When someone is at work and slips and falls, then the Washington Department of Labor and Industries will pay for your work-related claims. These benefits will be paid based on the injury and not whether the employer is at fault.
However, if there is someone other than your employer—a third party—that is at fault, then you can seek compensation from them as well.
Seeking compensation from the third party, however, is based on proving negligence. For example, if you are a delivery person and you go on another business’s premises to deliver something and slip and fall, then you could have a claim against the owner of the premises.
These claims will typically pay significantly more compensation than a Washington L&I claim. However, a downside is that Washington L&I has a right to be reimbursed by the third party, and this will be taken from any settlement or award from the third party claim.
How to Prove a Slip and Fall Claim
The law requires the injured person in all slip and fall third-party claims to prove that the premises owner was negligent. This is more difficult than just proving that the victim fell in their place of business. The victim must prove that he or she fell as a result of a hazard, and:
- That the owner had been given notice of a hazard and did nothing to fix it, or
- That the owner should have known a hazard existed that posed a danger to the public and didn’t do anything to fix the hazard, or
- That the owner directly caused the hazard and didn’t do anything to fix it, or that they did try to fix it but did so negligently so the hazard remained or became worse.
Defending Against a Slip and Fall Claim
The law also allows the premises owner to prove certain defenses to a slip and fall claim that can eliminate their liability. There are three defenses that owners use to defend their actions:
- The owner didn’t know that a hazard existed but regularly looked for hazards and had done so but the condition arose between sweeps.
- The owner discovered the hazard in a reasonable amount of time and had dispatched someone to fix it, but the person slipped and fell before it was cleaned up.
- The cause of the injury was something other than the hazard that existed in the store.
Contact a Spokane Slip and Fall Lawyer.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Slip and Fall Lawyer represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case.
Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.