Can I File a Wrongful Death Claim For A Slip and Fall Accident?
While the snow and ice has cleared from the snowstorm in mid-January, the Pacific Northwest isn’t out of the woods yet. Slip and fall accidents increase during winter months because of icy walkways. Snow, sleet and freezing rain can all turn into hazardous traveling conditions. Pedestrians should take reasonable precautions to protect themselves from a fall by slowing down in icy conditions but property owners can reduce the chances of a slip and fall injury on their property by salting or sanding walkways.
Injuries from slip and fall accidents vary in severity from a bruised tailbone to broken bones and yes, even death. Senior adults over the age of 65 are particularly susceptible to slip and fall accidents leading to serious injuries; falls are the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among the older population. Each year at least 300,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures with more than 95 percent of hip fractures caused by falling. According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans over the age of 65 has a slip and fall accident every year. Every 11 seconds, a senior adult seeks emergency room treatment for a fall and every 19 minutes, a senior person dies from a fall. In fact, falls are the number one cause of fatal injury among seniors.
Can I file a wrongful death claim for a slip and fall accident?
According to National Safety Council, in 2014, falls were the third leading cause of unintentional deaths in the United States. In 2014 alone, more than 31,000 people died in a fall. If a slip and fall leads to the death of a loved one then it’s possible that a wrongful death claim would be appropriate. Seek the guidance of a wrongful death attorney in your area.
Serious injuries from slip and fall accidents
There is a jump from the minor injuries that we commonly associate with a slip and fall accident such as bruising to serious injuries that can lead to death. Some examples of serious injuries from slip and fall accidents include: spinal cord injury, internal bleeding, infection that leads to organ failure and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Who is liable for slip and fall accidents on icy walkways?
While humans don’t control weather conditions, property owners are expected to make their property reasonably safe for visitors or customers to navigate. That means clearing up unreasonably dangerous hazards such as ice in parking lots or walkways. If a customer entering a store or the mail man walking to a house to deliver mail slips and falls on the property because the property owner failed to take reasonable care to clear dangerous hazards or to at least place hazard warning signs then there may be grounds for a premises liability case.
Determining fault in a premises liability case
In Washington, fault can be shared in a personal injury case. In a premises liability personal injury case the injured person is expected to have taken reasonable precautions when obvious hazards were present at the time of injury. Damages are awarded based on contributory fault law which says that the injured party may only be awarded damages proportionate to the percentage of fault contributed by the defendant and nothing for the amount of fault that the victim contributed.
Seek the help of a slip and fall accident attorney
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury through no fault of your own, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!