Clarksburg Premises Liability Lawyer
The laws in Clarksburg and throughout West Virginia provide a legal remedy for anyone injured due to an unsafe condition on another person’s property. Known as premises liability law, these legal principles guide whether or not an injury victim can recover monetary damages from the property owner. The duty owed by a landowner to an injury victim can vary, but a practiced personal injury attorney could provide guidance on your chances of recovery.
To obtain the compensation you deserve, you must prove to a Clarksburg court that the defendant’s failure to remedy a hazard or properly warn you of the danger led to your injuries. To discuss your options for recovering damages, reach out to a Clarksburg premises liability lawyer right away.
Prevailing in a Clarksburg Premises Liability Lawsuit
In most states, the duty owed by a landowner to a person injured on their property will depend on the injured person’s status as a visitor. In those states, the law categorizes visitors into groups like licensees, invitees, and trespassers. West Virginia law takes a simpler approach.
Under West Virginia premises law, all visitors are either trespassers or non-trespassers. While the law provides some protection to those with permission to enter the property, trespassers have far fewer protections. In many cases, the availability of compensation can hinge on whether a Clarksburg premises liability attorney can establish that the victim was a non-trespasser.
For non-trespassers, landowners owe a duty of reasonable care. This standard requires a property owner to inspect their premises for potential hazards regularly. Upon discovery a hazard, the property owner must either repair the hazard or post warnings of the danger. This duty is owed to everyone from social guests to employees.
Much of the discussion in a premises liability case will revolve around what constitutes reasonableness. Generally, a landlord is allowed time to detect a hazard and respond appropriately. In cases where an injury occurs before a landowner could reasonably discover a hazard, a jury may not award compensation.
Open and Obvious Doctrine
West Virginia has a long history with a legal theory known as the “open and obvious rule.” Unlike other states, for years West Virginia courts applied this doctrine to reject a plaintiff’s injury claim if it resulted from a hazard that was deemed open and obvious. While state courts struck this rule down, the legislature quickly moved to adopt it by statute. With the rule in effect again, it is critical for a Clarksburg premises liability attorney to understand how to navigate the law.
According to the open and obvious doctrine, a property owner who would otherwise owe a duty to a person injured on their property could avoid liability in certain circumstances. If the landowner can show the visitor suffered an injury on the premises from a hazard that was open and obvious, the court will not award damages to the plaintiff. Under this theory, the hazard that caused the injury was so obvious that a plaintiff assumed any risk related to the dangerous condition.
Contact a Clarksburg Premises Liability Attorney Right Away
Given its unique approach to premises liability law, West Virginia law can make recovering monetary compensation for an injury challenging. However, a skilled attorney could help you overcome obstacles and persuasively make a claim for damages. With the right lawyer by your side, you have the potential to hold the property owner accountable for your injuries. To learn more about how to proceed with your claim, reach out to a Clarksburg premises liability lawyer.