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Who is liable for my slip-and-fall accident?

Falling accidents have the potential to be very serious and cause painful long-term injuries. In the span of just a few seconds, your life and mobility can change dramatically. With this in mind, it is wise to consider taking legal action against the party responsible for a slip-and-fall accident so that you can pursue compensation for all the damages suffered.

However, there are legal complexities of these claims of which you should be aware. For instance, do you know who is liable for your injuries? It may not be as obvious as you think.

Stores, restaurants and other businesses

Generally speaking, business owners will be responsible for accidents on their premises. If you fall at the grocery store, for example, you can expect that the storeowner will likely be liable for any accidents. This is generally true even if it was his or her employees who failed to clear an unsafe situation.

Residences

If you fall inside someone's home, your claim will typically be filed against the homeowner. If you fall inside an apartment building or other leased property, however, it could be the tenant's responsibility or the landlord's responsibility to maintain safe conditions.

Public spaces

Many people slip and fall on uneven sidewalks, potholes on the road or curb ramps. People can also get hurt as a result of poor lighting or broken traffic signals. Under these circumstances, if can be more difficult to figure out who is liable, as the responsibility for these facilities varies from state to state and community to community. In many cases, however, local jurisdictions are responsible for maintenance of these spaces.

Other things to consider

Figuring out who is to blame is just one element of a slip-and-fall claim. You must also confirm that someone is actually at fault. To do this, you need to show that the liable party failed in their duty to maintain safe premises.

Every aspect of these types of claims can be more complicated than you expect. However, you don't need to navigate this situation on your own. You can work with an attorney familiar with premises liability laws in West Virginia and experienced in pursuing personal injury claims.

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