In Washington, property owners have a duty to keep their property safe and can be sued based on the theory of premises liability if injuries do occur due to unsafe conditions. This is not to say that such cases are simple. Premises liability laws vary from state-to-state. In the State of Washington, determining liability can be partially based on the reasons for why an individual is on the property to begin with.
Many property owners are not aware that they could be sued in the event a contractor is injured on the property while performing work on the premises. Liability is dependent on a number of factors, but it would be best in any circumstances to warn any contractors coming on the property of potential hazards.
A property owner’s exposure to liability can be dependent upon:
- The control the owner has over what the workers on the premises are doing.
- Whether dangerous conditions existed on the land that should have been known about.
- The possible fault of others such as the manufacturer of a defective product that caused the injury.
- Any determination of percentage of fault on the part of the injured party.
Again, the laws governing premises liability in each state are different. Therefore someone injured due to the possible negligence of a property owner in the State of Washington should speak to a licensed attorney in our state that understands premises liability law. It’s also helpful if the attorneys understand personal injury and products liability areas of law as well, and if the attorneys have had experience in negotiating with insurance companies that have insured the property.
Source: Huffington Post, “Construction Accident on Your Property: Legal Options,” Kiernan Hopkins, Sep. 10, 2013