When you enter a property, whether a grocery store or restaurant, the property owner has a duty to keep their guests safe. Unfortunately, people are injured by negligent property owners every day. While people might stumble and not have any injury, other falls result in serious bodily harm.
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Contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation after any slip and fall or trip and fall anywhere in Washington. Since 1948, CCD Law has been representing clients in Spokane, Spokane Valley and beyond.
An example of a slip and fall accident
The insurance industry only publicizes the scam artists who got caught. It doesn’t comment on you and your wife who suffered serious and legitimate injuries after you both turned a corner onto the wet floor of the flower department at the local branch of a nationwide supermarket chain. She fractured her elbow, and you suffered a closed head injury. A month later, you’re finally starting to get your senses back, and your wife is still in a cast after requiring a plate and screws in her arm.
Both of you had just taken a step around the corner of an aisle and saw the flowers. Those are exactly what the retailer wanted you to look at, but the retailer never warned you that the flowers had just been watered, and the floor was wet. When your wife started falling down, she pulled you down too. Between the two of you, the medical bills are staggering. Neither of you has returned to work yet, and you’re both well-paid professionals who rely on your jobs to sustain your quality of life. But now you are without your income, are responsible for your medical bills, and are being insulted by the retailer’s insurance company.
The insurer of this multibillion-dollar company is first likely going to want recorded statements from you and your wife without the presence of an attorney. The adjuster who phones you might sound concerned, and you might believe that he or she wants to do the right thing. That’s the farthest thing from that adjuster’s intentions though. He or she only wants those statements to use against you in the future if you say something that’s allegedly inconsistent with what you said in the statement. The insurer’s defense attorneys will even try to use your statement against your wife’s statement or vice versa. As long as it saves their company money, he or she doesn’t really care if allegedly conflicting statements result in irreconcilable differences between you and your wife and an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. That adjuster did the job that he or she was hired to do. The company saved money.
Never give any type of a written or recorded statement to an opposing insurer. Call us first, and once you retain us, you’ll never hear from that insurer again.
Comparative negligence in Washington
You weren’t watching where you were going. That will be the retailer’s primary defense, but indeed you were watching where you were going. In fact, you were looking at the flowers that the retailer wanted you to see when you came around that corner. If the retailer can show that you weren’t watching where you were going, you’ll be determined to be comparatively negligent, and a percentage of the fault for the accident will be attributable to you. That percentage of your negligence would then be taken off of the top of any award that you might get. For example, if you’re determined to be 25 percent at fault for your fall, an award of $100,000 would be reduced to $75,000. You can be certain that the retailer will raise this issue in an effort to save money on your claim. The good news about comparative negligence in Washington is that it’s a pure comparative negligence state. That means that a person could be 80 percent at fault for an accident and still recover 20 percent of their damages.
The duty to repair or warn of slip and fall dangers
The general rule is that a property owner can directly or indirectly invite others onto their property, but that owner must repair any dangerously defective conditions that it knew or should have known about. If the owner doesn’t do so, it must warn people lawfully on the property about those conditions. If it doesn’t do either of those two things and somebody gets hurt, the owner could have a legal problem that it shouldn’t ignore.
Contact a Spokane Slip and Fall Lawyer Today
The fact that you fell inside of a premises that’s owned and occupied by somebody else isn’t cause to search out a lawyer. A bruise and some hurt pride are barely compensable, but if you or your doctor believe that your injuries are serious, you’ll probably want to speak with a qualified and respected personal injury lawyer from our law firm who is experienced in premises liability cases. Of course, the retailer will want to discourage you from doing so. Then it has you where it wants you. You’ll be lulled into a false sense of security by the insurer, and you’ll only prejudice your case and give up rights that you’ll never get back. The value of your case will go down drastically. Protect and invoke your rights.