Have you hurt yourself in a slip and fall accident? Considering the fact that falls are one of the biggest causes of accidental injuries in the United States, it wouldn’t be surprising if you had!
These accidents can often cause great damages, from medical expenses to lost time at work. If you slipped and fell because of other’s carelessness, then you may have a legal claim that can help you recover the damages from the accident.
Slip and fall claims in Washington
When property owners fail to maintain their property in a way that is safe for others, they could be legally responsible for any damages that occur, such as slip and fall injuries.
At the same time, though, plaintiffs in a slip and fall lawsuit have to be able to prove the following:
- The owner owed the plaintiff a duty of care. (Trespassers, for example, are not necessarily owed this duty.)
- The owner neglected that duty of care.
- That neglect directly caused the slip and fall accident.
- The slip and fall accident resulted in damages.
Of course, the defendant may have their own arguments for why they should not be responsible. Because Washington uses a system called “comparative fault,” where each party bears their own portion of the blame in a case, these arguments may reduce your recovery. For example, if you are found to be 20% responsible for your accident, then the compensation you receive for your damages would be reduced by 20%.
While it may be tempting to just take the entire blame for your accident and not pursue any legal action, comparative fault can help you in the case that the other party is still partly responsible for the accident. If you are unsure of what to do, consult with a personal injury attorney to get expert advice on what the best course of action is.
How long do I have to file a slip and fall lawsuit in Washington?
As with most civil claims, your slip and fall lawsuit is subject to a statute of limitations. In the state of Washington, you have three years from the incident to start your lawsuit, though, if your claim is against a public entity then you may have even less time.
Ultimately, though, if you wait too long to file a claim and your statute of limitations has run out, then there is a high chance that your case will be dismissed. This is why it is so important to reach out to a slip and fall accident attorney as soon as possible after the incident. By getting the process started early, not only will you not run the risk of filing after your time limit, but you will also have an easier time gathering evidence and witness statements.
To get more information and legal advice on your slip and fall accident situation, don’t hesitate to call Gosanko, O’Halloran, Lepore PLLC at 206-275-0700.