They will often have a form that they want you to fill out, but make sure that you get a copy. After you are done writing it, take a picture of it with your phone, just in case they decide that they are not going to give you one.
Fully document the scene. This means taking pictures and videos immediately. In the world of digital cameras on every phone, you cannot have enough pictures! Especially if you slipped on something, make sure that you get pictures from a lot of different angles. Water, and other liquids do not show up clearly on every picture. You want to make sure that you are fully documenting the condition that harmed you.
Get medical treatment. You should always go to a doctor to get a comprehensive evaluation after you have been hurt. This means getting examined by a competent medical doctor, not a limited practice practitioner. For example, chiropractors are probably going to form part of your treatment team, but by law, the scope of their practice is limited. You want to go to a hospital, urgent care center, or even a primary care doctor right away.
Call an experienced premises liability lawyer in Arlington. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can get to work in preserving the evidence, protecting your rights, and fighting for the compensation that you deserve
Deadline for Filing a Slip and Fall or Other Virginia Premises Liability Claim
Virginia law recognizes premises liability claims as personal injury matters, and they are governed by a two-year statute of limitations. This means that the underlying lawsuit for your injuries must be filed within two years of the date of your incident.
Get Help from an Experienced Arlington, Virginia Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Get Justice with Joe Blaszkow and call today for a free consultation. Our team is ready, willing, and able to help you, and to fight for you. Insurance adjusters and defense lawyers are working hard from the minute they know about your accident to deny your claim, and to attack it in every way they can. It is our job to fight for you, and to get you all of the compensation that you deserve.
Speak to a lawyer today - 703-879-5910
Get Justice with Joe!
Call Attorney Joe Blaszkow and his team, and let us start fighting for you! Don't wait to talk to a lawyer - the insurance companies, aren't!!!