Premises Liability: Who is Liable for Your Injuries on Someone Else’s Property?

By Roger Johnson

In some situations, you might be able to pursue a claim for monetary compensation against the landowner if you got hurt on their property. Each premises liability case is different, so your incident will need to get evaluated based on its specific facts.

You can talk with a Virginia personal injury attorney about your premises liability case and find out who is liable for your injuries on someone else’s property. If you wait too long, the filing deadline in your case will expire, so you will want to reach out to us right away.

The Required Elements of a Premises Liability Case in Virginia

A person is not automatically liable just because someone gets injured on their property. The landowner must have done something that was negligent that caused the person to get hurt. Also, the injured person must have been on the property legally. Here are the factors that determine liability in these cases:

  1. The landowner must have owed a duty of care to the person who got injured. If you were on the property legally, like a customer in a grocery store or a delivery person taking a take-out order to a person’s house or office, the owner of the property has a duty toward you. The owner’s duty is to fix hazards they knew or should have known about, post adequate warnings, or block off the dangerous area to prevent injuries.
  2. If the premises owner failed to live up to their duty of care, they are negligent. Negligence alone, however, is not enough to expose the landowner to liability. Let’s say that there was a spilled soft drink in a fast-food restaurant. Rather than having a worker mop up the spill or block off the slippery area to prevent people from falling, the manager forgot about the spill. Failing to clean up the puddle or block off the dangerous area with warning cones was negligent.
  3. The negligence must be the reason someone on the property got hurt. A customer slipped on the spill and fell. 
  4. The plaintiff must have quantifiable damages from the accident. The patron broke her leg in the fall incident. Physical injuries satisfy this element.

When we can prove all the required elements for a premises liability case, we can pursue a claim for compensation for your losses. Your claim could include your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other money damages from the fall accident.

Trespassers Who Get Hurt on Someone Else’s Property

Landowners do not have an obligation to make their property safe for trespassers. They are not, however, allowed to set “booby traps” designed to cause harm to people who enter the land or building illegally. 

Let’s say that you got lost while hiking in our beautiful state. You did not intend to trespass. You just wanted to find your way back to the hiking trail. If you got injured from a “booby trap” while seeking shelter from a wild animal in a cabin, for example, you might be able to hold the property owner responsible for your injuries and other losses. A Virginia personal injury attorney helps sort out who could be liable for your losses after you got injured on someone’s property. Get in touch with our office today for help with your case.

About the Author
Mr. Roger C. Johnson graduated from the University of Michigan and the National Law Center of the George Washington University, receiving his Juris Doctor degree in 1977. With over 40 years of experience under his belt, he has obtained million-dollar verdicts and settlements for clients in automobile accidents, including pedestrian injuries, medical malpractice cases, construction accident cases, and slip and fall cases, along with many other types of injury claims.