Seattle Slip and Fall Attorney (“Premises Liability”)
What Is a Premises Liability Claim?
Property owners can be held responsible for ensuring safe environments and providing proper warnings about hidden hazards or unsafe conditions. If you are injured while on the property of another person or company, you may have recourse and have the ability to seek compensation for your losses. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured and think you may have a premises liability claim, you should consider hiring an experience personal injury attorney who knows how to evaluate and handle a premises liability claim and protect your interest. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Seattle Slip and Fall attorney who handles premises liability claims, please contact me.
Merely because you are injured while on another person’s property does not necessarily mean that you have a premises liability claim. Evaluating whether a claim exists can be complicated and require extensive legal research to determine whether the property owner can be held accountable for your injuries.
Premises Liability Claims in Washington State.
If a person is injured on the property owned by another, a court may impose liability on the property owner (or in some cases a tenant who has possession and control over the property) where: (1) the property owner owed the injured person a duty of care; and (2) the property owner breached that duty of care. Whether the property owner owed the injured person a duty of care, as well as the extent and nature of care owed (for example in some situations a mere warning sign may be sufficient to avoid liability for a dangerous condition), depends on the relationship between the parties.
I Was Injured While on Someone Else’s Property: Do I have a Claim for Premises Liability?
When determining whether the owner of the property may be liable for your personal injuries while you were a visitor on their property, several factors are taken in to consideration by Washington state courts. One key factor is what is known as your “status” while on the property. Status is generally broken down into four categories, and each receives different levels of protection according to Washington state premises liability law. A visitor is usually evaluated as being in one of the following categories: invitee, social guest, licensee, or trespasser. The duty owed by the land owner (or tenant in some circumstances) to a visitor typically varies depending on the visitor’s status on the property. For example, a property owner generally owes the least amount of care to a trespasser, while a social guest injured under the same circumstances may have a valid premises liability claim. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Seattle Slip and Fall Attorney who handles premises liability claims, please contact me.
What Else Do I Need to Know in Order to Determine Whether I Have a Premises Liability Claim for Personal Injuries?
Whether or not the owner or tenant has made a reasonable effort to provide for the safety of visitors can affect whether or not you have a claim. If the owner has taken reasonable steps to repair and/or warn of the condition, then there may not be liability – even when someone is seriously injured. Another important consideration is whether or not the owner knew, or should have known, that an unsafe condition existed and then failed to reasonably or promptly remedy the situation. Additionally, whether the condition was readily apparent versus hidden, concealed or not easily observable to the naked eye, will play a role in determining whether the owner is liable, in whole or in part, for your personal injuries. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced Seattle Slip and Fall attorney who handles premises liability claims, please contact me.
If you or a loved one believe you may have a premises liability claim, you should take action promptly. This is true for several reasons: evidence of the condition may change over time, witnesses may be hard to locate and will have difficulty remembering specifics the more time passes. Moreover, there are statutes of limitation that limit the time you have to file a claim after an injury has occurred. If you have reason to believe the negligence of a property owner has caused or contributed to your personal injury, then speaking to an experienced Slip and Fall attorney should be a high priority.