Who is at fault for a personal injury on someone's property?

A loose sidewalk pavement, a slippery floor or a low-hanging doorframe -- these might seem like insignificant flaws on a person's property, but they can actually be very dangerous. Suffering a personal injury on another person's property can have devastating consequences for the victim. Head injuries from a slip and fall, fractures from faulty walkways and more may require just compensation for victims to fully recover. Part of the process of recovering legal recourse is determining exactly who is at fault.

In some situations, a West Virginia property owner might be entirely at fault. This usually means that a property owner was aware -- or should have been aware -- of dangerous conditions on his or her property, and did not take meaningful action to fix the problem or adequately warn visitors. If the visitor to the property acted within the interests of his or her own safety and was injured solely because of the property owner's neglect, then the owner is 100 percent at fault.

Comparative fault is used when both parties were partially at fault for an injury. This type of situation might arise when a property owner did not warn a visitor of possible hazards, but the visitor also acted without full regard to his or her own safety. An injury victim might be found 25 percent liable for such an accident, meaning that a property owner would only have to pay 75 percent of any judgment awarded.

Property owners in West Virginia must maintain safe premises, such as performing routine maintenance and installing adequate lighting. They must also provide necessary warnings regarding potential hazards on the property. When owners neglect to do so and visitors suffer injuries as a result, victims may seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages through the actions of personal injury claims.

Source: FindLaw, "Premises Liability: Who Is Responsible?", Accessed on Dec. 31, 2017

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