Issaquah Slip & Fall Attorney
Some of the most common types of injuries sustained by the busy people of Washington are slips/trips and falls. These kinds of accidents fall under the legal area of premises liability, meaning that people are responsible for making sure their property is safe for others. A slip or trip and fall could cause a minor injury that is painful enough but will heal on its own with rest, ice and pain relievers. Other times, a slip/trip and fall accident can fracture a wrist or break a hip, break bones in the back that pinch or cut a nerve, or cause a traumatic brain injury.
A slip/trip and fall can be fatal as well. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls are the leading cause of hospital emergency room visits each year, accounting for eight million trips to the ER annually. They also make up 11% of job-related fatalities for men and five percent for women. Thousands of persons over age 65 die in a fall every year, many as a result of a hip fracture sustained in the fall. Falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death for people aged 65-84 and the leading cause of injury-related death for those aged 85 or older.
Property owners in Washington have a duty to their customers, guests, and members of the public who might enter their premises. They have a duty to provide a safe environment and to fix dangers or put out a warning about temporary hazards like wet floors. When people get hurt because property owners don’t keep their premises reasonably safe, the injury attorneys at Injury Law Group NW work to hold them accountable for the damage they have caused. We know how painful, traumatic and disabling a slip/trip and fall can be, and we fight to see that you get the medical care and compensation you need and deserve after being injured because of a property owner’s negligence. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip/trip and fall accident in Bellevue, Renton, or other communities in King County, call ILG for a free consultation with our Issaquah slip & fall attorney.
How ILG Can Help After a Slip/Trip and Fall Accident in Washington
Slip/trip and fall accidents might not seem very complex compared to a car or truck accident, a scaffold collapse at a construction site, or a doctor’s surgical mistake, but slip/trip and fall accident claims can actually be very difficult to prove against a negligent property owner. First of all, there is the hurdle of proving that the property owner acted negligently or unreasonably in regard to the dangerous condition. Usually this requires proving that the owner had actual or constructive notice of the hazard and failed to fix it or put up a warning to keep someone from slipping/tripping and falling on it. “Actual notice” requires proving the owner (or employees) actually knew about the condition but did nothing about it. “Constructive notice” means proving the hazard was present for long enough that the owner should have known about it. For instance, if the danger comes from a liquid somebody spilled on the floor, how long should it be there before an employee is aware of it and either cleans it up or puts up a safety cone or wet floor sign? The answer can depend on all of the facts and differ from case to case.
Recently, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that actual or constructive notice is not always required for businesses where the existence of the unsafe condition is reasonably foreseeable. This exception previously only applied to “self-service” areas of a business, but the court in Johnson v. State applied the exception outside the context of self-service areas. This case might make some slip/trip and fall cases easier to prove against negligent property owners than they were in the past. Our experienced injury lawyers stay on top of legal developments like these to provide able representation to injury victims in Issaquah.
In addition to proving the property owner’s liability, there is also the question of the plaintiff’s fault. Defendants and their insurance companies will often argue that the dangerous condition was so obvious that the injury victim should have seen it and avoided it. They might claim you weren’t watching where you were going, or that you were wearing the wrong kind of shoes for the activity, which led to the fall. We have to prove not only that the property owner was unreasonable in the way they maintained the premises but also that you didn’t do anything wrong that led to the accident. A plaintiff’s portion of fault will reduce their recovery; our goal is to make sure you get the full amount of compensation that is due to you and that you are not unfairly dubbed negligent for an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Finally, property owners and insurance companies will do their best to downplay the serious nature of your injuries. Slip/trip and fall injuries often involve muscle sprains and strains that can be painful and debilitating but don’t show up on x-rays, so the insurance company will argue they don’t exist or aren’t as serious as you say. Even when a slip/trip and fall causes a visible injury such as a fracture or herniated disc, the defendants will say a degenerative disease is behind it. Fighting back against these excuses requires skill and knowledge of both medical and legal issues in personal injury law, but our firm has the level of knowledge and skill needed based on our years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in slip/trip and fall injury cases.
Help Is Available After a Slip/Trip and Fall Accident in Washington
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip/trip and fall accident in Issaquah or surrounding areas, call Injury Law Group NW for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout King County in Bellevue, Renton, Redmond, Sammamish, Seattle and more, and we’ll fight to get you results and make sure you are well taken care of after a slip/trip and fall on dangerous public or private property.