Who is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Man slips falling on wet floor next to the wet floor caution sign - slip and fall liability

No matter how many precautions you take, a slip and fall accident can happen anywhere and at any time. Whether the incident occurred at a supermarket, clothing store, restaurant, in a parking lot, or at another place of business, the injuries you sustained can be significant. If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence you may be able to hold the responsible party accountable for the damages you incurred.

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?

Slip and fall liability can be complex, and the party who should be held accountable for your injuries can vary, based on the specific circumstances of your case. Generally, the party who was responsible for maintaining a safe premise and failed to do so will be liable for your injuries. In some cases, there may be more than one defendant who is named in a personal injury action.

Depending on the facts — and how the slip and fall happened — the parties who may be held accountable for a slip and fall accident could include the property owner, property manager, cleaning company, or a construction company. If the state, a town, or city was responsible for maintaining the premises, a municipality may be held liable.

Proving that a property owner, manager, or other party is liable requires you to obtain evidence of negligence. Your medical records are the foundation of your claim and can demonstrate the extent of the damages you suffered. However, to show liability, you may need to collect accident scene photos and videos, surveillance footage, maintenance records, inspection policies, eyewitness statements, weather reports, and copies of lease agreements. Certain cases may even require accident reconstruction, engineering reports, and expert testimony to establish the owner’s negligence.

When Can Liability Attach in a Slip and Fall Accident?

In order to pursue a claim for slip and fall injuries, you must establish that the property owner or other responsible party owed a duty of care to you, which was breached — and such breach caused you to suffer damages. In other words, you must show that the owner failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm and did not remedy the dangerous condition which caused your injuries within a reasonable amount of time.

Specifically, to demonstrate the property owner’s negligence, you must be able to prove one of the following conditions occurred:

  • The property owner knew about the hazard that caused your injury and failed to timely remedy or warn about it
  • The property owner should have known about the hazard through reasonable inspection of the property and did nothing to fix it in a timely manner
  • The property owner created the dangerous condition that caused your injury

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Slip and Fall Accident?

In addition to the physical harm you may have suffered, slip and fall accidents can also result in substantial financial losses. If you were injured in a slip and fall due to the negligence of another, you may be able to recover a wide range of damages. Importantly, you may be entitled to compensation for both your economic and non-economic losses incurred as a result of the accident. While economic damages are meant to compensate for the financial losses you suffered, non-economic damages compensate for your pain and suffering.

The following damages may be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit for a slip and fall:

  • Medical bills
  • The costs of surgery
  • Physical rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earnings
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

Every case is unique. It is best to have a skillful personal injury attorney by your side who can assess the damages and ensure you do not settle for less than you deserve. Additionally, there is a three-year statute of limitations to bring a personal injury lawsuit that begins on the date of the accident.

Contact an Experienced Washington Personal Injury Attorney

Slip and fall liability cases can be complicated. If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, it is essential to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney by your side who can fight to recover the damages to which you are entitled. The Bellingham personal injury attorneys at Robinson & Kole provide dedicated counsel to accident victims throughout Washington State and work to secure the maximum compensation available to them under the law. We welcome you to contact us for a free consultation by calling 800.640.5616 or by using our online contact form. Se habla Español.