While everyone has a responsibility to watch where he or she is walking, an owner must not ignore hazards on commercial property. No matter how careful a patron walks across a floor or up a flight of stairs, a slippery surface or loose railing can send him or her crashing to the ground. Embarrassment is the least of his or her worries as the pain from the fall sets in.
If you have fallen in a store or parking lot, do not let embarrassment stop you from calling a West Virginia premises liability lawyer at the Manchin Injury Law Group to talk about your case and explore your rights.
Commercial property owners have an obligation to ensure the safety of their patrons from dangerous conditions and criminal activity. Call us at (304) 367-1862 to learn how we can help you.
Taking careful steps in a store or parking garage or on a sidewalk will not always prevent an accident. We build premises liability claims on hazards that aren’t visible, such as these situations:
Taking immediate action helps us gather the information and evidence we need to file a strong claim of premises liability. Statements from witnesses and immediate site visits by an expert from our network preserve recent memories and the property defect that led to serious injuries.
In the end, we remain at your side with compassion and dedication, fighting for the best outcome in holding the responsible property owner accountable and maximizing your compensation.
Government agents, employees, and entities might have a duty to serve and protect civilians, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they adhere to this duty 24/7. Every year, negligent and careless government property owners become defendants in premises liability claims in West Virginia. Mistakes and lapses in judgment in property ownership could lead to elements that are unreasonably hazardous for visitors. If you suffered an injury while on government property, file your claim in West Virginia with help from Manchin Injury Law Group.
Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine protecting governmental bodies from lawsuits. The rules of sovereign immunity hold that a federal, state, or local government will not be liable for injuries incurred on government-owned properties. It also states that victims cannot sue employees or owners of public places for injuries. Luckily for plaintiffs, the Federal Tort Claims Act amended this clause in 1948.
Under this act, injured victims can bring lawsuits against government bodies for injuries and accidents that occur on public properties. Unlike most states, West Virginia has not enacted its own federal tort claims laws regarding accident victims filing personal injury claims against government bodies. This doesn’t bar claimants from filing these claims – rather, it means one could bring a claim against the government according to the same rules as non-government cases.
You must correctly name the defendant(s) involved in your case before you can file a claim. In a premises liability lawsuit, this will be the entity that owns, controls, or leases the property on which your accident occurred. On public property in West Virginia, the owner could be the state, city, or county. Examples of land owned by the government include public parks, landmarks, roads, and parking lots, as well as government agency buildings such as public hospitals, schools, and offices.
The defendant will most likely be the government body that negligently failed to keep the public property reasonably safe for visitors. Government entities have all the same responsibilities as other property owners in the state toward invitees, licensees, and trespassers. If the owner of the public land did not repair known defects, search for unknown ones, and/or warn visitors of potential risks on a property, the government could be liable for damages. Note, however, that your claim could involve more than one defendant.
One of the most important distinctions between government and non-government premises liability claims in most states is a stricter deadline by which the claimant must file for the former. In West Virginia, however, claims against the government have a two-year statute of limitations, just like other personal injury claims. However, you may still want to provide the defendant with a Notice of Claim prior to filing a lawsuit, if a lawyer advises that you do so.
Once you’ve ascertained the identity of your government defendant, gathered information and documents relating to your premises liability accident, and consulted with a personal injury attorney, it’s time to file your claim. You will file your claim with the civil court in the county in which your accident occurred. You will go to the small claims court if your case involves $5,000 or less in damages. Otherwise, you’ll go to the circuit courts.
The premises liability lawyers at Manchin Injury Law Group can help you understand your rights after an injury on public property in West Virginia. We can fill out all forms relating to your claim and file them well within the state’s deadline. We’ll stand by you during every phase of your case, negotiating with major governmental bodies in pursuit of fair and just compensation on your behalf. Contact us now for your free consultation.
For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Fairmont premises liability attorney, please contact us at (304) 367-1862.