If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident in Charleston or elsewhere in West Virginia, you should seek experienced legal help right away.
In West Virginia, the owner or occupier of property may be held legally responsible for the physical, emotional and financial harm you have suffered in a slip-and-fall on their property.
Liability generally depends on whether the owner or occupier negligently allowed you to be exposed to a dangerous condition on the property, and whether that negligence, in turn, caused you to suffer injury.
An attorney from Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, can conduct a thorough review of your case and help you to assess your legal options as you move forward. We are committed to pursuing just compensation for those who have been needlessly hurt in slip-and-fall accidents.
Contact us today for a free consultation. You can call or reach us online to get started.
If you can take these steps, it certainly will help when you meet with our firm in a free consultation. However, if you have not, don’t let that keep you from reaching out to us and getting the legal help you need to fully protect your legal rights.
Dangerous conditions that can lead to slip-and-fall accidents in West Virginia generally fall within four categories:
Cracked or uneven pavement can cause accidents. Falls can also occur due to sidewalks and parking lots that are left covered in ice or snow.
A dimly lit hallway, stairway or outside walkway can be dangerous when it prevents a visitor from seeing a hazardous condition.
A fall can occur because a stair is broken or a handrail is defective.
FLOOR / GROUND CONDITIONS
A person can slip on liquid or other substance such as wax which has made a floor slippery. A person can also suffer a fall due to a loose rug, frayed carpet or broken floor tiles. Ground conditions can be dangerous, too, such as concealed holes or objects that stick out.
These dangerous conditions can exist in many different settings, including stores, shopping centers, offices, government buildings, parks, schools, arenas, apartment complexes or private residences.
How long a dangerous condition existed may be a key issue in your slip-and-fall case. If the condition existed for a significant amount of time, then it will lean towards a finding that the property owner or occupier should have known of the hazard and taken steps to fix or warn about it.
Another issue could be whether the dangerous condition was “open and obvious.” Under a recently enacted West Virginia law, you could be barred from a recovery if you were harmed by a condition that was “open, obvious, reasonably apparent or well known” to you.
In some cases, a tenant may also be liable for slip-and-fall injuries. For example, a shopping center may be owned by a corporation that leases out the property to several different businesses. If one of those businesses was negligent in failing to fix or warn about a dangerous property condition, that business could be liable.
Under West Virginia law, you generally have two years from the date of an accident, including a slip-and-fall, in which to file a personal injury lawsuit. If a slip-and-fall accident resulted in the death of a loved one, you would have two years from the date of the death in which to bring a wrongful death action.
In some situations, the time limit (or statute of limitations) may be shorter or extended. For example, you may have less time to act if a government property owner is involved.
This is why it is important to contact an attorney right away to discuss your case. You want to allow the attorney to have plenty of time to investigate and evaluate your case before the filing deadline arrives.
Investigation – An attorney will work with our investigators and consult with experts to determine why your accident occurred and to identify the property owner and/or occupier who should be held responsible.
Settlement negotiation – A lawyer from our firm will deal directly with insurance companies on your behalf and seek full compensation for all of your past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, pain and suffering and other harm. In fact, we are often able to resolve cases through a settlement without the need to go to court.
Litigation (as needed) – Not all cases require the filing of a lawsuit and a trial. However, we prepare each case as if it is going to court. Doing so gives us leverage in settlement negotiations and allows us to be ready to present your case to a judge and jury.
Disbursement – When your case is resolved, we can move efficiently to resolve any liens attached to your recovery and to disburse the funds you are owed. We can also structure settlements to ensure your future medical and other needs are met.
You can count on our legal team to work hard for you and aggressively seek the compensation you are due after suffering a slip-and-fall injury.
Our firm works with clients in Charleston and throughout West Virginia. Every case starts with a free consultation. Contact us today to receive your case review.