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Evaluating a Slip and Fall Incident

Not every slip and fall results in an insurance claim or a legal case. Several factors are important. First, it must be the negligence of a third party, a property owner, a store owner or a snow removal contractor, for example. In other words, someone must have done something wrong that was the proximate cause of the fall. Second, the person who fell must not have been at fault. Virginia is a contributory negligence state, so if the injured person is at fault or even partly at fault, he or she cannot recover any damages. Another important factor is the “open and obvious” test. If whatever caused the fall was clearly visible and the injured person could have or should have seen it, then that person is partly at fault and cannot recover.