An accident that occurs due to the unsafe conditions of property owned by someone other than the injured party, is called premise liability. In Washington state, a property owner has the responsibility to keep their premises in such a manner that will not cause harm or injury to anyone visiting their property. At times, property owners fail to maintain their property in a safe condition. Consequently, individuals may suffer injuries.
Some cases of premise liability include injuries from wet floors, broken steps, lack of handrails, holes in the ground, or uneven surfaces.
There are several requirements for proving a premise liability case. Some of these factors are:
- The property was in a dangerous condition;
- The dangerous condition caused the injury;
- The owner or person controlling the property knew or should have known about the dangerous condition;
- The owner or person controlling the property had reasonable opportunity to fix the hazardous condition.
For example, if an apartment building sidewalk has been cracked or damaged for a long time and the tenants have complained about it, the apartment building owner would be liable if someone trips and injures themselves due to the dangerous condition of the sidewalk. On the other hand, if the sidewalk is in good repair, but a chunk of ice happens to fall off the apartment building roof, damaging the sidewalk just prior to someone slipping on it, the owner will probably not be held responsible because there was not sufficient time to discover and fix the hazardous condition
Premise liability cases may be very difficult to prove. The skills and experience of a qualified attorney will increase the likelihood of prevailing in a premise liability case.
John Rothschild is a lawyer specializing in premise liability cases in the Seattle area. Please email or contact him for a free consultation.