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Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Washington

by on May 24, 2014 » Add the first comment.

If you or someone you love was harmed after slipping on a wet floor, icy sidewalk or tripping on a broken stair at an apartment building, retail establishment, restaurant or other public place, you may have valid grounds for seeking compensation in a slip and fall lawsuit in Washington. The Seattle premises liability attorneys at Wattel & York have the knowledge and legal expertise to review your situation and determine whether you have a legitimate claim for monetary damages.

Our team of Seattle slip and fall lawyers has successfully handled numerous premises liability claims arising from unsafe and hazardous grounds that were negligently maintained. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding your injury, a case may be resolved in a matter of months with an insurance settlement, or go before a jury.

Your best chances of obtaining full and fair compensation, however, hinge on partnering with an experienced personal injury firm that has the resources and skill to build a strong case and ensure justice is served.

Common slip and fall accidents

Property owners and landlords have a duty to keep their premises free of hazards and safe for guests, invitees and patrons. This entails keeping grounds clear of slippery surfaces, uneven pavement and other dangerous conditions that can lead to a slip and fall accident.

Unfortunately, some Seattle area businesses and operators fail to uphold this responsibility, leaving residents exposed to potential injury.

Slip, trip and fall claims commonly stem from:

  • Loose floorboards
  • Wet or icy pavement
  • Cracked or broken sidewalks
  • Broken stairs
  • Missing handrails
  • Poorly constructed stairwells
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Recently waxed or mopped floors

We know from experience that trips, slips and falls can cause victims to suffer catastrophic injuries, or permanent disability. Torn ligaments, herniated discs, spinal cord trauma and broken hips often entail prolonged hospital stays, expensive medical treatment and ongoing care.

Legal responsibility of businesses and property owners

Liability isn’t always placed on the property owner just because one is injured by a slip and fall on their premises. Negligence must be proven in order to pursue compensation, which is why it’s essential to have attorneys who understand premises liability law.

When evaluating a potential lawsuit, we look at the following factors:

  • Was a warning sign posted to help prevent guests from slipping on a wet or uneven surface?
  • Did poor maintenance contribute to your accident and injury?
  • Was the hazardous condition present long enough that a “reasonable” business owner should have known of the situation and fixed it?
  • Did the landlord or owner have a regular maintenance schedule to address and repair potentially unsafe conditions?
  • Did the owner fail to repair broken steps, faulty lighting or clean up a recent spill in a timely manner, thus avoiding potential injury?

After investigating, if it is found that a property owner failed to act with due care to address a hazardous condition or obstacle that they caused or should have known about, victims may be entitled to financial reparations.

Successful litigation can recoup damages for related medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering, reduced earning capacity and other non-economic losses.

The timeline for the entire process will vary from case to case, but generally includes:

  • Filing a premises liability lawsuit
  • Discovery phase
  • Pre-trial motions
  • Possible settlement negotiations
  • Trial by jury if no settlement is reached

Seattle slip and fall lawyers

Contact Wattel & York, Attorneys At Law if you were injured by a slip and fall in Seattle, Tacoma or the greater metro area and are contemplating legal action. Our personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation that you need and deserve. Call our offices toll free at 877-333-9545 to arrange your no-cost consultation.

Resources:

  1. National Safety Council, Protecting Ourselves from Slips, Trips and Falls, http://www.nsc.org/safety_home/Resources/Pages/Falls.aspx
  2. CDC, Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview, http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

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