Personal injury accidents can happen in many different times and places. One of the most common types of accident claims is a premises liability lawsuit – a case against a property owner for failing to maintain reasonably safe premises. These claims seek to hold landowners accountable for accidents that occur on their properties. Complicated laws surround Northern Virginia premises liability claims. If you were hurt on somebody else’s property in Fairfax, Virginia, the attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP may be able to help you obtain a compensatory award for your damages. The owner of the property may owe you compensation. Learn more today during a free legal consultation in Fairfax.
Why Choose Us For Northern Virginia Premises Liability Claims?
- We have successfully brought claims and lawsuits on our clients’ behalves for over 40 years in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C.
- We have obtained over $1 billion for our clients over the years, often through financial settlements, but also taking cases to trial when necessary.
- We have helped hundreds of clients in Virginia and have a deep understanding of our state’s premises liability laws.
- We do not charge attorney’s fees for our work on premises liability claims in Northern Virginia unless we succeed in obtaining the client’s financial compensation.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal doctrine that holds premises owners and controllers responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, and safety of their properties. Under this doctrine, landowners owe different legal duties of care to visitors depending on the person’s reason for entering the property. If an owner fails to fulfill these duties, he or she could be liable for related accidents and injuries. To prove a property owner’s liability for dangerous premises, the victim or his or her lawyer will need to establish the duty or duties of care the defendant owed the plaintiff at the time.
- Duty to inspect the property. Property owners may have a responsibility to regularly inspect their premises for new, unknown or concealed hazards, especially before welcoming guests onto the property.
- Duty to repair discovered defects. If a property owner discovers any new defects, he or she has a responsibility to make repairs in a timely manner. Landowners have a legal duty to act as reasonable and prudent people would in the same situation.
- Duty to warn of dangerous defects. Defects that may not be obvious to the average person require warnings such as signs posted on the property. Examples are wet floor signs after mopping or no diving signs at a shallow swimming pool.
A property owner will owe all three of these duties of care to an invitee – the highest level of visitor in Virginia. An invitee enters a property for the owner’s purposes, with the owner’s permission. An example of an invitee is a customer at a business. A property owner will only owe the second two duties of care to licensees. Licensees are people who also have permission to enter but who do so without invitation, such as friends or salespeople. Property owners in Virginia do not owe any duties of care to trespassers. Trespassers are people who do not have permission to be on the property. The only exception is for trespassers under the age of 18.
What Damages Can I Claim in a Premises Liability Case in Northern Virginia?
The goal of bringing a premises liability claim is often twofold: to hold the property owner responsible for his or her negligence and to obtain compensation for your damages. Damages in a premises liability suit can refer to both the losses you have and the compensation you may be able to recover. A conversation with a lawyer from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP can help you understand the damages you may be able to claim during your specific premises liability case.
- Medical bills. Past and future health care expenses related to your slip and fall or another premises liability accident: treatments, surgeries, medications, medical devices, live-in care, doctor’s appointments, x-rays, specialists, therapies, disabilities, and more.
- Property damages. Money to repair any property damage you incurred as a result of the premises accident. This could include damaged, destroyed, or lost belongings due to a fire, flood, or robbery.
- Lost wages. If your accident forced you to take time off of work, such as for medical treatments or recovery, you could file a claim for your lost wages. A lost wage award could also pay for future lost earnings if you have a disability.
- Pain and suffering. Noneconomic damages are also compensable in Virginia. You may qualify for an award for physical pain and suffering, emotional anguish, mental trauma, psychological damage, lost quality of life, and other intangible losses.
- Miscellaneous expenses. A premises liability accident could cost you out of pocket for travel expenses, hotels, legal fees, court costs, and more. You may list all miscellaneous expenses as part of a liability claim against a property owner in Northern Virginia.
- Punitive damages. Although uncommon, some premises liability claims result in punitive damage awards to punish the defendants for acts of recklessness, gross negligence, intent to harm, or fraud.
Our attorneys have obtained outstanding results for many past clients using tailored legal strategies. We can explain the potential value of your unique Northern Virginia premises liability claim during a free consultation. We can analyze how the accident impacted your life, gather medical evidence of your injuries, take official photographs, and present your claim to a judge or jury in pursuit of maximum financial compensation. Our attorneys know what tactics to use to improve your odds of securing fair recovery. Find out how much your slip and fall, dog attack, swimming pool accident or another type of premises liability case could be worth when you contact us.
What Are the Most Common Types of Premises Liability?
The most common type of premises liability lawsuit in Virginia is a slip and fall accident claim. Falls send millions of victims to hospitals throughout the US each year. Slip and fall accidents are often preventable with due care and maintenance by the property owner. Some of the most common property defects that cause falls are slippery floors, spilled liquids, uneven surfaces, defective sidewalks, poor construction, snow or ice, obstacles in walkways, building code violations, and food debris. At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, our lawyers accept all types of premises liability claims.
