Slip and Fall

According to the CDC(Center for Disease Control) in 2010 there were over 9 million “unintentional falls” across the United States and unintentional falls were the number 1 cause of non-fatal injuries.

A “slip and fall” in U.S. Tort law is an injury which occurs when someone slips, trips, or falls as a result of a dangerous or hazardous condition that was caused by a negligent property or business owner who has failed to properly maintain his property. Washington state premise liability laws impose a duty on all property owners to maintain his/her property and to keep it free from dangerous or hazardous conditions. The required level of care varies depending on the property use and in what capacity the injured person was given access to the property(i.e. trespasser, invitee, or licensee)

If you have suffered a serious injury as a result of a slip and fall accident, it is your right to seek compensation and protect your health and your livelihood. Frequently, property owners will deny liability for your injuries, preventing you from recovering the compensation you deserve. If you have been involved in a slip and fall accident, contacting an attorney is essential to ensuring that you receive full compensation for your losses. At the law office of Dann D. Sheffield & Associates our slip and fall attorneys understand the difficulties and legal issues you face after being injured in a slip and fall accident and can help you along the road to recovery.

Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents Frequently Require Legal Assistance with:

    • Unpaid Medical Expenses
    • Lost Wages or Earning Capacity
    • Pain and Suffering
    • Disputing Liability
    • Phone Call Not Being Returned by Insurance Companies
    • Medical Referrals for Accident Treatment
    • Other Expenses

Who is a Licensee? a person who enters the property with permission implied or express for their own purpose or business rather than for land owners benefit. (a social guest is considered a licensee)

Duty Owed to Licenseethe land owner owes a duty to warn of non-obvious dangerous conditions known to landowner and to use ordinary care in active operations. However, there is no duty to inspect for defects or repair known defects for a licensee.

Who Is An Invitee? An invitee is a person expressly or impliedly invited on to the land by landowner. This includes members or the public who enter land open to the public (i.e. museum, churches, airports) as well as those who enter for purposes connected with the business or other interests on the land (i.e. store customers, employees, delivery persons)

Duty Owed To An Invitee: the land owner owes a general duty to use reasonable care in keeping the property safe – this goes beyond the duty owed to a licensee and requires the owner to take an affirmative duty to make reasonable inspections as to dangerous conditions.

NO DUTY is owed to an adult trespasser- except to refrain from willful or wanton conduct. (for duty owed to trespassing children LOOK to Attractive Nuisance Doctrine below)

The Attractive Nuisance Doctrine holds that a Landowner may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on his/her land if the injury is caused by a hazardous object or condition on the land that is likely to attract children who are unable to appreciate the risk posed by the object or condition.

For the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine to Apply one must show:

  • The instrumentality or artificial condition must be attractive to young children.
  • The condition must have been left unguarded in place where children are reasonably expected to be.
  • The thing must be dangerous in itself (likely to cause injury to children)
  • The child by reason of youth must be incapable of comprehending the danger involved.
  • It must have been reasonably practicable to prevent access to condition without obstructing any reasonable purpose for which it was intended

Slip and Fall Injuries Frequently Result From:

    • Wet Floors / Food on Floors
    • Icy Walkways and Sidewalks
    • Improperly Signed Walkways
    • Falls in a Work Place
    • Poorly Maintained or Damaged Stairways
    • Poorly lit Stairways
    • Oil Spills on a Surface or Flooring

Slip and Fall accidents are often preventable and the result of someone else’s negligence(carelessness). Dann D. Sheffield & Associates is one of Washington States most experienced “slip and fall” injury law firms. Whether your injury was caused by an improperly signed wet floor or a neglected walkway; if you are a victim of someone else’s negligence we can ensure that you recover the compensation you are entitled to receive. The attorneys at Dann D. Sheffield & Associates have over 35 years of experience representing “slip and fall” victims. Our attorneys can help hold careless and irresponsible property owners accountable for their negligence.

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