Arlington Slip & Fall Attorneys - Arlington Trip & Fall Attorneys
Arlington slip and fall lawyers, Arlington premises liability lawyers, and other Virginia premises liability lawyers serve clients in all types of injury and accident cases across the Greater Arlington area. These accidents can result from a variety of causes and conditions and a variety of factors will be involved in determining whether you are entitled to monetary recovery under the law.
What is Premises Liability and how can an Arlington Slip & Fall accident affect you?
In layman’s terms, a “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” injury refers to an accident that results in personal injury on the property of another, usually due to some negligent maintenance or construction of the property or structures thereon. However, in a legal sense, these types of injuries fall under a broad body of law known as Premises Liability. Other common types of premises liability cases involve accidents such as falling merchandise not adequately secured by a store owner, or a dangerous condition on land, left open to children or to the public without an adequate warning. These types of accidents occur due to the negligence of Arlington landowners, store owners, and businesses across Virginia. If you have been injured in an Arlington Slip & Fall accident, contact an experienced Virginia premises liability lawyer today.
Why Should You Obtain an Arlington Slip & Fall Attorney?
Arlington personal injury lawyers cover slip and fall litigation because cases in this area center on the issue of negligence. There is no question that premises liability law has been the subject of more change in Virginia than any other body of law. The need to hire a knowledgeable Arlington slip and fall personal injury attorney to get fair compensation in an Arlington premises liability case is absolutely critical due to intricacies in this rapidly changing body of law. A well-qualified Arlington or Virginia premises liability lawyer will be experienced with this difficult area of law and know how best to navigate the legal system to your advantage.
How Long Do You Have To Contact an Arlington Slip & Fall Attorney?
In Virginia, a “Statute of Limitations” sets a deadline for filing personal injury actions, such as premises liability claims, and you should contact an Arlington premises liability lawyer well before the deadline. Under a Statute of Limitations, you must pursue your cause of action before the time limit has expired, or else you will most likely be legally barred from seeking recovery for your injuries. Regardless of whether the victim is an “invitee,” “licensee,” or “trespasser” on the property (see discussion below), Virginia’s Statute of Limitations provides that all premises liability claims must be brought within two (2) years. Similarly, under the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine, premises liability claims brought by children must be made within two years.
Contact an Arlington premises liability attorney immediately to ensure that your personal injury claim is filed before time runs out!
Arlington Premises Liability Law — The Basics
When someone slips and falls on someone else’s land and sustains a personal injury, they may be entitled to monetary compensation if a dangerous or preventable condition is to blame. Arlington, VA landowners, store owners, and other individuals responsible for maintaining premises may have a duty to make that place safe, particularly if they invite customers in for business or if there is an “attractive nuisance” on the property that may lure children onto the land. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a slip and fall accident or another accident caused by a dangerous condition, an Arlington premises liability attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve.
As noted, premises liability actions are based in negligence, or legal fault. The injury must be “caused” by a “condition” upon the land (or building located upon the land) at issue. To be liable for negligence under Virginia law, there must be:
- a special duty of care existing between the injured party and the negligent party;
- a breach of that duty; and
- the negligence must be the “proximate cause,” or legal cause, of the victim’s injuries and damages.
Since there are a variety of ways that a person can enter upon the premises of another, the duty the property owner owes will vary according to the facts of each case. For example, when someone goes to an Arlington area Harris Teeter or Giant Food to get their shopping done, they are clearly being “invited” upon the premises. This person is called a “business invitee,” and the duty owed by Harris Teeter, Giant Food, the Ballston Common Mall, or any other type of business that seeks walk-in customers is the duty owed to an invitee.
Compare those facts to the duty owed to someone that you do not want on your land, such as a trespasser. Obviously, Virginia landowners owe a lesser duty of care to trespassers than to business invitees. There is also a separate duty owed to a type of visitors known as licensees, who are usually guests that do not directly benefit the landowner. Social guests are probably the most common type of licensee you will encounter in an Arlington premises liability case. Additionally, children may be owed a higher duty of care in some situations. You can readily see why the duty owed changes based upon each set of facts presented, and how complicated Arlington, VA premises liability cases can become. This is just part of the reason why an Arlington Premises Liability lawyer is essential to help you win your case. A summary of the duties in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Arlington are as follows:
- Invitee: An invitee is a person who is on the premises at the express or implied invitation of the possessor of the premises and who has entered thereon either as a member of the public, for a purpose for which the premises are held open to the public, or for a purpose connected with the business of the possessor that does or may result in their mutual economic benefit, e.g., a retail customer, a student at school, or a guest at your home.
- Licensee: A licensee is a person who is on the premises with the permission of the possessor, but without an express or implied invitation. Such person is on the premises only because the possessor has allowed him to enter and not due to any business or contractual relationship.
- Trespasser: A trespasser is a person who is on the property of another without any right, lawful authority, express or implied invitation, permission, license, or in the performance of any duty to the owner or person in charge, or on any business of such person, but merely for his own purpose, pleasure, convenience, or out of curiosity, and without enforcement, allurement, inducement, or express or implied assurance of safety from the owner or person in charge.
