Property owners or business owners owe a duty to maintain the property for safety purposes in Washington State. Inadequately doing so can result in compensable damages. If you have been injured, you may be entitled to file a claim, but the insurance company and even the property owner may fight the allegations to minimize or avoid paying you.
At Law Offices of Paul L. Schneiderman, our premises liability attorney in Seattle handles these types of cases. It is our mission to get maximum compensation for the harm you suffered. Contact us today at 206-464-1952 to schedule a Free Consultation.
Premises Liability & Inadequate Maintenance in Washington State
Premises liability is a legal principle that says owners and occupiers can be held liable for accidents or injuries that occur on their property. Inadequate maintenance is a type of premises liability claim that applies to situations where a person is injured as a result of a property owner's failure to keep their property in good repair.
Property owners owe a duty of care to people who enter their property and must take steps to maintain it in a safe condition or warn visitors of any hazards. If they fail or are negligent in doing so and a person is injured as a result, the owner may be held liable.
To establish an inadequate maintenance case, a plaintiff (the injured party) usually must show that the owner or occupier knew or should have known the hazard existed and failed to fix it or adequately warn of it. The plaintiff also usually needs to show that they wouldn't have been injured if the hazard had been fixed.
In an inadequate maintenance case, a plaintiff can sue for compensatory damages, including medical expenses and lost income, as well as pain and suffering.
Examples of Inadequate Maintenance in Seattle
Some examples of inadequate maintenance include:
- Broken locks and fixtures
- Loose roof tiles
- Poor lighting
- Broken windows and doors
- Exposed wires
- Rotting stairs or floorboards
- Large display shelves that haven't been fixed to the wall
- Fallen merchandise
If a visitor to a private or business premises is injured as a result of one of these issues, they may have a premises liability claim against the property owner.
Fault and Inadequate Maintenance in Washington State
Personal injury law, and therefore liability for inadequate maintenance, varies between states and will depend on the specific facts of a case.
Generally, both individual and business owners may be liable for inadequate maintenance. In many situations, tenants may also be liable. Similarly, a condo or homeowners' association can be liable for injuries sustained in common areas, where they knew or should have known about the hazard, or they created it.
In some limited circumstances, an owner may be able to show that a third person, such as a contractor, or the plaintiff was partially or wholly responsible for the injury. A plaintiff may be partially responsible for their injury where they failed to exercise reasonable care for their own safety.
In some states, the plaintiff's status is also relevant when assessing liability. For example, many states limit the circumstances in which an owner owes a duty of care to trespassers.
Contact a Premises Liability Attorney for Inadequate Maintenance in Seattle Today
If you've been injured as a result of a hazard on someone else's property, it's a good idea to speak to a premises liability attorney. The law around inadequate maintenance can be complex, especially in terms of whether or not a duty of care exists and who is liable in the circumstances.
A premises liability attorney can review your case and advise you whether you have any grounds to sue the property owner to recover damages on your behalf. Call Law Offices of Paul L. Schneiderman today at 206-464-1952 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a Free Consultation. We are here to help!