Premises Liability Lawyer Tacoma
Before we even discuss what a premises liability lawyer Tacoma can do for you or your loved one, there are a few things you need to know. Generally, property owners are responsible for taking reasonable measures to keep their premises safe for residents and visitors. For instance, they need to ensure that handrails are well secured, security lights are installed, and the floors are free of spills to avoid slip and fall accidents. Unfortunately, such accidents are still common, leaving many victims injured, unable to work, and with huge medical bills and other expenses.
If you or your loved one has been injured due to a slip and fall in Tacoma or anywhere else in Washington state, you may have a valid premises liability claim.
Contact a premises liability lawyer Tacoma to help you prove your claims and negotiate a reasonable settlement with the other party.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal doctrine that holds a property owner or occupant liable for the injuries and damages a person suffers on their property due to unsafe conditions. However, property owners aren’t always responsible for all accidents on their premises, at least not in Washington state.
For example, if you sustain injuries on someone’s property in Tacoma, you must prove that the owner created or allowed the unsafe condition that led to your injury. Additionally, your visiting status determines whether or not the premise owner owes you the duty of care.
Under premises liability laws, visitors belong to three categories:
Invitee: Someone invited to the premises by the premise owner for a business-related reason. The invitation may be direct (e.g, when you’re invited for a job interview in an office building), or implied (e.g, when a shop owner opens their shop for business).
Licensee: Someone directly invited to the premises by the property owner for reasons other than business.
Trespasser: Someone who has no permission to access the premises.
Duties Owed To Visitors
The property owner is responsible for warning a business invitee and a licensee of dangerous situations that can cause accidents on their property. For example, the property owner should warn their visitors not to use a faulty elevator that’s under maintenance.
On the other hand, the property owner owes no duty to a trespasser, given that they aren’t allowed or invited to the property in the first place. However, the property owner should not intentionally create or allow unsafe conditions that could harm a trespasser.
Property owners also owe an additional duty to children even if they trespass on their property. They must maintain safe conditions on their property, especially if it contains facilities that may attract children to the property. For instance, if the property has a swimming pool, the owner may put a fence around it to prevent wandering children from falling into the pool.
Examples of Premises Liability Cases
Slips and falls are probably the most common examples of premises liability cases. However, several other hazardous situations can cause accidents on someone’s property. They include the following:
- Dog bites
- Swimming pool accidents
- Inadequate security
- Unmarked dangerous areas on the property
- Poorly maintained property
- Snow and ice accidents
- Toxic chemicals and fumes
Elements of Premises Liability Claims
You must have sufficient evidence to support your premises liability claim to receive well-deserving compensation for your injuries and damages. Ideally, a premises liability claim requires you to provide proof of the following elements.
The Defendant’s Legal Bound to the Property
You must prove that the defendant owns, leases, or has the legal right to operate the property in order to hold them liable.
The Defendant Was Negligent
You must prove that the defendant failed to ensure their property was safe for users. In other words, it means they neglected their duty of care. .
You Were Injured
You must also provide evidence of the injuries you sustained from the accident. For example, you may provide a doctor’s report after a medical evaluation.
The Defendant’s Negligence Caused Your Injuries
You must also provide evidence that your injuries directly resulted from the defendant’s negligence. For example, you need proof that the defendant didn’t put up a sign warning visitors of a faulty elevator. Therefore, you used the faulty elevator, got stuck, and sustained injuries as a result.
Reasons Why You Need a Premises Liability Lawyer Tacoma
It’s always a good idea to hire a competent premises liability attorney if you get injured on someone’s property. This is because such claims can be complicated or result in lawsuits. Besides, going up against the defendant’s legal team may be intimidating and exhausting.
A premises liability lawyer can:
- Evaluate your situation to determine whether you have reasonable grounds to file a premises liability claim
- Help you gather evidence to support the important elements of the claim
- Determine the liable party
- Help you file your claim and negotiate a fair compensation
- Represent you in court should the claim go to trial
Let Attorney Serah Waweru and Her Team Fight For You or Your Loved One
Premises liability laws are complex. For this reason, whether it is a case of slip and fall, negligent security, animal attacks, or anything in between, it is important to seek the help of an attorney. Keep in mind that the other party won’t compensate you simply because you got injured on their property. Rather, they’ll want to fight back to avoid liability. The same applies when dealing with insurance companies; they make money by denying claims and maximizing premiums.
And if you suffered severe injuries, the last thing you want is to deal with insurance companies without legal representation. These companies make billions of dollars every year and can afford some of the best defense attorneys to fight for them.
If insurance companies understand the importance of hiring an attorney, so should you.
The Law Office of Serah Waweru can fight for you or your loved one if injured due to someone else’s negligence. We are never afraid to face these insurance companies in and out of court. Ready to get started with your claim? Fill out our free case evaluation form today. One of our legal representatives will review your case and get in touch to discuss your options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Several factors determine the sum of money you can recover from a premises liability claim. This may be easier to calculate with the help of a professional premises liability attorney. For this reason, consider consulting a lawyer to evaluate your situation before claiming recovery for your injuries and damages.
As a visitor, you're also responsible for keeping yourself safe while on someone's property. For this reason, you won't receive total compensation for your injuries and damages if your accident was partially your fault. Instead, the reward will be lesser by a particular percentage equivalent to your fault in the accident.
For example, if the judge or jury rules that you are 30% at fault for the accident, you can only recover 70% of the total compensation.
Hiring a premises liability lawyer can make a huge difference in your claim. However, there are specific factors you need to consider to ensure you get the right attorney for your case.
When looking for the right attorney to represent you, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the attorney have the resources to handle my case?
- Does the attorney practice premises liability law specifically?
- Is the attorney licensed to serve clients in Washington state (this is because premises liability laws vary from state to state)
- Does the attorney have the time to handle my case?
- Does the attorney reply to my calls or messages within a reasonable timeframe?
- Will the attorney handle my case individually or have someone else work on it?
- Does the attorney sound knowledgeable regarding my case?
- Is the attorney willing to go to trial if the other party refuses to settle?