Morgantown Premises Liability Attorney Works to Hold Negligent Property Owners Accountable

West Virginia legal team fights to maximize plaintiffs’ financial recoveries

When you visit a business or the home of someone you know, you trust that they have taken steps to make the area safe. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and you could find yourself injured due to a hazard that was not addressed properly. At Mountaineer Injury Law Group in Morgantown and Martinsburg, my legal team represents West Virginians in premises liability actions arising from slip and fall incidents, pet attacks and other harmful events resulting from the negligence of a property owner or occupier.   

Legal standards that apply to premises liability cases

A party that owns a property or has control over it owes a duty of care to people who are welcomed to their premises. For example, customers of a store that is open to the public are considered invitees, which means that the person or business responsible for the property must take reasonable measures to remove potential hazards. If a duty of care is violated, and that violation is the proximate cause of a victim’s injuries, that victim is entitled to compensation for the resulting damages. A plaintiff in a premises liability case can even receive payment if they were partly to blame for their injury, as long as their share of the fault does not exceed 50 percent. In cases involving joint liability, the plaintiff’s award is reduced by the percentage of fault ascribed to them.

Types of premises liability claims

Various type of incidents can trigger a premises liability lawsuit, such as:

  • Slip and falls — A slip and fall on a walking surface that is wet, icy, damaged or improperly maintained can give rise to a personal injury claim.
  • Dog bites — Hundreds of thousands of Americans require medical treatment for dog bites annually. West Virginia says that dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries their pet causes while running at large. In other situations, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owner had reason to believe that their dog was dangerous.
  • Security failures — Businesses and event promoters that have a reason to believe that invitees are at risk due to overcrowding or criminal activity could be required to pay damages if they do not provide adequate security.
  • Exposure to hazardous substances — When someone fails to prevent hazardous substances from affecting guests, they can be held accountable for the illnesses that result.

Our firm gives victims of accidents the chance to obtain the payment they deserve for their medical costs, lost income and the pain and suffering they endured because a property owner or manager failed to take proper safety measures.

Typical defenses raised by negligent property owners

Defendants and insurance companies often fight hard against premises liability claims. Even when the facts are clear, the property owner in your case might try to reduce or eliminate your financial recovery by claiming one of the following:

  • Lack of notice — Parties with control over a property are required to act reasonably in order protect guests from harm. However, in certain situations, a defendant will claim that they were not aware of the hazardous condition that caused the injury. These cases often hinge on whether a reasonably prudent party would have been on notice regarding the danger.
  • Assumption of risk — There are certain activities that pose an inherent risk of physical harm. For example, falling down is a natural part of ice skating, so it is understood that someone who goes to a skating rink might not have an actionable claim if they are hurt in a fall on the ice.
  • Shared fault — Under West Virginia’s modified comparative negligence rule, a plaintiff who bears the majority of fault for their injury cannot collect any damages at trial. In cases where the defendant was primarily responsible for the accident, they can still reduce the eventual award by demonstrating the victim was partly to blame for the incident. The payment would be cut by the same percentage of liability ascribed to the plaintiff.

No matter what tactics the defendant tries, you’ll have an accomplished lawyer on your side making a persuasive case as to why you are entitled to the full amount of damages you have incurred. 

Get a free consultation about a West Virginia premises liability claim

Mountaineer Injury Law Group helps West Virginians pursue compensation after they have been hurt due to an unsafe condition on property owned by someone else. Please call 304-202-5835 or contact me online to make an appointment for a free consultation. I have offices in Morgantown and Martinsburg. 

Contact the Firm




124 Fayette Street,
Morgantown, West Virginia 26505





126 E Burke Street,
Martinsburg, West Virginia 25401