- On This Page
- Get a Free Consultation
- What Our Clients Say
“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
In many situations, property owners in Fredericksburg can be held legally responsible for the injuries that visitors suffer in slip-and-fall accidents on their premises. However, Virginia law which applies to property owners can be complex. Liability depends on many factors, including the visitor’s status, the property owner’s notice that a hazard existed on the property and the visitor’s knowledge of that hazard. This is known as premises liability law. Contact our Fredericksburg slip and fall lawyer today.
At Marks & Harrison, our slip and fall attorneys know how slip and fall accidents can lead to devastating injuries. We are dedicated to helping victims of these accidents in Fredericksburg to pursue full and fair compensation. With a legal team of more than 20 lawyers – four based in our Fredericksburg, VA office – and a rapid-response investigative team that features a former insurance company claims adjuster and former law enforcement officers, we have the resources to protect your rights and to seek the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall in Fredericksburg?
The most important thing you can do after a slip and fall in Fredericksburg is to call a lawyer. You should get legal help as early as possible in order to ensure that you do not miss any important deadlines and to give the attorney plenty of time to collect and analyze the evidence. Additionally, you should try to do the following:
- Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries. Everyone carries a camera these days. If you have a cell phone, you have the ability to record critical evidence right at the time of your injury. If someone is with you, it may be a good idea to ask that person to take photos if you are unable to do so because you are hurt. Try to get photos of your wounds, injuries, the surrounding scene and any items involved in the incident such as a broken railing.
- Ask witnesses for contact information. People who witness an accident such as a slip and fall may stay to call 911 and check on a victim’s condition. However, they will not linger at the scene much longer. Before they go, make sure to get their contact information.
- Report your fall. You should report your slip and fall accident to the property owner or occupier. For instance, if your accident occurs on commercial property, you may report it to someone like a store manager, security guard, building superintendent or landlord. If the slip and fall accident occurs at a private residence, you should notify the homeowner if he or she is unaware of the incident.
- Get medical care immediately. Many victims fail to take this step – only to learn later on that they have a serious injury. Additionally, if you wait to get medical treatment, you give the insurance company an opportunity to argue that your injuries are not fall-related or not as serious as you claim.
- Keep everything. Hold on to all of your records, photos, bills, receipts – even the clothes that you wore that day. Don’t wash or repair torn clothing. If there is blood or other fluids on them, place them in a plastic bag and store them safely.
- Don’t talk to the insurance company. Never give a statement to the insurance company without talking to a lawyer first. The insurer’s job is to avoid paying you. The insurer will use every trick to try to avoid compensating you. Also, never give access to your medical records. Just provide your attorney’s name and phone number.
How Can Our Fredericksburg Slip and Fall Lawyers Help You?
When you hire Marks & Harrison for your slip and fall case in Fredericksburg, you can count on our legal team to provide:
- Immediate answers – After a slip and fall, you may have many questions. Who will pay the hospital bills? What will happen if you can’t go back to work? How long will your case take? Will you need to go to trial? A free consultation with an experienced lawyer at Marks & Harrison will give you the chance to get answers to these and any other questions you have.
- Fast investigation of your case – Once the evidence is gone, it will be hard to prove your slip and fall claim. This is why our team employs investigators with backgrounds in law enforcement and insurance. They know exactly what evidence to look for and how to collect it.
- Input from experts – Many slip and fall cases require the specialized knowledge of experts. For instance, a complex spinal injury may call for an orthopedic surgeon to provide input, or an injury involving a defective balcony railing may require a construction expert to explain the proper standards for such railings.
- Aggressive negotiations – Our attorneys are experienced at using their skills at the negotiation table to pursue settlements for our clients. We prepare cases for success at trial and use that preparation as leverage when we meet with insurance companies.
- Smart litigation strategies – If your case must go to trial, you can rest easy and know that a team of attorneys is representing you that has the skill and experience it takes to win in court.
- Attention throughout your case – We will keep in regular contact with you so that you understand what is going on in your case at all times.
- Contingency fee – Our law firm will get paid only if you do. So, we take on the risk when we take on your case. If we secure compensation for you through a verdict or settlement, our fee will be a percentage of the amount recovered on your behalf.
We can meet with you today at our Fredericksburg office to discuss your case, or we can meet with you at any other location that is more convenient. We never charge for consultations. We want you to feel free to talk with a lawyer and learn more about your rights and legal options.
What Types of Slip and Fall Cases Do We Handle in Fredericksburg?
Slip and falls can occur in any location in Fredericksburg, VA, from a private home to a commercial shopping center such as Central Park or the Spotsylvania Town Centre. Our firm often works with clients who suffered falls in areas such as:
- Office buildingsConstruction worker fell of the site.
