Thousands of Washingtonians are injured in premises liability accidents each year. Most premises liability injuries are sustained when someone falls while on someone else’s property. Typically, these injuries are called “slip and fall” or “trip and fall” injuries, two terms that help describe how the injury occurred. You have a reasonable expectation when you enter the doors of a business or walk onto someone else’s property that your safety is not unreasonably in peril. When property owners neglect their duties to provide the legal safety standards required, then you can hold them accountable for the losses you experience from any injuries sustained. Talk to our Auburn premises liability accident right away following your injury on someone else’s property.
When you walk into a public place of business, you are defined under the law as a business invitee. By being open to the public, the business is inviting you to enter the property for its own benefit—to make money. Whether you’re shopping at a local grocery store or department store, having your hair done at the salon, or picking up your dry cleaning, you were invited to be there because the business is open to one and all. Because of this, the business owner has a duty to maintain the premises in a safe condition that is absent any hazards and perils that are not known to you.
Under premises liability laws, the business owner and his employees are required to take all necessary measures to circumvent any injuries to business invitees. This includes correcting all problems that create unsafe conditions, including all conditions that the business owner knows about or should have known about. When they don’t correct problems or maintain the business as required, then the basis for liability is formed. So if you trip over a rug in the lobby of a theater or slip on spilled milk in the grocery aisle, someone may be held accountable.
The same is true of residential homes if you are an invited guest. For instance, if someone invites you to swim in their backyard pool, and you fall down the steps of the deck due to a broken step, you can hold the owner of the backyard pool accountable for injuries and losses that result.
There are several elements that must be true for a premises liability claim to hold up to liability tests. First, the owner of the property has to owe you a duty of care—you have to be legally entitled to be on the property. The property owner must breach that duty, and the result must cause you to incur an injury that is significant enough to warrant the award of damages. Although there is an exception for trespassers, most people who enter most properties are owed this duty of care.
Most cases of premises liability are not slam dunks. There are nuances of the law that only an expert in the premises liability niche understands fully. For this reason, it is important to discuss your case with our Auburn premises liability attorney as soon as possible Schedule your consultation now.