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Slip & Fall / Premises Liability

Slip & Fall/Premises Liability

Property and business owners have a duty to take precautions to maximize the safety of customers, tenants and guests. Slips and falls are common premises injuries, but premises liability deals with a wide array of faulty and dangerous conditions, including:

  • Slippery floors
  • Objects or debris left on floors
  • Unsafe store displays including merchandise stacked too high on shelves
  • Parking lot hazards
  • Faulty stairways, handrails and walkways
  • Inadequate lighting in parking lots and building entryways
  • Inadequate security contributing to assaults at hotels, apartments, businesses, malls and other establishments in any area where crime is a problem
  • Faulty conditions in common areas of housing developments such as apartments and condominiums
  • Faulty elevators or escalators
  • Unsafe golf course design
  • Swimming pool injuries

A person who is injured by a faulty condition on another person’s property may be entitled to recover compensation for their injuries from the property owner. As in all cases involving negligence, liability depends on whether the property owner owed the injured person a duty of care and whether that duty of care was breached.

In Washington the degree of duty a property owner owes you depends on whether your injury happened in a setting in which you were an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. Property owners owe the highest duty to their business or public invitees. If you are on another’s property at the owner’s express or implied invitation because you are there to conduct business or use the property for the purposes for which it is open to the public, you are probably an invitee and the owner owes you a high degree of duty to use ordinary care to keep the property in reasonably safe condition, including a duty to actively look for and fix problems. If the problem cannot be fixed, invitees must be warned.

In contrast, a guest at someone’s house would be considered a licensee. A property owner’s duty of care to their licensees is less than that owed by property owners to invitees. The lowest duty of care is owed to a person who is trespassing. There is no duty to warn a trespasser of dangerous, natural conditions. Nevertheless, there may be a duty to warn of dangerous, manmade conditions.

A certain category of premises liability cases are slip and fall or trip and fall cases. These are cases where someone suffers injury from a fall caused by a slippery surface or a dangerous condition that causes the person to trip. Though falls occur quite frequently, these cases are very difficult to prove. In order to establish liability you must prove that the property owner either knew or should have known of the dangerous condition. This involves securing evidence such as incident reports and surveillance video, which is often destroyed very quickly. It also means that witnesses to the fall need to be interviewed right away. When a slip and fall or trip and fall occurs, it is important that you obtain legal representation quickly so that key evidence, and your right to bring a claim, can be preserved.

Our attorneys are well versed in premises liability law and can assess for you what your status on the property was – invitee, licensee, or trespasser – and the nature and extent of the owner’s duty to you. If a duty owed to you was violated, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including, but not limited to, your medical expenses, your lost income and your pain and suffering.

If you or someone you love has been injured due to a faulty or dangerous condition on another’s property, please contact the Tacoma based attorneys of Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler, PLLC at (866) 454-7445 or (253) 383-5388 or click here to submit a simple case form. Our initial consultation is free of charge and if we accept your case, we only get paid for our services if you receive monetary compensation.

Are You a Victim of the MultiCare-Good Samaritan Hospital Hepatitis C Exposure?
Our firm is actively taking on representation of clients who were patients at MultieCare-Good Samaritan Hospital and were exposed to Hepatitis C and perhaps other diseases. We are investigating the actions of MultiCare and its employees as well as the MultiCare system itself that led to this crisis occurring.

If you have information about this incident, or previous incidences of MultiCare employees misusing narcotic medications intended for patients, or if you have legal questions about this matter and your rights, our lawyers are available to assist you at 253-383-5388.
Case Results
  • "Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "

  • "Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "

  • "Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "

  • "Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "

  • "Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "

  • "Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "

  • "Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "

  • "Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "

  • "Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "

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Awards and Affiliations
  • "I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."

  • "John Wilson demonstrated his professionalism by keeping us current on our case, explaining our options, giving us realistic expectations and demonstrating the highest level of ethics and integrity beyond reproach. We have the highest confidence that we were well represented."

  • "Dan Hannula’s hard work helped to settle my auto accident case. "

  • "Having a motorcycle accident was bad enough, let alone dealing with insurance companies. John Wilson and his staff made everything easy to understand and hassle free. "

  • "I am extremely satisfied with the service I experienced with this firm and I would recommend them to anyone that needs legal representation. Michael Fisher and his staff are great people. "

  • "Vern Harkins perseverance and hard work made it possible to get the maximum settlement from the insurance company. I know he had my interest in mind as demonstrated by his actions. "

  • "The office staff were courteous, pleasant and kept me informed as to what was going on throughout the whole ordeal. "

  • "Molly Crowley is a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer. I felt I was very well represented!! "

  • "Molly Crowley was knowledgeable, kept me informed every step of the way and just did a great job! "

  • "We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "

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