Personal injury cases involving an injury that was caused by an unsafe condition on or at another person’s property, whether at a store, a restaurant, or a private residence, are commonly referred to as “slip and fall cases,” or as “premises liability” cases. The term “premises liability” is a better name for these cases because many people are injured not only from slipping (for example on a spilled liquid, or on ice), but also, from falling into holes, tripping over hazards, or numerous other unsafe conditions.
The nature and the extent of the safety precautions and safety measures that a property owner must take depend in part on the legal classification of the injured person. Washington is among the states that use the old legal categories of invitee, licensee, and trespasser to determine the legal duty owed by the possessors of property to the person injured in the slip and fall accident. Invitees include customers of businesses, and people that enter property that is open to the public, for the purpose for which the property is held open. Licensees are typically social guests, or commonly, visitors at someone else’s house. Trespassers are people that enter property without the permission of the property possessor.
Invitees have the most protection under the law. A store, restaurant, or other business owes their customers a duty of reasonable care, including the obligation to inspect, discover, and warn customers of dangerous conditions, and to maintain their premises so that they are reasonably safe. Possessors of property such as homeowners are responsible to their social guests for known dangerous conditions that the reasonable guest would not discover or comprehend. Trespassers are entitled to the least amount of protection of the three categories.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, or a premises liability accident, you may be entitled to recover for your past and future medical expenses, for your lost wages, for your lost earning capacity, and for your pain and suffering. An experienced slip and fall attorney will help you identify all possibly at-fault parties, to identify all witnesses to your injury and to the unsafe condition, and, to develop a plan to prove your case. This may involve the use of specific equipment to measure the coefficient of friction, or the slip resistance of a particular space on the floor, and it may also require a thorough understanding of applicable building codes and disability regulations.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you should know that the insurance company for the possessor of the property will almost certainly blame you for your fall. You require an attorney that is familiar with these insurance tactics so that you get the compensation that you deserve. Call us now to schedule a free consultation with our slip and fall attorneys. When it comes to getting the best possible results and protecting all of your rights for you and your family, you need the experience and skill of James Sorrels. Get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
Law Offices of James S. Sorrels
The Sunset Building
23607 Highway 99, Suite 3E
Edmonds, WA 98026
Law Offices of James S. Sorrels - Seattle
3131 Western Ave., Suite 410
Seattle, WA 98121
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