A slip and fall accident can occur seemingly out of nowhere and change your life instantly. In certain situations, the injuries you receive from this type of incident can be significant and require extensive medical care. For many individuals, these accidents are entirely preventable and happen because of a careless property owner or manager. A qualified personal injury attorney from Ritchie Reiersen Law is here to help.
If this has happened to you, the court could hold negligent parties accountable for your damages. After suffering losses because of a negligent property owner, contact a Tacoma slip and fall lawyer to go over your legal options.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
The most frequent cause of slip, trip, and fall accidents is wet and icy floors, but some of the other common reasons include:
- Defective sidewalks
- Freshly waxed surfaces
- Loose mats and floorboards
- Worn-out or frayed carpeting
- Parking lots with damage and potholes
- Defective handrails
- Poorly constructed staircases
No matter what caused your accident, a Tacoma slip and fall attorney could quickly gather evidence of the negligence and help someone determine their best avenue for recourse.
Holding the Liable Party Accountable
There are several types of defendants that a court could hold accountable for tripping accidents. A lawyer could help someone identify these parties if it is not immediately obvious.
Residential Property Owners
Residential property owners must check for hazards around their homes to ensure visitors do not sustain injuries while on the property.
State legislation requires that business owners adequately maintain the premises and regularly check for new potential hazards.
Property managers must ensure the property is safe for residents and guests that enter the premises. As with owners, a court could hold property managers liable for losses suffered due to their negligence.
Establishing Negligence and Liability in a Slip and Fall Case
To establish negligence in a slip and fall case, the plaintiff must prove four elements. These elements include:
Breached Duty of Care
Everyone in a community must behave reasonably and safely to ensure they do not cause injuries to people around them. For property liability claims, the owner or manager must keep their property safe for any visitors who enter the property.
A breach of duty of care happens in slip and fall claims when the person responsible for maintaining the property fails to regularly check for and repair any hazards.
Injuries That Lead to Damages
The plaintiff must show the court that the defendant’s breach of duty of care was the direct cause of the accident and the reason for the injuries.
The injured party must prove to the court that the injuries resulted in identifiable and compensable losses. This means proving that the injury led to expensive medical care, or that it caused them to miss work and lose out on income.
Comparative Negligence Statute
This state follows the comparative negligence rule. Per Revised Code of Washington § 4.22.005, if a court finds the plaintiff in a slip and fall claim is partly responsible for the injury, they can still collect compensation for damages. This means that the court would subtract the percentage of fault from the award amount.
For example, if the total award amount is $100,000 and the court finds that the plaintiff was 10 percent liable, the final amount of compensation would be $90,000. A skilled slip and fall attorney in Tacoma could answer questions on this statute and help calculate a potential award amount under the comparative negligence rule.
Schedule a Consultation with a Tacoma Slip and Fall Attorney
If you sustained injuries on another person’s property in a slip and fall accident, you might have cause to hold them financially responsible. Property owners must check their property regularly and fix any potential hazards immediately, risking negligence if they do not.
If a careless property owner was the reason for your accident, contact a Tacoma slip and fall lawyer to begin working on your civil claim.