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Premises Liability Attorneys Representing Injured People In and Around Spokane and Throughout Washington

When an individual sustains an injury due to unsafe or hazardous conditions on someone else’s property, it can lead to a premises liability case. Premises liability is a theory of liability in civil law that holds that a property owner can be held liable for harm to others that occurs on the owner’s property. If you have been injured in or around Spokane or anywhere else in Washington due to a property owner or manager’s negligence, seeking legal guidance from an experienced premises liability lawyer is crucial to protecting your rights.

At Albrecht Law, our Spokane premises liability attorneys can help you understand your rights, build your claim, and negotiate your settlement. We begin with a free consultation to evaluate your case and determine the right strategy for your claim going forward — even if we don’t take on your case. We’re here to serve you.

Common Types of Injuries in Premises Liability Cases

In Washington, some common types of premises liability injuries include:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These accidents occur when individuals slip or trip due to hazards such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, poorly lit areas, or defective property conditions. Potentially occurring at stores, in the workplace, at a private residence, or on public property, falls can lead to a range of injuries that may include bruises, cuts, scrapes, broken bones, brain injury, spinal injury or other neck or back injury, knee injuries, hip injuries, or a variety of internal injuries.
  • Injuries Due to Defective Property Conditions: Hazardous property conditions, such as defective sidewalks, torn carpets, inadequate lighting, loose handrails, or malfunctioning elevators or escalators, can lead to various accidents causing injuries such as falls and physical trauma.
  • Assault and Attacks: Unfortunately, individuals may sustain injuries from sexual assaults and other forms of attacks on someone else’s property, leading to physical and emotional harm.
  • Dog Bites: Incidents involving dog bites on another person’s property due to the owner’s negligence in failing to control their pet can also lead to premises liability injuries.
  • Electrocution: Injuries from electrocution due to faulty electrical systems or exposed wiring on the premises are categorized as premises liability cases.

Duty of Care in a Premises Liability Case

The legal concept of Duty of Care is a fundamental principle in premises liability law. It refers to the responsibility of property owners or those in possession of land and water areas to exercise reasonable care in maintaining their premises for the safety of visitors, guests, customers, or users of many types of recreational attractions, services, or resources. This duty extends to various categories of individuals, including business invitees, public invitees, and users of recreation resources. The property owner or occupier has an obligation to maintain safe conditions and prevent foreseeable harm to individuals who enter their premises.

Washington laws hold property owners and occupiers accountable for injuries caused by hazards on their premises. According to WPI 120.06, a property owner is liable if they knew or should have known about a hazard. They must warn guests and repair the issue promptly.

Under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 4.24.210, the state holds property owners or occupiers responsible for addressing known dangerous conditions on their premises that could potentially harm individuals.

A recent court ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court clarified that property owners can also be held responsible for injuries caused by hazards that could reasonably have been foreseen. However, this principle only applies to invited guests, legal visitors, and children who enter the property uninvited. Generally, beyond preventing danger to uninvited children, property owners are not required to ensure the safety of trespassers in such cases.

Understanding the Duty of Care is crucial in premises liability cases because it forms the basis for determining whether a property owner fulfilled their legal obligation to maintain safe conditions and whether they can be held liable for injuries sustained on their property.

How To Prove Negligence in a Washington Premises Liability Claim

Proving negligence in a Washington premises liability claim involves demonstrating that the property owner or occupier failed to uphold their duty of care, leading to an accident and injury. Below, we’ll address the key factors involved in proving negligence in such a claim:

Causation of Accidents Due To Negligence in Premises Liability Cases

Evidence must be provided to establish that the negligence of the property owner directly led to the accident and subsequent injury. This essential element is referred to as causation. Evidence supporting causation could include documentation, eyewitness accounts, or expert testimony that links the property owner’s actions or inactions to the harmful incident.

Damages Accounting for Injuries and Losses Due To Premises Liability Incidents

Demonstrating the specific damages suffered due to the accident and injury is essential to your premises liability case. This effort may involve presenting medical records, financial losses, and other tangible evidence to support the extent of the harm caused by the property owner’s negligence.

Furthermore, in cases of negligent security and dangerous property conditions in premises liability cases, documenting evidence helps to prove the property owner’s failure to maintain safe conditions on their premises.

What Kinds of Cases Can a Washington Premises Liability Lawyer Help Me With?

An experienced premises liability lawyer can assist an injured client with various types of premises liability cases, including:

  • Slip and Fall Accidents: These types of premises liability cases are especially common. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe walking surfaces. Premises liability lawyers can help individuals who have been injured due to slippery or hazardous conditions on another’s property.
  • Inadequate Security Claims: If an individual sustains injuries due to inadequate security measures on a property, such as in cases of assault or unauthorized entry, a lawyer can help pursue legal action against the property owner in a premises liability case.
  • Defective Conditions: Cases involving defective conditions on a property, such as broken staircases, faulty handrails, or other structural hazards, fall under premises liability. A lawyer can assist clients in seeking compensation for injuries caused due to such defects.
  • Dangerous Property Conditions: This encompasses a broad range of potential hazards on a property, including unsafe premises, poorly-maintained facilities, or environmental dangers that lead to injury.
  • Recreational Accidents: Injuries sustained during recreational activities on another person’s property, such as hiking, hunting, or fishing, can also fall under premises liability law.
  • Dog Bites: If a dog bite occurs on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence in failing to control their pet, the victim could have a premises liability claim, and should seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney who can help them seek recourse for their injuries.

