Proving liability in a slip and fall claim can be challenging and time consuming. A personal injury lawyer gathers evidence and interviews key witnesses to build a case. They handle pre-trial litigation and go to trial if necessary. Injured parties who hire a slip and fall attorney typically see settlements several times bigger than what they could negotiate on their own. The best part is that personal injury lawyers in WA State work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you only pay a percentage of your settlement.
Social host liability allows social guests to recover from their hosts depending on how the injuries occurred. A homeowner or social host has a duty to repair any unsafe situations on their property or to warn guests about dangerous conditions. In cases where the danger was blatantly obvious or there was a fence or sign trying to keep guests out, it could be extremely difficult to recover.
Like with social hosts, organizations or businesses have an obligation to keep their spaces free of hazards or to warn patrons about hazards. For example, if a person slips and falls on a wet floor that had no “wet floor” sign present then they may have a claim.
Note that business owners are not generally required by law to remove snow or ice that has accumulated outside of their building but if they choose to do so they must not do it negligently.
If it can be proved that a business owner or employee knew about a hazard and did nothing about it or failed to warn customers about the danger then they may have breached their duty. For example, if an employee was notified about a hazard and did nothing to resolve it they could be found negligent.
In some cases, a slip and fall case can be made against a business owner based on the fact that they were in violation of a statute or building code. For example, when a building code dictates the height of a deck railing and a business owner’s railing is too short and causes someone to trip and fall over it then they could be held liable for damages.
In most cases the law will say a property owner “should have known” about a dangerous condition when it existed for a certain amount of time; it says that a reasonably careful person, under similar circumstances, would have discovered it. For example, if a floor tile has been loose and protruding for months and a person slips and falls on that loose tile then it could be shown that a reasonable business owner or employee would have discovered and fixed the hazard in that amount of time.
While the city does have a duty to keep their roads and walkways in reasonable repair, it can be tricky to sue a government entity for personal injury. Often there are strict deadlines and requirements; it is best to seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer who understands the slip and fall laws in your city and state.
Depending on the circumstances, there are many different people or organizations that may be held liable in a slip and fall case:
We look forward to answering all of your questions and speaking with you about your legal needs. When you call our office or send us a message through our consultation request form we will provide a FREE initial consultation and case evaluation. Our attorneys offer home and hospital visits with evening and weekend appointments available.