Going onto someone else's property should not endanger your health or safety. This is true regardless of whether the property in question is a commercial place open to customers, or a private residence. Sometimes, however, property owners fail to properly maintain the premises, which can lead to dangerous conditions for anyone on the property.
Each year, many people in the Charleston area suffer injuries from slipping and falling. Whether the person just loses their footing or falls due to some kind of slippery substance or uneven flooring, serious injury can result from slip-and-fall accidents. When a slip-and-fall on someone else's property causes an injury that requires medical care, the victim may be unsure if they can pursue legal action against the property owner.
Halloween has come and gone, but kids throughout the Charleston area are likely still enjoying the sweet spoils of their trick-or-treating efforts. Halloween is one occasion when people open up their homes -- or at least their front door -- to strangers. Likewise, many local businesses get in on the fun and use popular events like Halloween to get customers in the door.
Every year, millions of people in the Unites States suffer some kind of injury while they are on someone else's property. For example, slip-and-fall accidents are a common problem in grocery stores, restaurants and other types of retail establishments. Property conditions like inadequate lighting or a wet floor often contribute to these kinds of accidents. But, in many cases, the property owner or business operator could have done something to make the area safer and to prevent the accident.
Some people tend to diminish the possibility of suffering serious injuries from slipping and falling. In fact, news of some slip-and-fall accidents, like ones involving actors, singers or even U.S. presidents, spread rapidly and become the source of comic relief in the media. However, for the victims of these accidents, they are often no laughing matter.
When West Virginia residents go into a retail store to shop, they probably do not expect to encounter any personal safety issues. But, hazardous conditions in the building can lead to an accident, which could then result in serious injury to anyone in the store. A recent incident at a discount store in New York shows just how something like this can occur.
Slip-and-fall accidents are all too common and they can lead to debilitating injuries. Many people may assume that these kinds of accidents only happen to older people. While it is true that older people are more prone to suffering serious injuries from a slip-and-fall, anyone can have this kind of accident, no matter their age. This is especially true when a person is walking through hazardous conditions like a wet floor or icy sidewalk.
Under West Virginia law, property owners have a duty to their visitors to take reasonable measures to make the area reasonably free of hazardous conditions. When they breach this duty, and a visitor is injured as a result, the property owner may be held liable for the injured person's damages. This is known as the legal theory of premises liability, and it looks pretty simple on the surface. Like so many things in the law however, premises liability can be a lot more complicated than it may at first seem.
The holiday shopping season is coming to a close. But, many of West Virginia's shoppers may still be planning to go to shopping malls and other retail stores in the Charleston area to partake in post-Christmas or end-of-year sales. In addition, some might go to return merchandise that they bought or received as gifts during the season.
As the temperature drops this time of year in West Virginia, the possibility of snow and ice accumulation becomes more likely. With ice and snow comes the risk of slipping and falling. Though most people know they need to walk carefully on icy surfaces, they also rightfully expect sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways to be clear and safe.