No one expects to suffer injuries when walking through a grocery store parking lot or climbing the steps of an apartment building. However, thousands of people slip or trip and fall on someone else’s property and suffer serious injuries. Many of these accidents are caused by the negligence of property owners, including retail companies and landlords.
Filing a premises liability claim against negligent property owners
If your accident was the result of another person or company’s negligence, you may file a premises liability claim against the negligent parties to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages relating to the accident. You will generally have to prove the following elements:
- Dangerous or hazardous condition: A dangerous condition existed on the property at the time of the accident.
- Actual or constructive notice: Property owner knew of or should have known of the dangerous condition that caused your accident.
- Failure to act: Property owner failed to take action to fix the situation and failed to warn of the dangerous condition.
- Causation: The accident was caused by the dangerous condition on the property.
- Damages: The accident caused the victim to suffer injuries and damages.
What happens if the victim is partially at fault?
In many cases, several parties may share liability for a slip-and-fall accident, including the victim themselves. For example, if the victim is texting while walking and fails to notice a broken step that is open and obvious to a reasonable person, they may be partially at fault for their own accident.
Under Washington contributory negligence laws, even victims who are partially at fault for their accidents can recover damages after an accident. However, their damages will be reduced in accordance with the percentage of fault attributed to the victim. A personal injury attorney can help you recover the damages you deserve.