Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Me if I am Injured From a Slip & Fall?
If you have been injured as a result of tripping and falling, and you feel this could have been prevented, a local personal injury attorney is going to be a huge help for you. Premises liability law indicates a property owner is responsible for any damages that come as a result of an injury on the property.
Property owners are required to make a reasonable effort to maintain a safe environment on their property for the people who reside, work, or visit there. If the owner fails to maintain and/or warn of the dangerous condition, the injured party may have a right to be compensated.
A personal injury attorney is knowledgeable in the intricacies of premises liability law, and can help you determine how to proceed with a claim. Just a small fall can cause some massive damage to your body.
- Falls account for almost one-third of all non-fatal injuries in the U.S.
- In 2018, unintentional fall injury deaths were the third leading cause of injury death overall.
- Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries – in fact, one out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury.
Requirements In a Personal Injury Slip & Fall Case
All personal injury attorneys understand that slips, trips, and falls can happen anywhere. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of having one of those clumsy moments that everyone experiences from time to time. Other times, however, the fall and resulting injuries could have easily been prevented. When you come across dangerous floors, sidewalks that are slippery or cracked, or problems within a building such as unsafe stairways, it can be easy to get hurt if we aren’t paying attention.
Premises liability cases are difficult, primarily because proving fault with evidence that will withstand scrutiny before insurance panels and/or a judge can be very hard to do. For a successful case, a personal injury attorney will:
- Prove duty of care. The key question in premises liability cases is to prove that the property owner is responsible for maintaining a standard of reasonable care for the property.
- Show breach of duty. Once it is shown that the property owner is responsible for reasonable care for the property, we must prove that reasonable care did not happen – either through carelessness or negligence.
- Prove breach of duty caused injury. This stage includes evidence showing that because the property owner failed to maintain a standard of care, you suffered an injury as a direct result.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you go through the details of the incident and determine if there is cause to move forward with your case. There are several factors that will go into determining whether the property owner has maintained the “reasonable standard of care.”
If you have been injured as a result of a slip, trip, or fall and feel it could have been prevented, call Ritchie Reiersen Law today. With compassionate personal injury attorneys serving throughout the state of Washington and Oregon, we can help you.
A free consultation will give you an opportunity to present your situation to a local personal injury attorney and ask your questions. We will give you honest feedback about your case. We strive to empower our clients to understand the law and the options that lay before them. Call us today! (888) 884-7337
Examples Of Premises Liability and Slip and Fall Law
Slip and Fall
Drowning cases are tragic and can often be avoided if the proper mechanism and guidelines are followed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional drowning was the leading cause of death for children age 1-4 in 2018. In addition, for every drowning death, another 5 children are treated in emergency departments for non-fatal submersion injuries.
Negligent drowning cases occur if the pool has an unlocked gate, an unsafe fence or if a lifeguard fails to act in a manner that could have prevented the drowning. If you or someone you know has been affected by a drowning, call the personal injury attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law at (888) 884-7337. We have offices in Portland, Kennewick, Yakima, Auburn, Tacoma, and serve the greater Seattle area
Snow, Ice and Water Accidents
Weather can create very dangerous and slippery conditions. Although a property owner cannot control the weather, they have the responsibility to keep the property reasonably safe from these dangerous conditions. Not all slip and fall cases involving snow, ice or water are able to be compensated; however, if the injury could have been avoided had the owner not been negligent, there may be a claim against that property owner.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to these conditions, call Ritchie Reiersen Personal Injury Attorneys. Together we will review the facts of the accident and determine if there may be a case to pursue. Ritchie Reiersen Personal Injury Attorneys have offices in Portland, Kennewick, Yakima, Auburn, Tacoma and serve the greater Seattle area. (888) 884-7337
If you have been injured as a result of a dangerous condition on someone else’s land or property, you may have a claim against the property owner. This slip, trip, or fall can happen in many different ways. For instance, if the floor is faulty, there are bad sidewalks, or the parking lot may be slippery or icy – these are preventable conditions that could cause you to fall. Additionally, there could be a defect or problem with the building, such as a loose floor board or an inadequate stairway railing.
If you or someone you love has been injured due to these conditions, call Ritchie Reiersen Law to review the facts of the accident with our personal injury attorneys. We can listen to your experience, answer your questions, and determine if there may be a case to pursue. Ritchie Reiersen Personal Injury Attorneys have offices in Kennewick, Yakima, Portland, Auburn, Tacoma and serve the greater Seattle area. For a free consultation, call us at (888) 884-7337.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is “premises liability”?
