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Suffering from a slip and fall injury can be devastating, especially when you realize it was due to someone else’s negligence. In fact, slip and fall injuries account for 8 million hospital visits each year which is the leading cause of hospital admissions.
Whether you suffered minor injuries or lifelong side-effects from your accident, you deserve compensation. If your slip and fall injury happened in Washington State, here is what you need to know.
Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents in Washington State
In Washington State, the owner of the property is liable for dangerous conditions on their property. If the slip and fall happens on public property, liability lies with the city.
Whoever owns the property has a duty of care to correct dangerous conditions that may cause injury and warn people of the danger before it can be resolved.
Some examples of injuries resulting from negligence include:
- Slipping on an unreasonably wet floor in a supermarket
- Tripping on cracked or broken concrete on the sidewalk
- Slipping on ice in a designated walkway that has not been clearly identified as a hazard
- Falling through rotted deck boards the owners knew were hazardous
Proving Your Slip and Filing a Claim in Washington State
There are several things you will need to prove your slip and fall claim:
- Pictures or video of the hazard (e.g. potholes, ice, wet surface, etc.)
- Pictures of the surrounding area to make it clear where the hazard is located
- Video or pictures showing a lack of warning or adequate signage
- Pictures of your injuries (cuts, bruises, etc.) that may fade quickly
- Contact details of witnesses willing to give a statement
- A medical report of any serious injuries and the costs involved in your care
- History of previous accidents or complaints from the same hazard
How to file a claim for sidewalk injuries in Washington State
Claims against municipal entities, like cities, counties or the State, require special forms called “Tort Claim Forms.” These forms are very technical, and failure to fill them out properly can result in the dismissal of your claim. In addition, before a lawsuit can be filed against a city or other municipality, you must have the Tort Claim properly served on the entity designated by them for service of process – usually the City Counsel, Mayor’s office, etc. After the Tort Claim form is properly executed and served, you can file a personal injury claim in the county where you reside or where the injury took place. If you don’t want the assistance of an attorney, you can find the necessary papers online.
However, if you want to be sure that your paperwork is correct and your case is handled professionally, it is advised to hire a personal injury attorney. They will fill out the necessary paperwork on your behalf and ensure you get the best settlement possible.
- Do I Have a Claim If There Was a Warning Sign?
A warning sign isn’t always sufficient to prevent accidents from happening and so you could still have a slip and fall claim in Washington State.
- What Steps Should I Take After a Slip and Fall?
Gather as much evidence as you can immediately and seek immediate medical attention.
- How Long Will My Case Take?
This can range from a few months to a few years depending on the severity of the fall, the damage caused, and the settlement amount you are seeking. We’ll be able to give you a more definitive timeline after reviewing your case.
Get Compensation for Your Personal Injuries
If you’ve suffered a slip and fall injury in Washington State, call us today. We will review your case and make sure you get the best settlement possible.