If you have been injured on another person’s property due to an unsafe condition or from someone’s negligence, you may have a personal injury claim. The great majority of these types of cases involve someone who is injured after falling down because the ground was slippery or because an object that was not easily seen caused someone to be tripped. In order to determine whether you can recover for your injuries from the owner or occupier of the land, the first question that must be answered is: why were you there?
If you are a trespasser, then the owner or occupier of the land is not responsible unless they “willfully” or “wantonly” caused the injury. For example, the landowner or occupier will be responsible if they leave an uninsulated charged wire on their land knowing children will often play there.
If you are a social visitor at someone’s house, the law classifies you as a “licensee” and an owner or occupier is generally only responsible for your injuries if they know, or should know, of an unsafe condition that they would not reasonably believe you would discover for yourself. For example, if the owner is aware that their back deck has rotted boards but does not block off the area or warn you and because of that you fall through the deck and get injured.
If you are on another person’s premises for the purpose of doing business, then the law gives you the greatest protection of all. In such a case, you are classified as an “invitee” and the law requires the owner or occupier to not only make the premises reasonably safe, but to inspect the premises to make sure there are no unsafe conditions that can cause harm. For example, if you are shopping and slip because the owner or occupier failed to take reasonable precautions to keep the floors clean, then you would be able to recover for your injuries.
At Buckley & Associates, our attorneys are dedicated to helping injured clients with premises liability claims recover the compensation they need. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please call Buckley & Associates today at (206) 622-1100. We represent clients in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.