Slip and Fall Accidents
When you visit someone else’s property, you don’t expect to be seriously injured. Unfortunately, not all property owners look out for their visitors’ safety. Sometimes, a property owner is aware of a dangerous condition on the premises but does not correct it. In other cases, a property owner may not have appropriate procedures and protocols in place to catch and repair dangerous conditions. Slip and fall accidents can result in serious injuries that are expensive to treat. You and your family may experience financial stress due to income lost while you’re recuperating from broken bones, spinal cord damage or a traumatic brain injury sustained during a fall. If you or a loved one was injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you should discuss your situation with the Seattle slip and fall attorneys of Blair & Kim.Slip and Fall Accidents
Spilled liquids, slippery substances, plumbing leaks, uneven floorboards, broken rails, loose carpets, or missing warning signs or barriers can all contribute to slip and fall accidents. In Washington, property owners owe a duty to protect those who visit their property from being harmed.
Depending upon the reason visitors have for being on the property, they may be considered as invitees, licensees, or trespassers. Property owners owe different duties to each classification. The highest duty of care is owed to invitees. Invitees may include clients in offices, as well as customers visiting restaurants, retail stores and shopping malls. In order to recover damages for a slip and fall accident, invitees must show: (1) they were an invitee, (2) the defendant knew or should have known about a danger that involved an unreasonable risk of harm to invitees, (3) the defendant should have expected that invitees wouldn’t realize there was a danger, and (4) the defendant failed to use ordinary care to guard against the danger. For instance, if the maintenance crew waxed the floors at a mall without cordoning off the area with ropes or cones, customers who fall on the slippery floor and are seriously injured may have a basis to sue for damages.
After a fall, an experienced slip and fall attorney in Seattle can send a spoliation of evidence letter advising a property owner of your slip and fall claim and telling them not to destroy any related evidence. This is important because sometimes the only evidence of actual or constructive notice of a slip and fall is found in video surveillance footage of the property. Often, stores reuse these tapes, sometimes within a week of the accident.Comparative Negligence
Washington is a pure comparative negligence state. This means your damages may be reduced by an amount equivalent to your degree of fault for your injuries. However, unlike some states, Washington does not impose a threshold percentage of fault requirement that bars certain injured persons from bringing a claim. Defendants may try to demonstrate comparative negligence in a slip and fall case in many different ways, such as by pointing out that the dangerous condition was open and obvious, you were wearing improper shoes given the conditions, you weren’t paying attention, you were given warnings, or the area where you fell was marked by warning signs and orange cones. Speaking with an experienced Seattle slip and fall lawyer after an accident can protect your legal rights.Damages
Persons injured in slip and fall accidents may be able to recover compensatory damages if they can establish liability. Compensatory damages are meant to make them whole and may cover both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses include concrete, tangible losses such as medical bills, lost income, out of pocket expenses, and replacement services. Injured persons may also be entitled to compensation for their noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.Consult a Seasoned Seattle Attorney
After suffering a serious slip and fall accident, you may incur medical expenses and require time off from work to achieve a full recovery. An experienced lawyer can help you seek a fair outcome by thoroughly investigating the case to uncover the necessary evidence to prove that the property owner was liable. Blair & Kim may be able to fight for you to get the compensation to which you’re entitled. Our slip and fall lawyers in Seattle also represent clients in Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue and throughout King County. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us through our online form.