If you experienced a slip and fall accident on another person’s property, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. However, hiring the right slip and fall accidents lawyer is invaluable in helping navigate your case effectively and receiving a fair outcome.
At Johnnie Bond Law, our professional personal injury team has extensive experience guiding DC area clients through slip and fall cases. Call our team today at 202-683-6803 to schedule a free consultation with a slip and fall accidents lawyer.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident Case?
When you visit a business, public area, or friend’s home, the owner of the property has an obligation to create a safe environment for you. This duty includes removing any hazardous condition that could cause you to slip and fall.
When property owners fail to create a safe environment for visitors, they become liable for accidents and injuries that occur. As a result, if you slipped and fell on another person’s property and suffered an injury, the property owner may be responsible for the resulting damages.
Slip and Fall Accident Causes and Potential Injuries
Slip and fall accidents typically occur in environments where the ground or floor is unexpectedly slippery. The most common causes of these accidents include:
- Wet surfaces
- Uneven carpets or floorboards
- Icy sidewalks
- Cluttered floors
- Cracks or potholes in the pavement
- Freshly waxed floors
Slip and fall accidents can produce injuries ranging from mild to severe. Typically, slip and fall accident victims are at risk of experiencing the following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and abrasions
- Soft tissue injuries
- Sprains and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
Even if you believe your injuries are not very severe, filing a slip and fall injury claim is an essential step in receiving compensation for your pain and suffering.
How Maryland Slip and Fall Attorneys Can Help
To have an effective slip and fall accident case, you must meet the conditions for premises liability law. Specifically, your case must meet these criteria:
- The property owner was responsible for creating a safe environment
- A hazard occurred on the property
- The property owner had reasonable time to become aware of the hazard
- The property owner failed to take reasonable steps to address the hazard
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney can help you create a solid case that supports the above points in a premises liability suit. Your attorney can:
- Help you gather evidence
- Communicate with the at-fault party and their insurance companies on your behalf
- Represent you in court
DC and Maryland have a three year statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. This means that you must file your case within three years of your accident. Our attorney team can help ensure that you meet this statute of limitations and work hard to secure compensation quickly.
Contact an Experienced Slip and Fall Lawyer Serving the DC Area
If you’ve experienced a slip and fall accident in Maryland or DC, our Johnnie Bond Law team can help. Call us today at 202-683-6803 to schedule your free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slip and Fall Accidents
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident Case?
When you visit a place of business, public area, or a person’s residence, the owner of the property has an obligation to maintain a safe environment for you. This duty includes removing any hazardous condition that could cause you to slip or trip and fall.
What are slip and fall accidents?
In legal terms, a slip and fall accident refers to an incident where the victim falls and suffers injuries because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property. The fall could be caused by tripping, so a trip and fall case is just like a slip and fall case.
In a slip and fall situation, the victim might lose their balance due to a slippery surface, trip over a hazard, or stumble and fall in an area with broken handrails or inadequate lighting. Slip and fall accidents can happen outside or inside. Injuries resulting from slip and fall accidents can affect all parts of the body.
How common are slip and fall accidents?
Slip and fall accidents are far more common than most people realize. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that every year, more than 800,000 patients suffer fall injuries severe enough to require hospitalization. The injuries that result in admission to the hospital are most often head injuries or hip fractures.
Many slip and fall incidents are not reported. Often, victims do not realize the severity of their injuries until after they have left the site of a fall and they never collect the evidence they needed to seek compensation.
How do you prove negligence in a slip and fall?
In the DMV, you must first prove that a property owner or manager had an obligation to provide safe, usable facilities or to warn you about conditions that made the property unsafe. If you were trespassing on the property or entered to further your own business purposes such as conducting door-to-door sales, the property owner may not have an obligation to keep you safe. On the other hand, if you came onto property such as a store to shop, then the owner of the premises owes you the highest duty of care because you were on the property to serve the owner’s business interests.
Once you’ve established that the owner or manager had a duty to protect you from danger, then you need to demonstrate that they failed to uphold that duty, and that failure is what caused your injuries. You will need to show that the owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and did not take reasonable action to fix it or warn you about it. You will also need to present evidence to show the severity of your injuries and how they have affected your life. Collecting and preserving evidence is crucial to your ability to recover compensation after a slip and fall. An attorney can help right after the accident to ensure that you gather the best available evidence.
Are slip and fall cases hard to win?
Victims injured in the DMV have a harder time winning slip and fall cases than victims in most other jurisdictions. That is because Maryland, DC, and Virginia all follow an old principle referred to as contributory negligence. Under this principle, if a property owner can show that the victim was partially to blame for the injury, then the property owner does not have to pay compensation.
Because of this principle, it is especially important to seek out evidence to support your claim immediately after the accident if possible. It is also critical to avoid saying anything that could be taken out of context and used against you. When you work with an attorney, your legal advisor and help recover evidence and talk to investigators for you so you don’t have to worry about making mistakes.
If someone falls on a broken piece of a city sidewalk and is injured, can they sue the city?
It is possible to sue the local government when they create dangerous conditions that cause harm. However, it can be much more difficult to win and you must be prepared to take action very quickly after the injury because the laws often establish short deadlines for claims. If you suffered injuries on city or county property, it is wise to consult an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.
What duties do property owners have regarding ice and snow removal?
Property owners in the DMV are generally required to remove ice and snow from the sidewalks on their property within 8 to 24 hours after the end of a storm, depending on local regulations. However, if a property owner fails to clear ice or snow from a driveway, entrance area, or sidewalk, it can still be difficult to hold them liable for injuries if you slip and fall. Many times, people walking on ice or snow are expected to be aware of the danger and to assume the risk. If you can prove that the ice was not obvious or that the ice and snow were blocking the only access, you generally have a better risk of succeeding with a slip and fall claim involving ice or snow.
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