These are just a few examples of what constitutes a premises liability case. Because each incident involves unique circumstances, an attorney with extensive knowledge of premises liability law can offer representation tailored to the individual’s specific situation.

Washington’s Statute of Limitations for Premises Liability Claims

The statute of limitations refers to the timeframe within which an individual must file a lawsuit after sustaining an injury. In Washington, the statute of limitations for premises liability claims is typically three years from the date of the injury.

For someone injured due to an occupier’s failure to maintain safe premises, failing to file a lawsuit within this three-year window could cause them to lose their right to seek compensation for their injuries. If you have sustained a personal injury due to an unsafe condition or a property owner’s failure to exercise reasonable care, you may have a viable premises liability case. Do not delay in seeking legal assistance, because gathering evidence and building a strong case often requires time and thorough preparation.

Washington’s Comparative Negligence Laws

Washington’s pure comparative negligence system allows individuals to still seek compensation for damages, even if they were partially responsible. Under Washington law (RCW 4.22.005), both parties involved in an accident can be assigned a percentage of fault based on their actions or omissions. In cases where multiple parties share fault, the claimant’s recovery is reduced by their share of the total fault. If a claimant is mostly at fault, they can still recover proportionally-reduced damages.

Understanding comparative negligence in Washington can be complex, encompassing the analysis of evidence, witness testimony, and expert opinions. Consult an experienced lawyer to protect your rights and navigate the process effectively.

Damages and Compensation in a Premises Liability Lawsuit

When seeking legal recourse for injuries sustained on another person’s property in a premises liability lawsuit, damages and compensation are key considerations.

  • Compensatory Damages: These seek to reimburse the injured person for actual losses incurred due to the premises liability incident. Compensatory damages can be further broken down into two categories:
    • Special Damages: These cover quantifiable financial losses such as medical expenses, lost earnings, rehabilitation costs, and property damage directly caused by the incident.
    • General Damages: This category addresses non-economic losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the defendant’s conduct is deemed particularly egregious or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar misconduct in the future.
  • Comparative Fault: Washington follows a comparative fault system, meaning that if the injured party is found partially at fault for the incident, the compensation they could seek will be reduced by their percentage of fault. However, if the injured party is 50% or more at fault, they may be barred from compensation.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In tragic cases of fatal premises liability incidents, certain family members may seek damages through a wrongful death claim. These damages can include compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional trauma of losing a loved one.

The specifics of damages and compensation in a premises liability lawsuit can vary based on the unique circumstances of each case. Seeking legal counsel from an experienced premises liability lawyer is critical to understanding the full scope of potential damages and pursuing fair compensation.

Why Contact a Washington Personal Injury Lawyer After Sustaining a Serious Injury on Someone’s Property?

You may have cause to seek appropriate compensation for your injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. Premises liability claims require profound knowledge of the law to pursue a fair settlement. Consulting an experienced attorney is vital to your personal injury claim for the following reasons.

  • Statute of Limitations: Washington’s statute of limitations generally allows three years from the date of the incident to take legal action. If your injury occurred on someone else’s property, contacting a lawyer promptly will ensure that you don’t miss the deadline for filing a premises liability claim.
  • Preservation of Evidence: Acting swiftly will preserve crucial evidence related to the incident, such as witness statements, photographs, and documentation of the dangerous conditions that led to the injury.
  • Legal Counsel and Guidance: Seeking legal counsel early provides individuals with the opportunity to understand their rights, assess the strength of their case, and seek guidance regarding the steps to take to protect their interests.
  • Seeking To Maximize Compensation: Experienced premises liability lawyers can advocate for their injured client’s right to fair compensation, help them navigate the complexities of the legal process, and negotiate with insurance companies or at-fault parties.
  • Peace of Mind: Engaging a lawyer soon after the injury can provide peace of mind, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery while legal professionals handle the intricacies of the case.

Did a Property Owner Fail to Take Reasonable Care and Keep Their Property Safe, Causing Your Personal Injury? Schedule a Free Consultation at Albrecht Law PLLC, Where You are Known

Are you coping with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering because a property owner neglected their duty of care? Let Albrecht Law help you hold the property owner liable for the value of your damages, including your medical expenses, lost wages, future expenses, and noneconomic losses.

Our experienced Spokane premises liability attorneys will provide you with guidance and support every step of the way. We have the resources to fully investigate your claim, build your case, prove liability, calculate your damages, negotiate a settlement, and even litigate your case in court if necessary. We combine cutting-edge technology with loyal, personalized, and courteous attention. Contact us at(509) 495-1246(509) 495-1246 or complete our online form today to schedule your free consultation. We are here to serve you.

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