Not only must the Arlington trip and fall lawyer determine the duty owed, but he or she must also prove that the defendant had control of the premises. This can be an issue when a contractor or another party controls a site during building or renovation. If the owner is not present and does not control how work is done during the construction, it is possible that court could find that the owner was not in control of the property at the time.
If proving a premises liability case weren’t already challenging enough, the Arlington slip and fall attorney must also distinguish between a “condition” and an “activity” upon the land. For example, a person might be shopping in an Arlington area Pentagon Row, Rosslyn Metro Mall, or Wal-Mart store when a piece of merchandise falls on them, causing serious injury. It is an important distinction in the law whether the item that fell was being moved at the time or was stationary in its place when it fell. If it was being moved, it is considered an “activity” rather than a “condition” and an Arlington slip and fall accident attorney would know that Virginia premises liability law is not controlling on this issue. Moreover, even if someone slips, trips, or falls due to a “condition,” the defendant-property owner might not necessarily be liable for their injuries. For liability to attach:
- the condition must have been “unreasonably dangerous”; and
- the owner / occupier must have had “actual knowledge” or “constructive knowledge” of the existence of the “unreasonably dangerous condition.”
Money is the last thing you should be worrying about after a serious injury, and an Arlington premises liability lawyer can help you get the maximum recovery possible under the law so that you can rest assured that your family will be provided for during your recovery.
Criminal Acts of Rape, Assault and Murder — Is the Land Owner or Occupier Liable?
As explained above, most premises liability cases are based in negligence. Sometimes, however, a different issue arises when it is the intentional acts of third parties that injure people on areas such as apartment properties, mall parking lots, drive-thru lanes at fast food restaurants, ATM machines, or the like. Unfortunately, intentional acts such as these occur in Arlington and Virginia more often than many of us realize. In these cases, the legal issue turns upon whether the action that gave rise to the victim’s injury was foreseeable and whether reasonable steps could have been taken to prevent such activity on their property. Essentially, the relevant question is whether the Arlington property owner could have done anything to make the area more safe that might have prevented the crime from occurring in the first place.
This is necessarily a fact-specific question that requires intensive fact-finding and research by the Arlington premises liability attorney. Virginia accident lawyers often need to research the criminal complaints or calls made to the Arlington Police Department regarding the particular piece of property at issue. Also, there may have been a number of “property crimes” in an area, such as car break-ins, but no violent crime calls. Thus, if someone is raped or beaten for the first time in an area, it may be hard to hold the defendant-property owner liable despite the calls made to the police regarding car break-ins. A qualified Arlington premises liability attorney or Arlington slip and fall lawyer, however, will work hard to make the necessarily legal arguments on your behalf and get you the settlement you deserve.
How Can You Obtain an Arlington Personal Injury or Arlington Premises Liability Lawyer?
All of the qualified Arlington premises liability attorneys listed at the top of this page have experience dealing with “slip and fall” accidents as well as other types of premises liability lawsuits. These lawyers will zealously pursue your claim in Arlington proper or in surrounding areas. Call now for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.
Arlington injury lawyers are experienced in handling slip & fall premises liability cases in both federal and state courts across the Greater Arlington area. If you live in Arlington and want to file a lawsuit, your Arlington Slip and Fall Accident Attorney will know in which of these courts your case should be filed.
If your claim is worth less than $15,000 you may file here:
Arlington County Circuit Court - 17th Judicial District
Arlington County Judicial Center
1425 North Courthouse Road, Suite 6700, Arlington, VA 22201
If your claim is worth more than $4,500 you MAY file here, but if your claim is worth over $15,000, you MUST file here:
Arlington County General District Court - 17th Judicial District
Arlington County Judicial Center
1425 North Courthouse Road, Suite 2500, Arlington, VA 22201
Hospitals in the Greater Arlington Area
Virginia Hospital Center
Inova Alexandria Hospital
Inova Fairfax Hospital
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital
Reston Hospital Center, LLC
Arlington Emergency Services Contact Information
Arlington Police Department
Arlington Fire Department
Arlington Sheriff's Office
Personal Injury Attorneys Serve Arlington and Surrounding Cities
Serving clients throughout Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Annapolis, Arlington, Arnold, Aspen Hill, Baltimore, Bethesda, Bowie, Brunswick, Burke, Centerville, Chantilly, Chaptico, Charlottesville, College Park, Columbia, Dale City, Dover, Dundalk, Edgewood, Ellicott City, Fort Washington, Frederic, Fredericsburg, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glassmanor, Glen Burnie, Green Valley, Hagerstown, Happy Creek, Harrisonburg, Hartwood, Hollywood, La Plata, Laurel, Leesburg, Lisbon, McLean, Mechanicsville, Millville, Newark, Olney, Potomac, Reston, Richmond, Rockville, Salisbury, Severna Park, Silver Spring, South Gate, St. Charles, Sterling, Tuckahoe, Vineland, Warrenton, Washington, West Springfield, Wheaton, Winchester, Woodbridge, areas in the vicinity of Andrews Air Force Base, Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport, and other communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Virginia slip and fall or trip and fall attorneys will zealously pursue your case through settlement negotiations or a trial. CALL NOW for an explanation of your legal rights and options.