If you or a loved one sustained injuries on someone else’s property, contact a slip and fall lawyer in Vancouver as soon as possible. You may be in pain and unsure of what to do next. You may not even know who should be held liable for your injuries. An attorney can help you obtain compensation for your losses. Call The Law Offices of Loren S. Etengoff today.
Common Injuries From Slip and Fall Accidents
Many people are embarrassed if they fall, which may result in failing to report the incident in order to minimize the extent of their injuries. This can be a costly mistake. Symptoms often do not appear immediately and can worsen with the passage of time.
After a slip and fall accident, you may experience injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Strains and sprains
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sore muscles
- Bruises and lacerations
Many of these injuries can show up days after your slip and fall accident. Thus, it is important to get medical treatment right away to fully assess your injuries. If you’re unsure of what to do, call a slip and fall lawyer in Vancouver who can guide you in the right direction.
Types of Slip and Fall Accidents
Generally, true slip and fall accidents happen due to some substance on the surface of the floor that results in the victim losing traction and falling. Other incidents, more appropriately called trip and falls, occur when the surface has some more permanent condition, such as uneven tiles on a floor or a sidewalk uplifted by tree roots.
Other common slip and fall accidents include the following:
- Broken stairs
- Uneven walkways
- Broken or cracked sidewalks
- Swimming pool accidents
- Parking garage accidents
- Construction zone accidents
- Ice and snow accidents
It’s important to know exactly what caused your injuries. A Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer can look at the location where you accident occurred and determine what happened. This will help you determine who should be held responsible for your losses.
Who Is Liable in a Slip and Fall Accident?
The issue of premises liability goes to the heart of the matter. Who is responsible?
A slip and fall case is a form of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a slip and fall lawyer in Vancouver will need to prove the entity responsible for the condition that caused the slip and fall had a duty to the injured person who fell. This duty can either be a duty to do something, such as cleaning up a liquid spilled on a floor, or a duty not to do something; not placing a stack of boxes in the middle of an aisle, for example.
In order to prove that someone is legally liable for your accident, you must prove the following:
- A person or organization owed you a duty to maintain a safe premises;
- The person or organization breached this duty; and
- The person or organization’s actions or inaction caused your injuries.
These elements can be difficult to prove. However, a Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer can review your situation and gather evidence to prove someone is responsible for your injuries.
Proving liability often depends on whether the responsible party had notice of the potentially dangerous condition. If the party knew of the dangerous condition and did nothing to correct it, they may be negligent.
It can be difficult to prove that someone knew or should have known about a situation. However, if a person or organization, including a company or government entity, was responsible for maintaining a property, they are generally expected to inspect that property regularly. If you can show that regular inspection did not occur and the person or organization should have known about the dangerous situation, then they may be liable.
If the person or organization did not have notice or should not have known about the dangerous situation, then they may not be liable. However, there are situations where a person or organization may be strictly liable. Your Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer can evaluate your case and determine if the person or organization responsible for the premises where your injury occurred did or should have had notice of the dangerous situation.
Who May Be Liable for Your Injuries?
Generally, a duty is owed to people who lawfully enter property by the:
- Owner of the property, or
- Person who occupies the property, or
- Person who controls the property.
These people may be the same person or organization, or it may be different entities. It’s possible to have more than one person or organization responsible for your injuries.
It’s important to hold everyone who is responsible accountable for their actions or inaction in your accident. If you fail to name a proper defendant in a lawsuit, or don’t make a claim properly, it may be denied. Your Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer can help you determine all of the parties who may be liable for you injuries.
Obtaining Compensation in Slip and Fall Cases
Although monetary compensation will not heal you, it can make things easier while you try to live your life after a serious injury. A Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer can help you collect damages through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
It is impossible to know how much your claim is worth. However, we can estimate your potential compensation by understanding more about your losses. You should tell your lawyer about your injuries, inability to work, and ongoing medical treatment. You can receive compensation for both economic and noneconomic losses.
Economic losses are those that are easily quantified by a monetary amount, such as medical bills and lost wages. This amount of compensation will directly match the amount of money you’ve been charged or lost as a result of your injuries. It is easier to quantify economic losses.
Noneconomic losses are those that are related to nonmonetary losses, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. Although expert witnesses and formulas can help you estimate the value of your noneconomic losses, they are not as easy to quantify.
A Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer can help you obtain the following losses:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Out of pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Other economic and noneconomic losses
Every slip and fall accident is different, so your compensation will be different than someone else’s. However, if you want to know more about how much you can obtain, contact a Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer today.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Slip and Fall Cases?
All personal injury cases have a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed in order for the claim to be legally viable in court. If you miss this deadline, then your case will be thrown out of court. A claim filed after a statute of limitations has passed will likely be denied, and you will have no other recourse against the person who caused your injuries. It is important to file a claim within the appropriate statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations for slip and fall cases, and all personal injury cases, in Washington is three years. This can sound like a long time. However, the insurance company will likely try to stall when you talk to them and investigations can take months or years to complete. It’s important to work with a Vancouver WA slip and fall lawyer right away to make sure you meet the required deadline to file a valid slip and fall case.
Contact a Slip and Fall Lawyer in Vancouver for Legal Advice
Many factors determine liability in a slip and fall case. Find out if you have a case. Call a slip and fall lawyer in Vancouver at the Law Offices of Loren S. Etengoff today.