Sidewalk Trip and Fall
Today there are approximately 2,000 miles of sidewalks in Seattle. Seattle, as it has become denser, has increased the number of bike lanes and sidewalks. The city has installed what are called non-arterial streets since they have the lowest traffic volume.
There are also arterial streets that has a walkway as an interim until the sidewalk can be installed. Even with so many sidewalks and bike lanes in Seattle, Kirkland, Olympia and Bellingham, there are still many areas of the Seattle metro area that do not have bike lanes or sidewalks at all and pedestrians must be careful while walking on them.Washington State Sidewalk Trip and Fall Laws
In a sidewalk trip and fall case, you have to prove that the owner of the building or the city either knew or reasonably should have known that the sidewalk was dangerous. This may be very obvious or it may be difficult to prove.
Then you have to prove that your injuries were connected to the negligence of the owner of the sidewalk. This may or may not be difficult to do. In any case, the best thing to do is to hire an expert who can examine the sidewalk and determine whether it posed a danger to you. There are engineers who will help in this regard.
It is essential to hire the right expert in these kinds of cases to determine whether someone would be able to see the raised portion of the sidewalk or not. Oftentimes, it is a matter of degrees. If the sidewalk where you tripped was exceptionally high, you run the risk of the defense successfully arguing that you should seen where you were going.
Alternatively, if the raised portion of the sidewalk where you tripped was very low, then you run the risk of the defense arguing that the owner never reasonably could have known that the sidewalk was a problem. An expert engineer can help you in proving this portion of your case.Exceptions to Liability
If you have been injured in a sidewalk trip and fall, either on a city street or out in front of someone’s business, you rightfully deserve to be compensated if it can be proven that the city or business did not legally and properly maintain their sidewalk. However, this is not to say prevailing on your claim will be easy.
Statistically, these case are difficult to win. Oftentimes the defense for the city or business will be as simple as: you should have watched where you were going. This of course may not be true as it may have been impossible not to trip given the condition of the sidewalk, but it’s a common defense that has, in many instances, been successful in court.
Additional arguments advanced by the defense are:
- You knew ahead of time about the danger that led you to be hurt
- The danger was considered “open and obvious,” meaning anyone could see it
- The owner of the property or business where you were either didn’t know or reasonably could not have known about the danger that hurt you
- You caused your injury by not using the premises correctly
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone’s property, then you may have suffered one of the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Butt or tailbone injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Injuries of this serious of a nature rarely just heal on their own. Rather, they require medical attention to address them. Medical specialists such as osteopaths, physiatrists, and chiropractors can help you get back to the path to health after suffering a serious injury on someone else’s property.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
If you have been injured on a city sidewalk or a sidewalk outside of a business, you may have a claim against them to recoup compensation for your injuries. The Jackman Law Firm has the expertise to effectively represent you with the insurance company, in arbitration and if necessary in court to secure your rights for compensation and relief. After your injury, you are understandably upset and likely unsure of your options and which way to with your case. You are likely receiving a lot of phone calls from insurance companies, you’re going to the doctor or the chiropractor, and you may be missing work.
If this is the case, do not go through this process alone. We can help you every step of the way. We can work with the insurance companies so they do not contact you. We can help you secure all of the compensation you are owed for your injury under Washington State Law. The Jackman Law Firm can help you recover the following:
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for lost wages
- Money for out of pocket expenses
- Money for medical bills
We have the resources, experience, and successful track record to win your case. There may be instances when you find yourself having to defend yourself from untrue accusations from the insurance company for the party that injured you. They may claim that you are somehow either entirely at fault or partly at fault for your injuries.
For instance, if you suffered a spinal cord injury because of a slip and fall at a business’ parking lot, the insurance company for the business may argue that you should have watched where you were going. If this is the case, the Jackman Law Firm can help you by sending a subpoena for documents from the company, interviewing key witnesses, and speaking to the police to see if we can do everything possible to prove your case in your favor. Feel free to call for a free consultation.