- Sidewalks and parking lots
- Apartment / condominium complexes
- Hotels and motels
- Private residences
- Parks and swimming pools
- Nursing homes and other healthcare facilities.
In most cases, the property owner’s failure to address or warn about a dangerous condition on the property serves as the cause of the slip and fall accident. Some of the conditions that frequently cause these accidents are:
- Wet floors
- Icy or slushy surfaces
- Frayed or uneven carpeting
- Loose or uneven steps or unmarked changes of elevation on sidewalks
- Loose or missing railings
- Inadequate lighting
- Cluttered aisles in a retail store
How Do You Prove a Slip and Fall Claim?
In any slip and fall case, you must address three critical questions:
1. What is your status as a visitor?
In Virginia, the duty of care that a property owner owes to a visitor depends on the visitor’s status. Visitors fall into three broad categories:
- Invitees – A property owner invites these visitors to the property for some mutual benefit. Business customers are an example. The owner is responsible for maintaining a reasonably safe environment and warning invitees of any hidden dangers.
- Licensees – These are visitors that a property owner allows to be on the property for their own benefit. A social guest is an example of a visitor in this category. A property owner owes a slightly lower duty to licensees. The property owner can be held liable for a licensee’s slip and fall injuries only if the owner knew or should have known of a particular danger but did nothing to warn or protect against it.
- Trespassers – These are visitors who enter property without the owner’s consent or any other legal right to be there. A property owner generally must refrain from wantonly or intentionally harming the trespasser. A few exceptions apply. For instance, under some circumstances, a property owner may be liable for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent children from trespassing and gaining access to a “dangerous instrumentality” or “attractive nuisance” on the premises.
2. Did the property owner know about the dangerous condition?Whether a property owner knew or reasonably should have known about a hidden, dangerous condition on the premises will play an important role. How much time passes between the creation of the hazard and the slip and fall is a critical factor. For instance, if a customer at a store slipped in a puddle of soda that somebody spilled just a few minutes earlier, it is highly likely that the owner had no notice of the dangerous condition. However, if several hours passed after the spill, it will be more likely that the owner had notice of it.
3. Was the dangerous condition open and obvious?Defects such as a downed tree or an uncovered hole in the middle of the yard could be considered risks that are so “open and obvious,” a visitor should have recognized the danger and avoided it – regardless of whether the property owner tried to fix or warn about it. If a person suffers injuries in a slip and fall accident because of such a hazard, the person’s own negligence may prevent him or her from being eligible to recover compensation.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Claim?
A slip and fall accident may cause a person to suffer injuries that range from a minor cut, bruise or fracture to a more catastrophic injury such as a concussion or other form of traumatic brain injury. At Marks & Harrison, we understand how these injuries can lead to high medical bills, loss of the ability to work, great physical pain and emotional suffering. Our goal is to pursue maximum compensation for all harm that a negligent property owner has caused you to suffer, including compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages (in cases of exceptional misconduct).
If you lose a child, parent, spouse or other loved one due to a slip and fall accident, the emotional agony can be indescribable. As your family moves forward, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim that seeks damages such as:
- Sorrow, mental anguish and solace
- Reasonably expected loss of the victim’s income and services, protection, care and assistance
- Expenses for the care, treatment and hospitalization of the victim for the injury that resulted in his or her death
- Reasonable funeral expenses.
Did Your Slip and Fall Happen While You Were on the Job?
If you suffer a slip and fall at work, a workers’ compensation claim may be appropriate. If someone other than a co-worker hurts you on the job – for instance, you fall at a construction site because of the negligence of another subcontractor’s employee – you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against that party in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits can play an important role in your recovery from a slip and fall. They can cover all of your accident-related medical expenses. They can also provide disability benefits on a temporary or permanent basis if your injuries prevent you from working or limit you to a lighter-duty, lesser-paying job. However, these wage-loss benefits are limited.
A third-party injury claim, however, could lead to compensation for all of your lost wages as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. If you received workers’ compensation benefits, then any verdict or settlement that you recover could be subject to a workers’ compensation lien. In other words, the insurer will want to get back its own losses.
How Much Time Do You Have to Bring a Slip and Fall Claim?
Virginia gives you a short amount of time to bring a claim for your slip and fall injuries. Generally, you must file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your injury. Otherwise, your right to compensation will be forever lost. If your loved one died in a slip and fall, the law gives you two years from the date of the death to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.
Get Help from Our Fredericksburg Slip and Fall Attorneys Today
You need to act fast to protect your rights and preserve your ability to recover compensation for the physical, financial and emotional harm that you have suffered due to a slip and fall in Fredericksburg. Contact Marks & Harrison Fredericksburg office today for a free review of your case. Remember: You will pay us only if we recover compensation for you. Call or reach us online now. Click here for directions.