Slips and falls are a common source of personal injuries in Federal Way. Unfortunately, the simple fact that a fall occurs on land that is the property of another does not guarantee success in a claim for compensation. Instead, injured people must be able to prove that they had permission to be on the land and that the owner’s actions violated their duties under the law.
A Federal Way slip and fall lawyer may be able to help people who have suffered harm because of the failures of landowners. This includes establishing a person’s right to be on the land, investigating the actions or failures to act of landowners, and measuring how the fall has affected a person’s life. Ideally, most claims will end with a fair settlement without needing to go to court.
As a general rule, landowners are free to do what they wish with their property. However, if an owner invites another person onto their land, they owe those visitors protection from harm. State law separates visitors to land into three categories. Determining an injured person’s status under these categories is the first step in a claim for compensation.
Trespassers are people who enter or remain on land without the owner’s permission. Owners have no duty to protect these people from accidental harm. However, claims for compensation may still be possible if the owner intentionally caused harm, such as by setting a trap.
Social guests are people who enter land for their own benefit, such as to attend a birthday party. Here, the owner must warn visitors about known dangerous conditions. Additionally, landowners have an obligation to inspect their land for potential hazards.
Finally, business invitees enjoy the greatest protection under the law. These people enter land for the benefit of the owner. Landowners who invite invitees onto their land must exercise ordinary care to provide protection. As a result, whether a landowner is liable for an injury is often a question for a jury in an invitee injury case. A Federal Way slip and fall attorney could provide more information concerning an injured person’s protections under the law.
A landowner who is responsible for an injury that occurs on their property has the obligation under the law to compensate a victim. However, the extent of this obligation depends on a person’s physical injuries and other losses. Physical injuries comprise the core of a claim. Common examples include broken bones, concussions, head trauma, and sprains.
However, a complete claim will evaluate the total effect of the incident on a person’s life. The fall may force a person to miss time at work. If this is the case, a party may demand reimbursement for lost wages. Additionally, some claims demand payments for lost quality of life due to pain, suffering, emotional trauma, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Every person’s experience after a fall is unique, and a Federal Way slip and fall attorney could craft demand packages that reflect this fact.
Finally, a lawyer could work to ensure that a case proceeds on time. The Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080 states that people who suffer a personal injury have three years from the date of the incident to demand payment. Contact an attorney today to help meet this vital deadline.
Landowners who invite guests onto their property assume a duty of protection. However, this duty is not the same for every guest. Depending on a person’s reason for entering the property, this protection will vary in intensity. Confusion over this concept can result in unrepresented plaintiffs losing significant value in their claims for compensation.
A Federal Way slip and fall lawyer is here to help pursue cases for their full value. An attorney can work to investigate the incident, determine a person’s rights under the law, and demand compensation that fits an individual’s specific needs.