Bellingham Lawyers for Premises Liability
Located in Whatcom County, Bellingham has much to offer its residents and visitors. The downtown area is divided into four areas, each of which has many different entertainment venues, restaurants, and retail stores. When you visit someone else’s property whether as a customer or to browse or for a social call, you may assume that the property is kept up and safe for visitors. Unfortunately, sometimes, this turns out not to be true, and a visitor who encounters a dangerous condition is left with significant injuries, with their attendant medical expenses and pain. If you were injured or a loved one died of a dangerous property condition, you should give the experienced Bellingham premises liability lawyers of Walton Law a call. Chris Walton, the principal of the firm, is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and has received numerous recognitions for his compassionate and tenacious representation of clients.
Premises Liability Attorneys
Premises liability lawsuits are brought when a visitor is injured due to dangerous property conditions. Washington property owners owe a duty to make sure their property is reasonably safe so that visitors will not be harmed. However, property owners are not automatically held responsible when you are injured or a loved one is killed on their property. Rather, under Washington law, a property owner must have either created a dangerous condition that caused the injury and the lack of safety on the property or failed to warn about it or repair it.
Our premises liability lawyers in Bellingham will need to prove the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. This is also called actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition. For example, if you fell off a bed and breakfast balcony due to a rotted rail that broke when you were looking out at a view, we would need to demonstrate that the property owner knew or should have known about the rotted rail. This could be shown by finding other guests who had complained about a wobbly rail earlier or a maintenance person’s communications to the owner.
For another example, if you were violently mugged just outside a store at night because there were no lights or security guards, and there had been many attacks of the same type there previously, we may be able to show that the store owner should have installed lights and taken other security measures to protect visitors.
Similarly, if you trip on a cracked, uneven surface in a boutique that existed for a few months, and break your ankle, you may be able to recover damages. Our seasoned Bellingham premises liability lawyers might be able to prove that the owner knew about the uneven surface from personal observation, customer complaints, or video surveillance footage.
When there is no written or visual record of notice, or the defect is one that existed for a very brief period, it may be difficult to establish the requisite notice. Likewise, the defense may actively hide evidence or rely on business practices to avoid liability, making it crucial you have someone experienced on your side.
You should be aware that your damages may be reduced if the defendant’s attorneys and insurer show that you were comparatively negligent. For example, if you avoided a slick after seeing a server spill a dish at a restaurant in downtown Bellingham while going to the restroom, but then weren’t paying attention on your way back to your seat and fell on the slick, they may be able to recover damages.
Typically, if we can establish liability, we can recover compensatory damages. These are damages intended to put you back in the position you would have been in had there been no negligence. They include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, lost medical expenses, and lost wages.
Consult a Seasoned Premises Liability Lawyer
You need an experienced premises liability attorney representing you in Bellingham if you were injured or a loved one died due to a dangerous property condition. You should give Chris Walton and Walton Law a call. Our compassionate law firm tailors its representation to ensure thoughtful, personalized service to each and every client. We understand you might not be able to meet with us during normal business hours, so we offer both evening and weekend appointments. Call our seasoned Washington law firm at (866) 338-7079 or online to schedule a free consultation.