Washington’s Premises Liability Laws

Premises liability is a legal term that applies to the situation when a person is injured on someone else’s land. An example of a premises liability injury is where a delivery person suffers a dog bite while making a stop on a person’s property. No matter the exact scenario, victims can generally recover from a premises liability accident by proving that the property owner failed to uphold a duty of care.

Types of Premises Liability Cases

Premises liability cases involve a person suffering an injury while on another person’s or entity’s property.

The cases can come in many forms, including:

  • Slip and fall accidents,
  • Injuries on someone else’s home,
  • Swimming pool accidents,
  • Amusement Park accidents,
  • Dog bite cases,
  • Accidents in an apartment complex or condominium building, and
  • Injuries on a business property.

Proving Fault in a Premises Liability Case

Many states say that if someone was injured on another person’s property, the property owner must compensate the victim for his/her injuries if he/she/it was negligent. “Negligence” means that the property owner either:

  • Failed to act as a reasonable person or entity would under the circumstances, or
  • Knew of some hazardous condition on the property but failed to fix it.

Washington Law, though, says that liability for an injury depends on the status of the injured victim. The law divides all visitors into three general categories – invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Property owners own each class of guests different duties of care.

For example, invitees are people that have a property owner’s permission to be on the property. Examples include family, friends, and neighbors. Property owners usually have to keep their property reasonably safe for this class of people. If they fail to do so, and an invitee is injured, then the property owner is typically responsible for the injuries.

Licensees are people that have a property owner’s permission to enter the property but do so for their own purposes. Examples include delivery people, salesmen, and landscapers. Property owners generally owe licensees a duty to warn them of dangerous conditions on their property that create an unreasonable risk of harm. If they fail to do so, and a licensee is hurt, the owner is liable for the injury.

Trespassers are those people that enter someone’s property without the owner’s permission. Property owners generally have no duties of care to trespassers. The only exception is trespassing children.

Compensation for Injuries

If a party was hurt on another’s land, and fault lies with the property owner, that party must compensate the injury victim for:

  • Medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost earning capacity,
  • Property damage,
  • Out-of-pocket expenses, and
  • Pain and suffering

Contact Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC

Please know that Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC is here to help if you’ve suffered a premises liability injury. Our attorneys provide free consultations to all our potential clients. Further, the attorneys at our law firm have over 120 years of combined experience representing injured parties and helping them file lawsuits to get the compensation they deserve. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve.