Premises Liability – civil liability for injuries from dangerous conditions on property
What should I do if I am injured on another person’s property?
If you are injured on another person’s property you should consider the following steps to preserve your rights and prove your case. Some of these steps, like preserving video evidence, must be done immediately.
- Photograph the defect and area where you fell from multiple angles
- Report the fall to the building management company or owner and insist upon completing an incident report, even if you must return another day after seeking medical treatment
- Seek timely treatment for any injuries you sustained and make sure you tell you healthcare provider that you suffered the injuries in a fall
- Make a note of any witnesses around the area in question and if possible, contact people in the immediate area to find out what they knew about the defect. If you can get names of the neighbors, your attorney can write a letter
- Determine the name and address companies that owned and managed the property – retain your lease or bills showing their legal corporate name(s)
- Find out if there was any video in the area in question and have your attorney issue a letter asking that such evidence be preserved. If there is a video camera in the area, do not wait to make this request or you risk the video being erased. If the store destroys evidence after they have been asked to preserve it, remedies are available under Va. Code § 8.01-379.2:1, including an instruction to the jury that they are to presume the destroyed evidence would have been unfavorable to the Defendant. For a legal brief addressing spoliation, click here.
- Do not give any recorded statements until you have spoken to an attorney.