Premises liability cases are some of the toughest cases in Virginia. The law is stacked against injured people who fall on the property of another. You are required to prove that the property owner or occupier knew or reasonably should have known that a dangerous condition existed on the property. Beyond that, the evidence must show that the landowner or occupier failed to warn you or protect you from that defect.
What makes these cases even more difficult, is that the insurance company will likely say that the defect was “open and obvious.” This is a legal buzzword in Virginia. It means that you should have seen the dangerous condition and you should have avoided it. It is a form of contributory negligence that would bar your recovery completely. Contributory negligence is a 100% bar of any recovery in Virginia. Many of these cases come down to this question: could you have seen and avoided the danger by exercising your own reasonable diligence.
In many instances, grocery stores or big-box department stores have all of the information you need to prove your case. But they aren’t just going to give you that information. This makes it even more difficult to evaluate whether your case can be won.