Slippery, icy conditions are a part of life here in the Pacific Northwest. Whether you are in Seattle, Tacoma, or the cascade mountain region, snow and ice conditions bring an overwhelming abundance of caution to western Washington state. Along with the snow and ice comes the expectation that businesses, cities, and homeowners who own property have an obligation to clear snow and ice within a reasonable timeframe. When a property owner does not clear these hazards, the potential for slips and falls goes up.
At Whalley Law, our experienced personal injury attorneys have extensive experience with slip and fall-related accidents. Serving Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston counties in Washington, we help many clients every winter who have injured themselves and believe that their falls were caused by a property owner who failed to keep their sidewalks, steps, and parking lots safe when these unsafe conditions exist.
SNOW, ICE, AND PREMISES LIABILITY
Every property owner is responsible for keeping his or her premises reasonably safe for invited guests and visitors. This responsibility often involves repairing known hazards, searching for hidden hazards, and warning visitors or patrons of potential hazards that may exist on the property. Winter can present a unique set of variable hazards that shall be considered foreseeable during certain times of the year. If the front steps freeze over every winter, this becomes a foreseeable risk that the owner shall mitigate prior to inviting guests or patrons onto the premises.
PROPERTY OWNER FAILS TO REMEDY UNSAFE CONDITIONS
Failure to clear ice, snow, or other unsafe conditions from the premises could place liability on the property owner for injury or damages. You may have grounds to file a claim of personal injury against the property owner after you slip and fall on ice or snow if you believe the owner owed you a duty of care, breached this duty by not clearing snow and ice, and that this hazard caused your injuries. This is why it is always important to have homeowner’s insurance in the event someone gets injured on your property.
COMMON SNOW AND ICE SLIP INJURIES
A slip and fall on slippery conditions such as ice or snow may present some serious personal injuries. Among the elderly, bone fractures are the most common type of injury when falling on snow and ice. Injuries from these falls for some may be quick to heal, but some may be present for the rest of your life. Other types of slip and fall-related injuries may include joint dislocation, broken bones, knee/hip/elbow/wrist fracture, neck and back injury, head and brain injury. Slipping and falling on an icy surface could put the victim in the hospital for days or weeks and may require surgery, rehabilitation, therapy, and medication. In some instances, slips and falls may result in temporary or significant disability. Your slip and fall could result in potentially recoverable lost wages and out of pocket medical expenses. If you had a slip and fall accident in Washington State, it is important that you call our personal injury attorneys to allow us to assist you with your recovery and pursue compensation on your behalf.