Slips & Fall Lawyer in Kent, WA
When It Matters Most, We’ll Be There for You
Slip and fall accidents aren’t restricted to banana peels or comedy shows. It is estimated that each year approximately three million people visit emergency rooms due to slip and fall related accidents.
These accidents can often result in time off from work and unexpected medical bills resulting from:
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact Dore Law Group, PLLC today to discover your legal options. Having been representing injured clients throughout Washington since 1994, our Kent slip and fall attorney can deliver the strong legal representation you need in your pursuit of compensation.
Slips & Falls Can Be Especially Deadly for the Elderly
Slips and falls can be especially devastating and deadly for the elderly, as those who are older may not be physically able to recover from injuries as those who are younger and in better health. Slips and fall injuries thus may be the start of an unfortunate chain of events, including hospitalization, complications therefrom, and even long-term nursing care. Death can sometimes be a tragic result.
Injuries Happen – We Help
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere and often occur due to dangerous conditions or hazards that are present. It is not uncommon for falls to occur from a wet surface at the grocery store, or trips over uneven pavement.
Slip and falls are often caused by:
- Loose floorboards
- Cluttered floors
- Uneven flooring
- Torn or snagged carpeting
- Recently mopped or waxed floors
- Spilled liquids
- Poor lighting that conceals hazards
- Missing handrails
The Applicable Legal Standard
Generally, owners have a legal duty to ensure that their property is safe. If they fail in this regard, they may be legally liable for the damages sustained.
At the heart of slip and fall cases is often the question of whether the property where the fall occurred was “safe.” Just because a person sustains a slip and fall injury, does not automatically make the property owner liable. It must be shown that the property owner was negligent in not making the property safe.
To prove negligence in a slip and fall case, you generally must be able to show one of the following:
- A property owner or his or her agent should have recognized a dangerous condition on the property and removed or repaired the danger, but failed to do so.
- A property owner or his or her agent actually caused the dangerous condition leading to the slip and fall accident.
Another critical aspect of a slip and fall claim or lawsuit is to anticipate and defend against the argument that the injured person's own carelessness contributed to the accident. At Dore Law Group, we carefully investigate each slip and fall accident to determine the conditions that caused the accident and to identify who is at fault. We have successfully recovered fair and just compensation for our clients for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitation costs and other damages resulting from personal injuries.
What Type of Visitor Were You?
Property owners of all types owe a duty of care to visitors. With that being said, this level of care varies legally depending on the type of visitor you were. Visitors are categorized as invitees, licensees, or trespassers.
- Invitees: An invitee is someone who was invited onto a property to conduct business or otherwise provide some sort of material benefit to the property owner, such as a customer in a store, a plumber hired to do work in your house, or a restaurant patron. Property owners owe invitees the highest duty of care and must keep their property in a reasonably safe condition, regularly inspect for hazards, and either fix these hazards or make their presence known to invitees with proper signs.
- Licensees: Licensees are people who visit a property through the owner's implied consent, but do not necessarily provide any material benefit. Social guests are the most common examples of licensees. Property owners must take action to make their property safe or warn licensees of any hazardous conditions, though this duty of care is less than those of an invitee.
- Trespassers: Trespassers are individuals who are on a property without permission. Property owners in Washington do not owe any formal duty of care to trespassers, though it is illegal to deliberately harm a trespasser with intentional hazards.
- Children: Property owners owe a special duty of care to children, even if they are trespassing. This duty of care involves keeping the property reasonably safe and free from attractive nuisances such as unsecured swimming pools, abandoned cars, or other hazards that a child's curiosity may cause them to explore.
What to Do If You Have Fallen
Many people do not report slip and fall accidents because they feel that they should have been more careful or that they were partially to blame for their own injuries. Do not assume this is the case, especially if a dangerous condition contributed to your fall. Regardless of the details, it is important to have a plan in place and take certain steps to protect your health and interests after a fall.
- Seek medical treatment immediately and follow your doctor's instructions closely. Follow through with any recommended medical care and attend all follow-up appointments.
- If you can, take photographs of the dangerous condition that caused your fall and the surrounding area for future reference.
- Report the condition to the owner of the property where you fell. If you fell at a business or on public property, make sure an incident report is created.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses to your fall or individuals who can attest to the presence of the dangerous condition that caused your fall.
- Keep detailed records of all expenses related to your injuries as well as how your injuries impact your day-to-day life during your recovery, such as pain levels, difficulty doing certain tasks, etc.
- Do not make any written statements or sign any release forms given to you by an insurance company without first consulting an attorney.
Time Limits for Slip & Fall Lawsuits in Washington
It is important to keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time to take legal action after a slip and fall injury in Kent, WA. Under Revised Code of Washington section 4.16.080, nearly all types of personal injury claims (including those related to slips, trips, and falls) are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. This means that you have until the third anniversary of your injury to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you do not file a claim within this allotted time, you will essentially lose your ability to sue and will be unable to recover compensation for your losses.
Call Us Today If You or a Loved One Has Been Injured in a Slip & Fall Accident
We offer a free initial consultation so that we may learn about your case, and there is no obligation to use us. There is no fee for our services unless we recover compensation and damages for you.
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