Washington DC Premises Liability Lawyers Explain Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit
In most cases, premises liability laws require property owners and businesses to fix or warn you of slip and fall hazards. However, businesses and other property owners may fail in this duty, putting visitors at risk for injuries or death in a slip and fall accident. When property owners fail to remove hazards, they can be held accountable for the accidents that result. If unsafe conditions on someone else’s property have harmed you or a loved one, you may have legal options to recover compensation through a slip and fall lawsuit.
Businesses usually have access to financial and legal resources to fight injury claims. For this reason, it is important to trust a law firm with experienced premises liability lawyers. At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, our attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience helping clients recover multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts after slip and fall accidents. For example, we recovered a $4.2 million settlement for a child who suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling off a playground apparatus. If you need to know what to do after a slip and fall accident, then we can offer answers.
What are Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
Although a variety of different dangerous conditions may cause slip and fall accidents, most are preventable when property owners take steps to maintain a safe environment. Common causes of slip and fall accidents may include:
- Wet surfaces. Restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses should always clean up puddles, spills or other wet surfaces. At the very least, property owners should mark wet surfaces with signs that warn of slip and fall hazards.
- Clutter. If objects are left on the ground, then you could lose your footing and fall. Property owners should remove clutter from areas with heavy foot traffic, such as stairwells and hallways.
- Inadequate lighting. Stairwells and hallways with poor lighting can hide objects, spills or other slip and fall hazards.
- Bad weather. Snow, ice, sleet and rain can create slip and fall hazards inside and outside of businesses. However, a property owner still has a duty to take reasonable steps to remove these hazards from the premises.
- Uneven walkways. In some cases, parking lots and other walkways may have severely uneven surfaces that create tripping hazards. For example, cracks in the sidewalk can cause you to trip and fall. Owners of private property must maintain walkways and paths on their land, while the city or other government agency is typically responsible for public sidewalks.
- Unsafe staircases. Slip and fall accidents involving these staircases in poor condition are more likely to result in catastrophic injury or death.
- Medical negligence. Some slip and fall injuries occur because hospital or nursing home staff fail to supervise patients. For example, hospital patients may suffer injuries after falling out of bed or losing their balance.
Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
In many cases, slip and fall accidents occur because property owners neglect premises liability laws. However, these laws can vary depending on where you live. In Washington D.C., you may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against a property owner if one the following is true:
- The property owner knew of (or caused) a slip and fall hazard but did not fix it. If a property owner fails to correct slip and fall hazards that he or she knows about, then the owner could be held accountable for your injury. For example, if a grocery employee knew about a spill but failed to put up a wet floor sign, causing you to slip and fall, then you may have grounds for a legal claim.
- The property owner should have known about the hazard and failed to make repairs. A property owner may be liable for your injury even if he or she had no knowledge of the dangerous conditions. It is enough that the owner should have known about a hazard and failed to make repairs. For example, a property owner may fail to notice a burned-out light in a stairwell fora substantial time period. If you fall down these stairs due to poor lighting, then the property owner may belegally responsible for your injuries.
Additionally, in some cases, third parties may be responsible for slip and fall accidents. If you are injured in a fall at work that was caused by someone who does not work for your employer, then you may be able to bring a legal claim against that party and his/her employer, if applicable. Furthermore, if a building’s defective design causes your slip and fall injury, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the construction company.
Questions About Filing a Slip and Fall Lawsuit? Contact Our Premises Liability Attorneys
If you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall injury on someone else’s property, then contact an attorney from our law firm as soon as possible. Filing a legal claim against the property owner or other parties, can help pay for expenses related to your injuries. However, businesses and other property owners may take steps to conceal or correct hazards immediately following the accident.Each state has its own statute of limitations for filing premises liability claims. Therefore, seeking qualified legal counsel is essential.
The premises liability lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC take cases in Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland. We also handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not owe us fees unless you recover compensation. For a free consultation explaining what to do after a slip and fall accident, call (202) 463-3030 or fill out our confidential online contact form.