The area of the law known as premises liability holds negligent property owners and possessors liable for the injuries and harm suffered by victims on their property. A West Virginia woman in a community about an hour south of the Kanawha County area recently brought a lawsuit for injuries she suffered during a fall in an icy parking lot. The woman asserts that she slipped on snow and ice in an elementary school parking lot, injuring her right knee. The victim is suing a local school board, accusing it of negligence in maintaining the parking lot. She asserts that the school board negligently failed to properly maintain the parking lot, keeping it clear of snow and ice, which caused her injury.
The victim is seeking damages for medical, hospital and other expenses. Because of the legal system's interest in protecting victims harmed by the negligence of others, a variety of different types of damages, depending on the circumstances and situation, may be available to injured victims. When a party has behaved negligently, and caused harm or injury to another party, the negligent party may be required to compensate the injured victim for the harm suffered. Damages can include medical expenses and pain and suffering damages, among others.
During the winter months, serious injuries from snowy and icy surfaces that are not properly maintained may occur. Slip-and-fall accidents can occur on a variety of types of surfaces, including icy sidewalks, wet floors and parking lots and on a variety of types of properties ranging from a grocery or retail stores to a shopping mall. In general, property owners and possessors have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of others. This includes remedying a dangerous property condition or otherwise alerting the public to the hazardous condition.
If the property owner fails to warn or is liable for a lack of repair, the property owner may be responsible to compensate the victim for damages suffered. Victims may be able to receive damages for physical, financial and emotional injuries suffered following a serious slip-and-fall accident.
Source: The West Virginia Record, "Woman blames Fayette school board for injury in icy parking lot," Annie Cosby, Dec. 2, 2014