What is a Slip and Fall Matter?
First, I advise people to also read the March 10, 2021, blog on this website ‘Premises Liability or Trip and Fall Incidents.'
A slip and fall injury, which is also commonly known as a trip and fall injury, is a premises liability type of injury case based on one tripping or slipping on the premises of another, and the person suffering an injury.
My law firm has represented citizens in various slip and fall cases/premise liability cases with successful results.
Liability in Washington State for a Slip and Fall Incident
In the State of Washington, a business, owner of property, or a governmental entity have duties to provide visitors of their property with the necessary standard of care based on negligence principles. If a property owner, or subcontractor in some cases, does not properly meet this standard of care they can be liable for an injured person's damages that may result from an injury.
In Washington State, if a victim is determined to have some comparative negligence at arbitration or trial, it does not necessary bar a person's claim. As an example, if one is injured in a slip and fall incident at a store, and the injured person is determined to be twenty percent (25) percent negligent, this can still potentially place seventy-five (75) percent of the negligence on the particular property owner.
The general standard of premises liability law is that an owner or property manager may have a duty to inspect and remove a potentially dangerous condition, provide warnings, and take other steps depending on the situation. A property owner can potentially be liable based on negligence whether they knew or should have known about a particular condition. This legal concept can be applicable in all sorts of slip and fall situations that may involve an apartment complex, a grocery store, a home, and other settings. A slip and fall injury can involve bad carpeting, negligent security measures, safety codes violations, unsecured stairways, wet floors, and more.
What to do when first injured in a Slip and Fall Incident
It is important to take photographs and try to get medical attention right away. A visit to a health care provider can assist an injured person with treatment and provide further documentation of an injury. Proper documentation of an injury is important. A lack of documentation can result in a claim being minimized or possibly falling apart.
If you are injured in a slip and fall incident, it is highly recommended that you or someone trustworthy near you try to obtain the potential at-fault parties' information immediately. It is important to have the name and entity of the property owner and their contact information. One reason is because it will be easier to serve the owner, in the event of a lawsuit, when the address and name of the alleged at-fault party is known beforehand. In some situations, a law enforcement division can help document and further investigate the injury incident.
I would also advise the victim in most cases to hold off on giving a statement immediately to the property owner or the owner's insurance operation. Sometimes an initial statement can be twisted, or the injured person can say something out of turn that can come back and cause some potential problems later.
Finding Insurance Coverage
Most businesses, homeowners, and government-run operations generally have some liability coverage. Sometimes it takes another source of insurance to find coverage. Some people will try to avoid talking to the lawyer representing the injured person. Nonetheless, in many situations, my firm can usually figure out ways to obtain insurance coverage for an injured person. Under the Washington state civil discovery rules, insurance policies must be revealed during the discovery phase of a lawsuit.
Many Injuries Can Occur as a Result of a Slip and Fall
Victims of such incidents can face all sorts of physical injuries, including disfigurement, back, neck, and foot injuries, and chronic pain, in addition, one can face debilitating emotional distress.
Can An Insurance Company or Plan Help the Injured Victim?
In the aftermath of a slip and fall incident, the victim will want to search for insurance. The victim will want to inquire and learn if the property owner has a Medical Payments Policy (Med-Pay), or similar no-fault policy-such policies can pay for at least some of the victim's accident-related health care billings. Another common option is health insurance, a private or public health insurance plan, or a combination of both.
Victims of slip and falls have various remedies that they can recover as a result of their injury.
In Washington State, an injured victim can recover for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, inconvenience, future treatment, and loss of earning capacity. These damages are known as general damages.
The injured victim can also recover damages that relate to their health care treatment and loss wages. These damages are known as special damages.
A family member of an injured or deceased victim of a slip and fall injury may also be able to recover for loss of support, loss of consortium, and funeral/burial costs. Wrongful death and survivorship options occur in cases that involved deceased victims where the family survivors can have potential monetary remedies.
What My Law Firm Can Do
As a personal injury attorney, I represent victims of slip and falls. I have helped obtain favorable results for victims in trip and fall injuries. It is very important for a slip and fall victim to have a lawyer who understands the importance of examining the evidence and the legal issues involved. These are not easy cases, yet my firm is aware of various issues that can come up in a slip and fall case.