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Dangerous property conditions may lead to liability claim

Getting injured on the property of another person's home in West Virginia can leave both physical and financial scars. An accident victim may require costly medical treatment, depending on the severity of the injuries suffered. Further, the injuries may also prevent the individual from being able to return to work for a time. If a homeowner's negligence resulted in dangerous property conditions that led to the individual's injuries, the homeowner may be held liable through the civil court system.

Homeowners are responsible for exercising care in order to protect against slip-and-fall accidents and other types of accidents on their properties. This includes making sure that decorations from the holidays are not in areas where visitors are expected to walk. Homeowners, however, are not liable for any injuries stemming from conditions not posing reasonably foreseeable hazards or not considered inherently dangerous; this is true even if the conditions are obvious and open.

If weather conditions are bad -- for instance, there is sleet, ice or snow -- a residential property can also pose a risk to visitors if it is not cleared properly. Ice and snow must be reasonably cleared and driveway and walkway areas sanded and salted. However, with severe weather conditions, such as snowstorms, homeowners are usually afforded a reasonable time period to discover their dangerous conditions and remove them.

Unfortunately, homeowners in West Virginia sometimes do not keep up their properties appropriately, in which case people who are injured on their properties may opt to file premises liability claims. Financial restitution from a successfully litigated case, based upon a showing of negligence, typically includes monetary relief. This monetary relief may help the injured victim to more easily move forward from the ordeal involving dangerous property conditions.

Source:, "Holiday Safety", Frank Pacella, Dec. 28, 2015

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