Elkins Premises Liability Lawyer

Even on someone else’s property, people can be held liable for the personal injuries they cause. If you have been hurt by an unreasonably dangerous or undisclosed hazard while away from home, you could be entitled to file suit for damages under West Virginia civil law.

However, there are various obstacles and limitations you could miss that may reduce your compensation, or even restrict you from recovering at all, if you pursue a claim without the help of a personal injury attorney. An Elkins premises liability lawyer could help you understand your options, make a compelling case for damages, and avoid pitfalls that limit your financial recovery.

Recoverable Damages for Property Negligence in Elkins

Depending on the circumstances, an Elkins plaintiff could recover for both economic and non-economic damages caused by the negligence of a property owner or manager. Economic damages refer to losses that can be quantitatively measured and valued. Non-economic damages cover those that are more subjective to an individual’s experiences.

Through a successful settlement or court verdict, an Elkins premises liability legal represent could help a plaintiff recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses stemming from the incident, including costs for outpatient rehabilitation and medications
  • Lost wages from time missed at work
  • Lost future earning capacity if the injury has long-term or permanent effects
  • Damage to and loss of personal property
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium with a spouse

In rare cases, a court will levy punitive damages for a premises liability case against a defendant if they were considered to have acted with willful malice or egregious negligence, in accordance with West Virginia Code §55-7-29. If awarded, the maximum amount of punitive damages a plaintiff in Elkins could receive is up to $500,000 and no more than four times the value of their total economic and non-economic damages.

Potential Limitations on Premises Liability Recovery

A particularly controversial aspect of West Virginia premises liability law is the “Open and Obvious Doctrine”. As per WV Code §55-7-28, property owners do not owe a duty of care to visitors injured by a hazard the visitor already knows about or could be considered open and obvious.

This statute was declared unconstitutional by the West Virginia Supreme Court in 2013, but the state legislature overruled this decision in 2015. As it stands, if an Elkins defendant in a case successfully argues that the source of the accident should have been obviously dangerous, that plaintiff would be unable to recover any compensation.

Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Furthermore, even plaintiffs with valid grounds to file suit must ensure they get their case started within the deadline set by the statute of limitations. If an Elkins plaintiff or their property liability legal professional fails to file suit within two years of when their accident occurred, WV Code §55-2-12(b) allows a court to declare the claim time-barred and could dismiss their demand for damages.

Learn More from an Elkins Premises Liability Attorney Today

The ways in which West Virginia law has approached premises liability cases has shifted significantly over the last few years. However, under the current state code, there are numerous restrictions on who can recover compensation—and when they can do so—following an accident on someone else’s land.

Effectively navigating state law and pursuing compensation for your losses could be a lot easier with a legal professional by your side. Make the most out of your claim by calling an Elkins premises liability lawyer today.