The moment a place of business opens its door to customers, they take on a responsibility to keep those customers and other lawful visitors reasonably safe from harm. Accordingly, if you got hurt on someone else’s private property due to a slipping or tripping accident, you may have grounds to demand a settlement or file suit against them for all of your ensuing losses.
However, since slip and fall cases fall under the purview of premises liability law, they can be a little more complicated than other types of personal injury claims, especially if you try to pursue yours without guidance from a seasoned Bellevue slip and fall lawyer. A personal injury lawyer with experience handling this unique type of situation could provide the tenacious support you may need to achieve a favorable outcome to your claim.
It is important to note that just because an accident occurs on private property does not mean the property’s owner or occupier is automatically liable to pay for damages. In order to successfully pursue litigation for a slip or trip and fall, an injured party must be able to prove that a property owner or occupier was negligent in some way, which first requires them to prove that said owner or occupier violated a duty of care.
Property owners in the State of Washington owe slightly different “duties of care” to visitors depending on why those visitors were on their land. Generally, property owners must inspect their land for hazards, repair whatever hazards they find within a reasonable amount of time, and warn lawful visitors—like store customers—about known hazards while they still exist. If their failure to do any of those things directly leads to a customer getting hurt in a slip and fall, they may bear liability for that customer’s damages.
However, visitors to private property also have a responsibility to be aware of their surroundings, follow posted rules if applicable, and avoid obviously dangerous hazards. A slip and fall victim who is found partially responsible for their own injuries may not be able to recover for the full value of their losses, thanks to the pure comparative fault system codified in Revised Code of Washington §4.22.005.
If a person injured in a trip and fall accident can successfully prove a property owner at fault for that incident, they can demand financial restitution from that negligent party for every form of harm they sustained due to their injuries. Recoverable damages in a typical claim may include but are not limited to:
However, if the injured party fails to file suit within three years of discovering their injuries will be barred from recovery, as per RCW §4.16.080. Working with a skilled trip and fall lawyer in Bellevue is often crucial to building a comprehensive and compelling claim within the time limits set by state law.
Slipping and tripping accidents can cause serious and lasting harm, even if the resulting fall was only a few feet. Fortunately, if you sustained an injury that required professional medical care because of dangerous conditions on someone else’s land, you could potentially seek financial compensation from them for all the harm you suffered due to their misconduct.
A Bellevue slip and fall lawyer could discuss your situation and go over your options for civil recovery during a private consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.