Seattle Slip, Trip & Fall Hazard Lawyer
It only takes a split second for someone to trip over a hazard and fall to the ground. But that is often all that it takes for someone to suffer a serious or even life-threatening injury. And in many cases, the tripping hazard itself was something that the property owner should have known about and removed before an innocent person was hurt.
There are a number of potential hazards and safety defects that can lead to a tripping accident. Even the most careful and attentive person may not notice the hazard until it is too late. If you find yourself in this position and need legal advice or representation from a skilled Seattle slip, trip & fall hazard lawyer, the attorneys at the Emerald Law Group are here to help.
Holding Property Owners Accountable for Preventable Tripping Hazards
In Washington, property owners are not required to absolutely guarantee the safety of anyone who may be on their premises. Rather, the law requires owners to keep their property reasonably safe and free of hazards for any outside party who has a lawful reason to be on the premises. For example, a store owner needs to keep their aisles reasonably free of potential tripping hazards for their customers.
Some of the more common hazards that can lead to a trip and fall accident include:
- Obstructions in the aisles. Any object in a public walkway can lead to a trip and fall accident, such as boxes, loose merchandise that has fallen from a shelf, electrical cords, or even maintenance equipment leftover from a prior repair.
- Defects in walking surfaces. Even when there are no objects obstructing a walkway, there can be a defect in the walking surface itself, such as a frayed carpet, a raised corner of a plastic mat, or a crack in a sidewalk leading into a building that can easily cause someone to fall.
- Stairways. Many trip and fall accidents occur in stairways, often as the result of inadequate lighting, broken or missing handrails, and even steps that are too shallow.
- Parking lots. A property owner’s duty to maintain reasonably safe premises extends to their parking lots, so they can be held liable if a patron trips due to any of the causes described above, such as inadequate lighting or cracked pavement.
The reality is that even a small object or defect can cause a trip and fall if the property owner fails to exercise due diligence. But the burden is on the accident victim to prove negligence. This means it is not enough to prove that a tripping hazard existed. They must also show the property owner knew about the hazard–or had adequate time and opportunity to learn a hazard existed–and failed to take appropriate action.
Contact Emerald Law Group Today
Trip and fall hazards often lead to head injuries, broken bones, and soft tissue damage, among other injuries. So if a property owner’s negligence led to your fall, you have the right to seek compensation. If you would like to speak with a qualified Seattle trip and fall hazard lawyer, contact the Emerald Law Group today to schedule an initial consultation.