Q After my Virginia premises accident (slip and fall), the owner of the property fixed the dangerous condition that caused my injury. Doesn't that prove that they were negligent?
No. Fixing the dangerous condition is not allowed to be used as evidence to prove that the landowner did something wrong. It is called a "subsequent remedial measure". The reasoning behind this public policy rule to exclude this from evidence is that if it were admissible, it would discourage the landowner from making improvements which could keep others from being hurt in the future.
The rule excluding subsequent remedial measures can be a big issue in a Virginia premises liability
, also known as a slip and fall case. If the jury hears that the defendant fixed the problem then it is possible that it is more likely that the jury would find in favor of the injured party.
However, the subsequent measure is not excluded when offered for another purpose for which it may be admissible in certain circumstances, such as when trying to prove who owned or controlled the property.