Property owners have insurance for the same reason people have health insurance: to cover risk in case something happens. Whether you are at work, shopping, eating at a restaurant or walking down a street, suffering an injury on another’s property can be frustrating and sometimes life changing. This is especially true when the property owner failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that the property is safe. In West Virginia, “[t]he owner or occupier of premises owes to an invitee such as a non-employee workman or an independent contractor the duty of providing him with a reasonably safe place in which to work and has the further duty to exercise ordinary care for the safety of such persons.” Syl. Pt. 2, Sanders v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., 159 W.Va. 621, 225 S.E.2d 218 (W.Va. 1976).
In addition to the basic duty under West Virginia law to keep property reasonably safe, building codes often contain specific requirements that property owners must follow in order to ensure the safety of all those who may come on the property. A failure to keep premises safe can cause slips, trips, and falls that can cause serious injuries.
Premise liability claims include a broad range of potential unsafe conditions, including:
- Slippery floors
- Poorly lit areas
- Uneven steps
- Damaged handrails and inadequate handrails
- Loose water meter covers
- Pot holes in parking lots
- Defective sidewalks
- Insufficient security
- Unsafe working conditions on the property of a non-employer
Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Electrical shock injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a property owner’s failure to keep its property safe, you are likely feeling worried or overwhelmed. Medical bills quickly pile up. This is on top of the fact that you may not be able to work or have missed work because of the injury. It is important to get a lawyer promptly to fully protect your interests. A lawyer will: photograph the incident scene; collect medical bills; obtain witness statements; and level the playing field when dealing with insurance companies.
It may be necessary for a lawyer to file a civil action on your behalf if the property owner and the insurance company are not fairly compensating you or your loved one for the harms and losses sustained due to the conduct of the property owner. Barney Law PLLC has experience litigating premise liability claims on behalf of injured persons and the families of people who died as a result of unsafe conditions.
Call Barney Law PLLC now for a free consultation if you or your loved one has been injured because of a property owner failure to keep its property safe.