Premises Liability (aka “Slip and Fall”) is the rule of law that says a person has a “reasonable expectation” of safety when entering someone else’s property, and if the property owner did not maintain a safe environment and someone is injured while on that property as a result, the property owner may be responsible for those injuries.
Slip and fall accidents fall within this category. Property owners, facility management and government entities have a legal duty to protect those on their premises by maintaining reasonably safe conditions. Their failure to do so may result in their being held liable for injuries suffered on those premises.
A classic slip and fall example would be a juice spill on the floor of a grocery store. If store employees or management were aware of the spill, or should have been aware, and did not take time and effort to clean up the spill, or warn shoppers about it, they could be liable for injuries that happen as a result of the spill.
Here are some other examples of property where someone could trip or slip and fall:
- “Potholes” in a sidewalk or pavement;
- Poorly maintained or crumbling steps, stairs, or handrails
- Ice or snow that has not been cleared, and/or surface area not treated to keep it from becoming slippery (salt);
- Steps or walkways that are “not to code” or out of compliance with basic rules of construction;
- Damaged walkways or driveways leading to a business open to the public; or
- Property owner’s failure to post notices or signs warning others of a hazard – “danger zones” left unmarked.
Slip and fall accidents are no joke. Despite slapstick routines to the contrary, even apparently “simple” slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, forcing victims to miss work, suffer financial hardship and stress due to mounting unpaid family expenses and medical bills.
I was injured on a property owner’s property which was not safely maintained. What should I do?
The first thing you should do is seek medical attention – whether it be the ER, urgent care, or your primary care provider, your health is your number one priority. If you suffer an accident, even if you don’t feel hurt right away, your injuries might make themselves known days or weeks after the accident.
You should also make sure to report the incident to staff or management on the premises, and document the area with pictures of where the accident occurred if possible. Try to get names and contact information from any witnesses to your accident. And keep a journal of how you are feeling in the days and weeks following the accident. The more information you can record at this critical time, the better.
Can your slip and fall attorneys help me?
Every case is different, and several things factor into whether or not you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. The nature of your injuries, the conditions that were present at the location you were injured, history of others being injured or even complaints about the conditions (whether the management/owners were on “notice”), as well as other factors all play into your case, and it can be more complex than you might think.
Oftentimes, to prove the case, we will employ experts to give opinions about the circumstances that led to the injury. Having a lawyer in your corner with a strong network of experts can be invaluable.
For this reason, the best decision you can make (after seeking immediate medical attention) is to call Puget Law Group to schedule a complimentary strategy session with Casey Arbenz, our lead injury attorney at PLG. Casey has extensive experience in the courtroom handling slip and fall and other premises liability cases. Casey and the entire PLG team will take your case personally and aggressively represent your interests.
Ice cream slip and fall settlement
The day before court ordered arbitration, Casey helped a client settle her case and recover for the injuries sustained when she slipped on spilled ice cream at the Southcenter Mall. The client was very appreciative of Casey’s work.
“Casey took my case even though he wasn’t sure about it. It was kind of a weird case. He was really supportive and made me feel like he was on my side even though the facts were not always completely clear. He is patient, friendly and knowledgeable. And he managed to get me everything I wanted out of the situation.”