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Understanding Slip and Fall Accidents

Zanes Law is a personal injury law firm with offices in Seattle, WA and Tucson & Phoenix, AZ. As Seattle slip and fall attorneys we see people injured in falls on a daily basis. A slip and fall accident is considered a type of premises liability accident. It is when a person falls and receives an injury due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. The laws of negligence govern slip and fall cases. Some of the causes of slip and fall accidents include cracked sidewalks, spilled food or liquids, ice and snow, objects on stairs, uneven steps, broken floor tiles, potholes, and dim lighting.

Proving Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

A slip and fall incident will require you to show negligence, meaning that you have to prove the defendant did not act reasonably in the given circumstances. For example, if an employee fails to put out a warning sign near a recently mopped area and a customer slips and is seriously injured, then the customer can hold the employee liable. When you hire the Seattle slip and fall attorneys at Zanes Law, we will get this done.

Negligence is determined based on what the defendant knew about the dangerous condition. The process of finding out how much the defendant knew is called discovery. During discovery, the defendant must hand over repair logs, maintenance records, surveillance footage, and any other relevant information. The plaintiff can also gather information through depositions, which are interviews conducted under oath.

To show negligence, you must prove any of the following conditions:

  • The owner of the property or the employees caused the dangerous circumstances.
  • Employees or the owner of the property knew about the dangerous conditions but did nothing.
  • Either the owner or the employees must have been aware of the dangerous conditions because any reasonable person in charge of the property would have noted the situation and taken steps to make it safe.

Reasonableness

When proving the liability of a property owner for your injuries in a slip and fall incident, you need to show the extent of the reasonableness of the owner’s actions. Your goal is to show that he or she acted unreasonably.

To demonstrate that the property owner acted unreasonably, you need to ask yourself:

  • How long had the hazardous conditions been present?
  • What kinds of cleaning and maintenance activities does the owner engage in?
  • If your slip and fall involved tripping over an object on the floor, was there a legitimate reason for the object to be there?

Comparative Negligence in Slip and Fall Accidents

Many states follow the concept of comparative negligence when determining liability in slip and fall accidents. If you contributed to your own accident, your damage award is lessened by the percentage that you were at fault. For example, if the court awards you damages worth $200,000, and you were 30% at fault for the accident, you will receive $140,000 in damages.

You need to ask yourself some questions in order to determine your level of negligence in a slip and fall incident. Some of these questions include:

  • Did you have a reason for being on the owner’s premises when the incident occurred? Should the owner have anticipated that you would be there?
  • Would a reasonable person have noticed and prevented the dangerous conditions?
  • Did the owner of the property erect a warning or a barrier near the dangerous conditions that caused the accident?
  • Were you involved in any activities that led to the slip and fall accident? For example, were you running along the edge of a pool? Were you skipping, jumping, or texting while walking before you slipped and fell?

Difference Between Premises Liability & Slip And Falls

How is a premises liability claim different from a slip and fall claim? This is an important distinction. In actuality, a slip and fall claim is one of the many types on premises liability claims. Therefore, a lawsuit for a premises liability accident holds a property owner responsible for any injuries on their property that arise from the owner’s negligence. Legally, the owner must maintain a safe environment for his guests. A failure to do this is what creates the owners “premises liability.” A visitor injured in one of the following ways can lead to the property owner being held responsible under the state’s premises liability laws.

  • Dog Bites and Animal Attacks
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Dangerous Conditions on the Property
  • Failure to Provide Adequate Security
  • Swimming Pool Accidents & Drownings
  • Negligent Maintainance of Something on the Property

Can Anyone Hurt Recover From A Property Owner?

The answer to this questions is no. A property owner is not merely responsible because the injuries happened on his property. For example, a trespasser typically can’t recover on a premises liability claim because he should not have been on the premises. The injured party needs to be an invitee to recover. An invitee is someone invited to the property or business for a commercial purpose. Also, a licensee or social guest is on the property at the owner’s invitation and can recover on a premises liability claim. Under both circumstances, the owner implies that the property will be safe and free from hazards.

The law requires an owner to inspect their property and to look for dangerous conditions. They must then either fix these hazardous conditions or, at the very least, put up warning signs so that their visitors are not injured. Any owner who fails in this regard is responsible for any injuries under a premises liability claim.

Why You Need the Seattle Slip and Fall Attorneys at Zanes Law

It is usually hard to prove that the defendant is at fault in a slip and fall accident. Also, insurers rarely acknowledge the liability of unrepresented persons. Therefore, the first job of the Seattle slip and fall attorneys at Zanes Law is to catch the attention of the insurance company and the defendant.

Often, the victims of slip and fall accidents are short on the resources they need to prove liability, so they have no solid ground for claiming damages. Your Seattle slip and fall attorneys at Zanes Law have the resources needed to carry out an investigation and to obtain proof of the defendant’s liability. By utilizing medical records and our knowledge of the law, our lawyers will be able to provide a strong basis for you to receive damages. Some of the damages your lawyers are likely to secure for you include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, temporary disability, and pain and suffering.

The Takeaway

If you are in a slip and fall accident, hire the Zanes Law Seattle slip and fall attorneys to help you file a suit and claim damages. When proving fault, you will need to show the negligence of the defendant. If you are partly to blame for the accident, your share of blame will reduce the amount you receive in damages. To improve your chance of getting a better result for your slip and fall lawsuit, let the legal team at Zanes Law take on your case.

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    After I was hit by a drunk driver last year, Zanes Law handled my case and my experience was a positive one. Even though the guy was never given a sobriety test (due to a lot of inconvenient and frustrating circumstances including police incompetence and other thin

    Kayley Self Personal Injury
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    Good people to work with.

    Greg King Personal Injury
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    I never though of myself as a person that would ever file a lawsuit, but sometimes you have to do what you don't want to do to get what you need/deserve this was one of those times i didn't know a thing about the process they we very helpful in answering all of my

    Nate Ash Showers Personal Injury

Practice Areas

Seattle Law Office
Zanes Law

1100 Dexter Avenue North, Suite 100
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 207-2000

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