Unsafe building injuries are more common than some might realize. Whether it’s in West Virginia or elsewhere in the nation, people are frequently injured on wet floors, on cracked pavement, and by falling objects. Such injuries can give victims the grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit. For one to be successful, though, several things must be established.
Property owners have a duty of care towards entrants, and they must ensure that the property poses no unreasonable safety hazards. Entrants also have a duty of care; they must not use the property in an unreasonable way. Getting injured after sliding down a handrail, for example, will likely not result in compensation.
The owner’s duty of care varies based on whether the entrant is an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Invitees enter for their benefit and the owner’s, while licensees enter for their own. An owner’s duty of care is not so high with trespassers, but child trespassers are often a special case under the attractive nuisance doctrine.
The first thing people should do after suffering an unsafe building injury is file an incident report. Many property owners have an official procedure for this. They should then get medical help right away, because otherwise, insurance companies will suspect the injuries are not connected to the incident.
Having legal assistance can also be advisable when contemplating the filing of a premises liability lawsuit. Attorneys who are experienced in this area will often have a team of investigators that can document the incident. A successful lawsuit could result in the award of compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other applicable damages.