When Can I Hold a Washington Property Owner Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
February 25, 2020 – Matt Albrecht
Were you injured in a slip and fall accident? If so, you are certainly not alone. The National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) estimates that these types of incidents lead to more than a million people seeking emergency medical attention annually. After a serious accident, injured victims often face large medical bills and a long road to recovery. This raises an important question: When is a business liable for a slip and fall in Washington? Here, our Spokane personal injury lawyers provide a basic overview of slip and fall liability.
Four Things You Need to Prove to Hold a Property Owner Liable for a Slip and Fall
A slip and fall accident case is a type of premises liability claim. One of the most important things that injured victims need to know is that businesses and property owners are not automatically liable for slip and fall accidents that occur on their premises. Liability is based on fault. To hold a property owner liable, you must establish that their negligence, in some form, contributed to your injuries. Here are four specific things that you will need to prove to recover compensation for a slip and fall accident:
- The property owner owed you a duty of care—meaning you had express or implied permission to be on the premises and that you were not trespassing at the time of the accident.
- The duty of care was breached due to the fact that there was an unreasonably dangerous safety hazard present on the property
- The safety hazard in question was the cause of your slip and fall accident.
- You suffered actual damages in the slip and fall.
It should be noted that Washington is a comparative negligence jurisdiction. Under state law (RCW 4.22.005), each party is liable for their “share of the blame” for an accident. In slip and fall accident claims, defendants and their insurance companies often try to push some of the fault onto the injured victims.
A common tactic is to try to argue that a slip and fall accident victim acted in an unsafe manner and caused their own injuries. If successful, this strategy can reduce property owner/insurance company liability. For example, if you are deemed to be 30 percent at fault for your own slip and fall accident, your financial recovery will be reduced proportionally, by 30 percent. Do not let yourself get unfairly blamed for a slip and fall—it could reduce your settlement offer by thousands of dollars.
Call Our Washington Personal Injury Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Spokane slip and fall accident lawyers have the skills and experience to help you maximize your financial compensation. We will help you prove liability and protect you from being blamed for your own injuries. For a free, completely confidential consultation, contact our law firm today. With a law office in Spokane, we represent slip and fall accident victims throughout Eastern Washington. Call the firm (509) 495-1246.
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