Each year, many West Virginia college students take part in spring break. If they are injured, it is important that they know about their legal options.
West Virginia property owners generally have a legal responsibility to maintain a reasonably safe environment for visitors and patrons. Someone hurt in a slip and fall or similar accident, however, might encounter difficulty collecting compensation for the injuries if a court finds that the person knowingly assumed the risk of a recognizably dangerous activity.
While attending school, students may sustain injuries a number of different ways. Parents in West Virginia should be aware that in some instances, schools can be held liable for not keeping students safe.
Municipalities in West Virginia may be reluctant to build skate parks for their residents due to concerns about liability. However, more injuries occur per number of participants in other sports, such as basketball, football, volleyball, hockey, baseball and soccer, according to the Skate Park Association of the United States of America.
As trampoline parks become more and more popular, West Virginia residents and parents may not be too surprised to learn that the rate of injuries at these parks are increasing. According to a study, injuries that occurred in trampoline parks increased from about 600 cases in 2010 to nearly 7,000 cases in 2014.
West Virginia homeowners are not obligated to protect those who trespass upon their property. However, they should be aware that they cannot willfully cause injury to any who do trespass. This law can become an issue for homeowners with frequent trespassers as they may find themselves liable for injuries any people, even the uninvited ones, sustain if their properties are left in an unsafe condition.
While some people in West Virginia might think of ski lifts as dangerous devices, experts say that the ride to the ski resort in the car is actually riskier. However, that does not mean that accidents on ski lifts do not happen, and they may occur if ski lifts are not properly maintained or operated. From 1973 to 2011, 12 people had died as a result of ski lift malfunctions.
Many West Virginia residents make their own homes safer in the wintertime by shoveling snow and checking walkways for ice. Business owners also have a responsibility to remove ice and snow where people will be walking. If a business owner fails to make their premises safe during cold weather conditions, employees and customers could get injured and potentially file a lawsuit.
Tenants who own firearms or who may have people on premises they rent who are carrying firearms as well as residential and commercial landlords should have a good understanding of West Virginia law regarding firearms and premises liability. It is also important to understand local law. If employees or other people invited onto the property have firearms and they cause injury to someone, whether accidental or deliberate, there could be legal liability for the property owner or the person responsible for the property.
West Virginia residents have likely heard about some of this summer's incidents of amusement park injuries and deaths, including the Kansas boy who was killed while riding on a water slide. In another case in Connecticut, six people who were on an amusement park ride were injured after receiving electrical shocks.