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Slip and fall

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by lucky1thanx, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Washington
    Can liability be signed away contractually?

    Business A has parking lot warning stripes painted by business B. Contract States that business B shall hold harmless, defend, etc., business A against any liability.

    Customer slips on freshly painted, newly rained on stripes. On completing the accident report, employees states that other employees had slipped and commented about the slipperiness.

    1) who is liable?

    2) how to prove liability?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    There is no liability attached to anyone until the matter has been litigated before a court of law, and a judge or jury decides.

    That's a very complicated answer, too complex for a discussion board.

    However, simply put, I've summed it up in my previous answer.
     
  3. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Pardon my ignorance. Perhaps I should have asked a different question.

    Can you take off a few of the ways where business A mmaybe found liable, as well as a few of the ways where business B would be?
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I could, but what purpose would that serve?

    Liability would derive upon a verdict apportioning liability by a judge or jury.

    A person or entity can't simply abdicate or bargain away its STRICT liability contractually.

    Just as you can't assign, sell, or gift away any right to which you might be entitled.

    You can search the internet for the information you seek, its called research.

    If I can, I'd be happy to try and answer a specific legal question.

    Or, wait and see if another poster responds with the information you're seeking.
     
  5. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I didn't know one must state a purpose in order to ask a question. Here are a few purposes:
    • Increase my understanding of liability
    • Discover if, possibly, the concepts within an exculpatory clause such as those found on parking garage tickets extend to contractual agreements between a business and a parking lot stripe painter
    • Learn what better questions to ask and how to ask them
    • Provide an opportunity for those with a more in-depth knowledge to share information with someone more ignorant who is doing their own research
    • Pick up proper terminology in order to do better research
    I remain in search of factors that influence a verdict either way
    I am under the impression that this IS the internet, and that this is part of my feeble attempt at "research," however ineffective. Thanks for the tip, and for the OPD (opportunity for personal development: never take anything personally)
    I sure wish I knew what questions to ask, and how to ask them.
    How about: "If a person slipped and fell on freshly painted, freshly rained on parking lot stripes, what questions should ask and what should they research?"
    Thank you. I will patiently await any kind and charitable answers from some compassionate soul who might care to reply, sir. I bet there is someone here who actually understands where I am coming from.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There is. It was my business for 35 years.

    But, with all due respect, we aren't really here to help people do research, we're here to help people who need advice about the bad things that are happening to them.

    That being said, I will help you as follows.

    Wikipedia has a fairly decent article about Negligence. It'll give you enough of the basics so you can analyze who can be liable and how that person can be liable. There are additional resources down the right side of the page.

    Negligence - Wikipedia

    Wikipedia also has an article on Indemnity which is the concept on which hold harmless clauses are based.

    Indemnity - Wikipedia

    You can expand your internet research based on those articles.

    Once you've done that perhaps you can come back and tell us how you have applied your new-found knowledge to The Case of the Slippery Stripes.
     
    lucky1thanx likes this.
  7. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but this question has little relevance in the context of the scenario you described.

    I think what you're saying here is that A owns the parking lot and contracted with B to paint the stripes. Correct?

    Do these employees work for A or B?

    I'm not sure anyone is liable. Things get slippery when it rains, and it is common knowledge that painted asphalt or concrete tends to be more slippery than unpainted asphalt or concrete.

    The person who slipped will have to convince the court that the painted stripes were so unreasonable dangerous that a warning sign should have been posted.

    How badly injured was this person? It may be that the easiest way to deal with this is by making a claim against the property owner's non-fault medical payments coverage (a component of virtually every property owner's policy).

    I've already discussed A's potential liability to the injured person. B almost certainly has no direct liability. It would be foolish to speculate about the extent of B's indemnity obligations to A without reading the exact language of their contract.
     
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  8. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, A is the business and they hired B to paint the stripes. The injured party sustained a hernia, had about $3, 000 worth of Chiropractic Care, and has lived in the Pacific Northwest area long enough to understand about slippery surfaces in the rain. The fact that other employees were having conversations about the conditions tells me that a warning sign should have been posted and the area should be sanded or covered with some kind of substance to prevent slipping. Of course, since I am the one that slipped I am biased.

    Thank you and the other poster for your excellent food for thought. At least I am now pointed in the right direction for my research. Again thank you.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Thank you for finally revealing that.

    Yogi Berra once said "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is."

    It'll make sense to you when I tell you that all the "research" in the world isn't going to help you until you pick somebody and say "You did this to me."

    With that in mind have you put A and/or B on written notice that they are responsible and what conversations have you had with A and/or B and/or their insurance companies?
     
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  10. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    AdjusterJack - thank you for the links. Between those, and what I can find online I am learning a great deal and understand why unsatisfying answers like "it's complicated" or "depends" are actually relevant.

    While I continue my self-directed education, a question that I (perhaps foolishly) imagine as being simple has occurred to me.

    If the injured party, me, files in small claims court the day before the Washington State statute of limitations for PI cases expires, a date that has now passed, can I ask the District Court to transfer the case from Small Claims over to a Civil Court? (can I change it from a small claim case to a civil case?). If so, how? If not, oh well.

    TIA
     
  11. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Wait. You mean it's been more than 3 years since the accident? If you missed the SOL, you're done.

    Yes. Can't imagine why you would want to. Regular civil is much more formal and rigorous than small claims and lack of knowledge of civil procedure can really hurt you.

    You file a motion. You get a hearing. You explain why. The judge says yes or no.
     
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  12. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Nice to know (that I might be able to go civil instead of small claims).

    While I understand that small claims is more "casual" (allows circumstantial?, etc.) I like knowing that changing "venues" is a possibility in regards to negotiating with the insurance company. The district court folks (clerk) say they don't do pain and suffering, future care, etc. Only out of pocket (General?) damages. (I never saw that online)

    Of course, I'd rather settle with the insurance company, yet, if I am ~willing~ to get out of the small claims venue and their $5,000 limit in order to go for a larger settlement....well, knowing that I might petition the court (because I didn't know better or some relevant reason)...well, that's a chip on my side for negotiations.

    BTW, I filed for small claims BEFORE the SOL expired. I did not file a civil suit. The SOL has passed.

    Also, the reason why I might say that I am considering civil court (vs. small claims) is because the insurance company might notice that what I filed is small claims and that they have a $5,000 limit. I may want to settle for more than $5,000.

    Thank you for your reflections. I know that I am really out of my field.
     
  13. Highwayman

    Highwayman Well-Known Member

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    You DID file a civil suit.

    What do you think small claims is? It's simply a different court.
     
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  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You got that right.
     
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  15. lucky1thanx

    lucky1thanx Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm glad you can get past my terminology inadequacies. Learning as much as I can. "Regular" court vs Small Claims. Thanks.
     

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