Seattle Slippery Conditions Lawyer
One of the most common types of accidents is a person slipping and falling on a hard surface. Such accidents are naturally the result of slippery conditions. From a legal standpoint, the question is often whether those slippery conditions were the result of a property owner’s negligence.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on the street or inside a building, you may have a viable personal injury claim against the business or municipality responsible for that property. An experienced Seattle slippery conditions lawyer can review your claim and advise you of your potential damages. Here at the Emerald Law Group, we represent slip and fall accident victims who have been injured due to property owner negligence in this area.
Slip Resistance Is Often the Key to Personal Injury Claims
Not every slip and fall accident is a property owner’s responsibility, at least legally speaking. There must be proof of some sort of negligence on the owner’s part. When it comes to cases involving slippery conditions, one key test of negligence is a scientific measure known as the coefficient of friction.
The coefficient of friction is basically a measure of a surface’s slip resistance. The American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) maintains formal standards on measuring slip resistance, which is used by the City of Seattle and professional groups in establishing basic safety standards. In simple terms, a surface’s coefficient of friction is measured in a number between 0 and 1. The lower the coefficient–i.e., the closer a surface’s measured slip resistance is to 0–the slippier and more dangerous it is for travelers.
Based on the ASTM standards, Washington courts have generally held that a slip resistance of 0.5 or higher is the “established minimum value” for a “reasonably safe” walking surface. So if a slip and fall accident occurs on a surface with a slip resistance of less than 0.5, that is a good indication that the property owner may have been negligent. Such negligence, in turn, can help to support a potential award of damages to the accident victim.
It is essential to understand, however, that proving slip resistance often requires the use of expert testimony. Most of us are not practiced in measuring the coefficient of friction, after all. It is therefore often necessary in personal injury claims involving slippery conditions to have an expert who can reconstruct the conditions of the original accident to produce scientifically valid measurements for the court.
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Despite all the scientific principles involved, liability in a slippery conditions case often comes down to a simple lack of common sense. For example, a store owner who fails to put out a plastic mat at their entrance on a rainy day runs the risk of a customer slipping and falling on a pool of water at the entrance. Indeed, many slip and fall accidents are easily preventable if property owners simply exercise normal due diligence.
But if you have been injured due to a lack of such common sense, you have the right to take legal action. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall accident and need to consult with a skilled Seattle slippery conditions lawyer, contact the Emerald Law Group today.