Premises liability law indicates a property owner is responsible for any damages that come as a result of an injury on the property. Property owners are required to make a reasonable effort to maintain a safe environment on their property for the people who reside, work, or visit there. If the owner fails to maintain and/or warn of the dangerous condition, the injured party may have a right to be compensated.
I recently tripped on a broken sidewalk and was injured. Can I sue the city for failure to maintain the sidewalks?
Cities have a responsibility to keep sidewalks in good repair. However, some states have statutes that give them immunity from compensatory lawsuits. In this situation, the injured person may have a case against the city for their injuries that came as a result of tripping on a sidewalk if they are able to show that the sidewalk was not maintained. An experienced premises liability attorney can help you determine what legal actions you have the right to take in your specific situation.
Can someone recover damages from a store where they had a slip and fall accident?
Stores have a responsibility to keep their floors reasonably safe for their customers, and should have their employees periodically check the floors for hazards. The details of each case are unique and are what will determine whether or not the injured person has a reasonable claim against the store. If there was something on the floor of the store that caused the fall, and the injured party can show that the store management had knowledge of the risk but did not address it, the person would probably have a strong case to bring against the store.
What are common causes of slip and fall injuries?
- Pavement defects/breakage
- Snow and ice accumulation
- Inadequate lighting
- Broken handrails
- Torn, raised, or worn carpeting
- Holes and depressions in the ground
- Stray electrical cords and wires
Who pays the bills related to my slip and fall injury?
Property owners, business owners, and homeowners are required to carry liability insurance in case someone is injured on their property. When you open a claim for an injury due to a slip and fall, it is the responsibility of the property owner’s insurance company to compensate you for the bills associated with the accident.
What kind of damages can I be compensated for after a slip and fall injury?
As with all injury cases, the amount you can expect to receive in compensation will depend on the severity of your injury. Compensation is typically broken up into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are fairly straightforward to determine, and can include compensation for medical bills, cost of medical equipment, expected future medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, and lost wages.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to put a value on, as this includes compensation for pain and suffering, loss of relationships, scarring and disfigurement, and so forth.
I fell on the steps at the home my friend rents. Who do I file a claim against?
Situations such as this show how complex premises liability claims can be. Property owners are responsible for making a reasonable effort to keep their property safe – so one could reasonably make a claim against the property owner.
Depending on the lease agreement, however, the person renting the property may be responsible for keeping the sidewalks and stairs free of snow and ice and other dangerous conditions. In this case, you could file a claim against the person renting the home.
A third option could be that the property owner had an agreement with a landscaping service to remove snow and ice, but that service was not provided. In that case, a claim could include the landscaping service as well.
As you can see, claims surrounding slips, trips, and falls have many nuances to them, and much of what is available as a legal option to the injured party depends on the details of their unique situation. A personal injury attorney who specializes in premises liability law can help you determine what your options are through a free consultation.
What should I do after a slip and fall accident?
- Seek medical care. If you have been hurt, it is important to see a medical provider. Not only does this help get you on the road to recovery sooner, but it provides evidence of your injury should you later decide to pursue filing a claim for your injuries.
- Report the incident. Regardless of where the slip and fall accident happened – whether it was at the store, in the neighborhood, or at a friend’s house – report the accident to the manager, owner, or landlord. Get a written report of the incident from the person you spoke to. This can be used as evidence.
- Document everything. Take pictures of the exact place you fell, as well as any ice or snow buildup or any other factors that would have added to the risk of falling. Write down every detail of the incident you can think of, including what you were doing just before the accident happened, how you fell, how you landed, and what injuries you have. Include the date, time, and any contributing factors.
- Don’t give statements. Remain calm, and don’t accept – or dish out – fault for the accident. Limit your conversation with the manager or property owner, and don’t give a statement to the insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer. Do not post details of your accident on social media.
- Call an experienced attorney. When you are considering legal action against the property owner or manager, your best course of action will include having an attorney on your side. Premises liability law can be complex and confusing – having an attorney who specializes in this area of law will help the process go smoother and you are much more likely to find success in your claim.
What are the most common injuries from a slip/trip and fall accident?
- Back, neck, and spine injuries
- Broken pelvis or hip
- Head injuries
- Fractured bones
Should I accept a cash settlement offer from the insurance adjuster?
No. The purpose of an insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company money. It may be tempting to accept their offer of a cash settlement when you’ve been injured and you know the medical bills will start piling up quickly. Accepting an offer early in the claims process usually means your injuries are being undervalued and you will most likely end up not having all of your expenses fully covered.
At Ritchie Reiersen Law, we recommend that our clients don’t even begin to consider accepting a settlement offer until they have completed their medical treatment. This typically takes somewhere between 3 and 12 months. Once the medical care is completed, it will be much easier to determine what a truly fair settlement will be.
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