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Property owners owe a duty of care to visitors on their property and part of that care is to keep them safe from dangerous property conditions. Premises liability cases involve an invited or permissible guest on someone else’s property who suffers an injury due to the property owner’s negligence.

Insurance companies

The majority of premises liability cases involve a defendant’s insurance company, which is why our Federal Way premises liability attorneys recommend that you do not speak with an insurance company representative who contacts you until you have discussed your case with a premises liability attorney. Insurance companies are not interested in compensating you for your injuries. Their goal is to spend as little as possible and they often do that by offering you a settlement that is much lower than the value of your case. They will often attempt to pin liability on you for your own negligence or by arguing that your injuries are not as extensive as you claim.

Trespasser exceptions

Landowners generally do not owe trespassers a duty of care related to dangerous property conditions. There are a few exceptions to this when a trespasser may actually be able to recover such as when the trespasser is a child. When children are not mature and experienced enough to appreciate the concept of trespassing and dangerous conditions, they are owed a greater duty of care. For example, if a young child is injured as a trespasser in an unsecured backyard pool, the landowner may be liable if it was reasonably foreseeable that a child could trespass and be injured in an unlocked pool.

Duty of care to guests

If you were legally on the property where you were injured, the landowner owes you a duty of care to keep you safe from dangerous conditions on the property. Important facts related to dangerous conditions include the following:

  • Was the dangerous condition open and obvious?
  • Did the landowner know about the dangerous condition? Or should the landowner have known about the condition?
  • Upon a reasonable inspection of the property, would a landowner have known about the dangerous condition?
  • Did the landowner warn guests about the dangerous condition?
  • Did the landowner have time to discover and remediate the dangerous condition?
  • Was remediation of the dangerous condition feasible?

Common premises liability cases

When you think of premises liability, you may think most often of slip and falls and it is true that a large number of premises liability cases relate to dangerous conditions causing slip or trip, and falls. Other scenarios may involve dog bites, fires, poorly maintained floors and stairs, poor lighting in walkways, swimming pool accidents, and negligent security.

If you or a loved one was injured on someone else’s property due to a dangerous condition, contact our Federal Way premises liability attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC to discuss your case and legal recovery options. Depending on the facts of your case and extent of your injuries, your recovery may include medical bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and disability.

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