- Slip, trip, and fall accidents
- Parking lot accidents
- Staircase accidents
- Elevator/escalator accidents
- Criminal attacks/inadequate security
- School campus injuries
- Playground injuries
- Amusement park accidents
- Dog attacks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Exposure to toxins (e.g. asbestos)
- Catastrophic injury accidents
- Wrongful death accidents
Although slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability lawsuit, we handle all types of suits at our Northern Virginia law office. Consult with our lawyers after any type of accident while on someone else’s property. We may be able to help you obtain financial compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional damages. You do not have to go through a premises liability suit alone. Our lawyers can walk you through each step toward compensation, explaining your rights along the way.
Common Premises Liability Injuries in Northern Virginia
A dangerous or defective property could pose many risks to visitors and guests. From structural collapses to breathing in toxic fumes, a poorly maintained property could injure a victim in many ways, with some injuries more serious than others. A slip and fall accident, for example, could lead to a fractured hip – an injury that often causes deadly health complications for victims over the age of 65. Our lawyers have helped clients with many types of injuries, including catastrophic, permanently disabling and fatal injuries.
- Broken bones
- Head or brain injuries
- Soft-tissue damage
- Back and spine injuries
- Chronic pain
- Nerve damage
- Electric shocks/electrocution
- Internal organ injuries
Any type of injury, physical or emotional, could make you eligible for financial compensation from a negligent property owner. No injury is too minor not to warrant at least a phone call to a premises liability lawyer in Virginia. At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP, we offer free initial consultations so all accident victims in Northern Virginia can learn their rights and find out if they have grounds for liability claims risk-free. In general, the more serious your injuries are from an accident, the more money your damage claim will be worth. We can review your specific injuries and rights at no cost or obligation.
What Is Negligence in a Premises Liability Claim in Northern Virginia?
Negligence is at the center of most personal injury claims. Virginia’s personal injury laws state that a defendant may be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries and damages if that defendant is guilty of negligence. During a personal injury suit, the plaintiff’s side of the case must establish through a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant more likely than not caused the plaintiff’s accident and injuries. In a premises liability claim, negligence specifically refers to the defendant’s failure to adhere to his or her duties of care in connection with the ownership or maintenance of a property.
Negligence in a premises liability claim is a property owner’s unreasonable failure to maintain the safety of his or her property. If a normal and prudent property owner would have done something differently to prevent the victim’s accident, the defendant in question might be liable for the victim’s damages. It is a legal requirement during most premises liability claims in Virginia to establish the defendant’s negligence. Otherwise, the property owner might not be legally responsible for damages.
It is not enough to show a victim has injuries from an accident on the defendant’s property. It is also not enough to prove that the defendant’s property contained a dangerous defect. For a successful premises liability claim in Fairfax, the plaintiff’s attorney must establish that the property owner knew or reasonably should have known about the unsafe condition of the premises, negligently failed to remedy the condition, and that this is why the plaintiff suffered his or her injury. Hiring a lawyer from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP could help you prove all the elements necessary for a successful case.
What Types of Property Are Most Common for Slip and Falls and Premises Liability Claims?
A harmful accident could occur on any type of premises. All property owners owe certain duties of care to others. Even if your accident happened right at home, contact a lawyer to discuss claim possibilities. A product manufacturer, your homeowners association or other parties may owe you compensation. If your accident happened on someone else’s property, however, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim in Northern Virginia. Consult with a lawyer no matter where your recent accident and injury took place in Northern Virginia.
The most common type of property involved in slip and fall accident claims (and other premises liability suits) is a business. Commercial property or business owners owe the highest duties of care to their customers. Banks, grocery stores, malls, outlets, shopping centers, clothing stores and other businesses that welcome customers must check for defects, repair known hazards and warn of potential risks. It can be easier for a business to breach one of its many duties of care than a private property owner to breach his or her lesser duties of care. Commercial properties also have higher insurance coverage limits, increasing the odds of the victim receiving fair compensation.
Slip and fall accidents are also common in public places. Public properties such as parks, sidewalks, streets and crosswalks in Northern Virginia may contain defects that lead to personal injuries. If you fall or get injured in another type of accident on public property, you may have a claim against the city, county or state government. Our lawyers can help you with this complex type of premises liability suit. We are not afraid of going up against any defendant, big or small, in pursuit of justice and fair compensation. We can take defendants to trial in Northern Virginia County if necessary.
Contact a Northern Virginia Premises Liability Lawyer Today
A premises liability accident could give you many types of serious injuries that impact your daily life. A deadly premises accident could take the life of someone you love. Every property owner in Northern Virginia has a duty to fulfill his or her legal obligations toward guests and visitors. If you believe a property owner breached duties of care and caused your recent accident, do not hesitate to contact us. The Northern Virginia premises liability lawyers at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP offer free initial consultations. Schedule yours today. You may be eligible for compensation.