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Did you slip and fall at a commercial business, a public area, or a private residence in Washington? If so, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
An experienced Seattle slip and fall lawyer can help you understand your legal options.
Contact us today – call (877) 999-9999 or email us. We’re available 24/7!
Slip and fall accidents are the biggest source of premises liability claims. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for more than one million hospital visits in the U.S. each year.
This type of accident occurs when someone slips or trips over a slippery or uneven surface or an obstacle in the walkway.
Some common causes of slip and fall or trip and fall accidents include:
While slip and fall accidents may seem like minor events, the injuries they cause can be quite serious, particularly for the elderly.
Some common injuries suffered in slip and fall accidents are:
Not all falls are the responsibility of the property owner. In order to prove that the property owner was liable in your case, you must be able to show:
The duty of care is different depending on what type of visitor you were to the property.
Property owners whether public, commercial, or private owe a duty of care to their visitors. However, the duty of care that was owed to you depends on which type of visitor you were. Visitors are categorized as invitees, licensees, or trespassers.
Here is a brief look at the duty of care that is required for each type of visitor:
Property owners are required to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors. Here are some ways that this can be accomplished:
If you’ve slipped and fallen due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, the preservation of evidence in your case is important.
Here are some tips on how to collect and preserve evidence that could show negligence in a slip and fall case:
Washington allows the victims of slip and fall accidents to seek compensation from negligent property owners through either an insurance claim or through a premises liability lawsuit, which is a form of a civil suit in which you must prove that the property owner acted negligently.
Here are some of the highlights of premises liability laws in Washington:
According to an article from KIRO 7 News, a 19-year-old University of Washington student died after she slipped and fell on campus. The campus police responded to a call for assistance on the morning that the student fell, with a report that she had suffered a head injury.
She later died at the hospital and the medical examiner stated that her cause of death was a blot clot that traveled to her lung. Days after the incident, signs on the sidewalk could be seen, warning people of ice that could cause the walkway to be slippery.
However, the signs were not in place at the time of the accident. The university sent out a statement reporting that the student collapsed from a medical condition caused by the blood clot in her lung and that she did not slip as initially reported.
The investigation into the incident was ongoing as of the report. A woman filed a lawsuit against two businesses after she suffered injuries due to a trip and fall accident in December. The 70-year-old woman was Christmas shopping with her daughter when she tripped over a dangerous curb located between a theater and a bank building.
She fell on her face, suffering gashes and severe bleeding from her nose, mouth, back, and legs, and also lost teeth in the accident. The suit seeks $25,000 to cover incurred medical bills.
Reportedly both businesses were advised by the police department in Northville about the dangerous condition presented by the curb. Although changes to Michigan law make it harder to file a claim against businesses for damaged sidewalks, the woman’s attorney argues that the damage to the curb was not open and obvious and, therefore, the lawsuit could go forward.
A jury will decide whether a man’s injuries were caused by police violence or a slip and fall. In 2014, the man suffered a broken neck while being arrested. The man was left a quadriplegic due to the accident, which police say occurred when he slipped and fell as he was running from them.
Medical experts prepared to testify for the man say that the injury likely occurred when officers stepped on the man’s neck, however, and were worsened when they moved him in spite of him saying that he couldn’t feel his legs.
Surveillance video of the arrest was of such poor quality that it is not clear how much force was used, the article noted.
When you enter someone else’s property, whether it is a private individual or a place of business, the owner and proprietor have a legal responsibility to ensure your health and safety.
You are putting your trust into another person when it comes to moving around an area freely without the threat of injury. This makes property owners responsible for clearly indicating areas that are dangerous and must take suitable measures to make sure that visitors are kept safe.
This responsibility includes clearly marking off dangerous areas, immediately cleaning up spills, and clearly indicating areas that are potential hazards for slip and fall injuries.
Regardless, slip and fall injuries do happen, and they are among the most common causes of serious injury in businesses and households around the country. There are many reasons why they are particularly serious, and the road to recovery is not an easy one.
Slip and fall injuries occur when a standing or even sitting person cannot keep his or her balance due to the presence of a slippery substance or slippery surface, causing the individual to fall to the ground or floor.
A common location for a slip and fall injury to occur is an icy sidewalk or even a waxed tile floor that has somehow become wet. Even a poorly maintained sidewalk or road can cause a slip and fall injury, as debris is hard to gain traction on and may cause a fall. So too can loose rails or crumbling staircases.
Slip and fall injuries are particularly dangerous because they involve individuals standing upright and then being suddenly brought to the ground with the full force of their bodies behind them, suddenly stopping when striking an immovable object, floor, or ground.
Corporations in particular should be held liable for failing to comply with certain safety requirements. Typically, a slip and fall injury is avoidable if properly marked, cleaned up, or remediated.
Employers should train staff members in the proper methods of marking and cleanup potentially dangerous areas. In fact, failure to do so constitutes negligence. What makes this kind of negligence especially heinous is that, oftentimes, areas of concern are not addressed due to a company eliminating proper safety training to save money.
Employees are only as good as their training and available equipment to do a job.
For example, if you slip and fall on a broken jar of pickles in a grocery store, many things might run through your mind as your face is about to hit a floor covered in shattered glass. Why didn’t anybody mark this off? Why didn’t anyone clean this up before I slipped on it? And, this is really going to hurt. You are right to ask yourself these questions, because the entire situation likely could have been avoided.
However, the store might have decided to cut back on staff, if, for example, third-quarter profits were a little low this year, which is perhaps why the hospital will be picking pieces of glass out of your skin for the next few hours. In other words, businesses usually neglect their responsibilities to the public because of one thing: money.
This is why businesses must be held accountable; not only to compensate for an injury you have suffered that could have been avoided, but also in a punitive manner to get their attention and make them do better in the future.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, then you already know the expense, pain, suffering, and stress involved in recovering from such an injury.
From the ride in the ambulance to the emergency room to X-rays, MRIs, and other imaging necessary to diagnose the severity of your injuries, the expenses will begin to add up. Throw in a few surgeries and possibly a hospital stay, and you are looking at tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might be looking at rehabilitation, physical and/or mental, to get your body and mind back to where they once were. Doctors may prescribe you pain management medications, which come with the risk of addiction not to mention the matter of overcoming post-traumatic stress, which might entail therapy.
If you have survived your fall and recovered from your injuries, you are likely left with massive amounts of medical bills, pain and suffering, loss time at work, and even the mental stress of continuing on in a life that just isn’t the same all because someone didn’t do their job and as a result, injured you.
The answer is simple: as soon as you can. Finding a capable attorney with experience in handling slip and fall cases, particularly those that involve slip and fall injuries, will protect your rights as well as ensure you are fairly compensated for your injury.
Lawyers who work on contingency don’t get paid unless you do, either via settlement or through an award the court has ordered the property owner to pay.
Your lawyer will be able to discuss what percentage he or she expects to receive as a contingency fee.
Insurance companies and businesses will low-ball you every time to maintain profit margins, which is why you need to even the playing field and find an attorney who will fight for you.
A skilled attorney will take the information and build a case, perhaps using the evidence revealed through discovery to attain a settlement in mediation or to establish the at-fault party’s liability and what is owed by the property owner.
You may qualify for significant compensation for your injuries in a slip and fall accident, and an attorney can advise you on the best ways to address this moving forward.
Contact us for a free consultation. Your rights need to be protected! Start today on the road to a new life.
We have the answers to the aforementioned, as well as many other, questions you might have.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you may qualify for compensation via a premises liability lawsuit. O
ur Seattle slip and fall lawyers are eager to talk to you about your options.
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