Determining Duty in West Virginia Premises Liability Cases

Each year, thousands of individuals are injured in accidents. Many of these injuries occur on the premises of a business. These accidents have a devastating impact on individuals and their families. While the number one priority after an accident should be ensuring your health condition is managed, you should speak with an attorney to see whether you are entitled to compensation for your out of pocket expenses and lost wages. The personal injury attorneys at Colombo Law are happy to assist you with all of your personal injury needs.

Applying a New Standard

Most states use three categories to determine whether a duty is owed to individuals who enter the property of another. These three categories are business invitee, licensee, and trespasser. In the past, West Virginia was one of the many states that followed this standard. However, in 1999 West Virginia abolished and replaced the three specific classifications with a new, more general standard of determining whether the individual is a trespasser or a nnon-trespasser

  • Trespasser. A trespasser is an individual who enters the property of another without the permission of a landowner. An individual will be deemed a trespasser if they do not have either express or implied permission from the owner. In West Virginia, the courts offer little protection to those who are trespassers. As a trespasser, a landowner must only refrain from intentional or reckless conduct.
  • Non-Trespassers. Contrary to trespassers, landowners owe a duty to anyone that is permitted to be on the property. If an individual enters private property with the express or implied permission of a landowner, the landowner must ensure that the premises are reasonably safe for those on the premises. To ensure you are meeting the standard of care, the landowner must inspect the premises to determine whether there are any dangerous conditions present on the property and repair and/or warn individuals of the danger.

Premises liability is the legal premise for which landowners are responsible for harm caused by unsafe conditions existing on the landowner’s premises. Premises liability is a broad concept that may be raised for a variety of harms present. One main reason for personal injury actions stemming from premises liability include slip and fall accidents as a result of:

  • Slippery floors
  • Uneven sidewalks or pavement
  • Objects protruding from carpeting , floorboards, or store shelves

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you or your loved one have been injured in an accident or incident on the premises of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Our Morgantown personal injury attorneys are available to meet with you to determine whether a property owner failed to follow the required duty of care. If you are entitled to relief, you can rest assured that our attorneys will get you the most compensation possible for your injury. Colombo Law is an experienced personal injury law firm that can assist you with all of your personal injury needs. For a no-risk consultation, contact our office today.

by Colombo Law
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