Filing a negligence claim against property owners

West Virginia, like many other states, has laws in place to ensure that people injured on someone else's property can file for compensation. Such cases involve what is called negligence, or the failure of the defendant to live up to a certain standard appropriate for a given situation. Property owners must live up to public safety regulations and have buildings that are up to code, for instance.

This means that property owners should ensure there are no trip hazards, slip hazards or safety hazards arising from poor lighting, insufficient security, toxic materials and so on. Building stairs that are steeper and narrower than the local safety guidelines permit, leaving a pool uncovered or failing to salt an icy sidewalk are all examples of negligence.

Property owners must fail to do something that they know they should do in order to be considered negligent. Simple carelessness is not negligence. Also, entrants must prove that they used the property in a reasonable way; otherwise, this would mean that they contributed to the injury.

Victims must show that the accident was the direct result of negligence. This requires hard evidence, such as incident reports, photographs or footage from security cameras.

With a personal injury attorney, victims may be able to find out from the very start if they have a valid case or not. The attorney may see how to apply current premises liability laws to the case, gather proof of negligence with the help of investigators and estimate a reasonable settlement. If successful, a premises liability claim might cover losses like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The lawyer may negotiate on the client's behalf and even speak in court if it comes down to litigation against the property owners.

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