Winters in DC and Maryland are often beautiful, but with that snow and ice comes an increase in slip and fall accident claims. These accidents are often more serious than many would think. Beyond bruises and scrapes, it’s not uncommon for victims to suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), broken bones, and even spinal cord damage.
Ice accidents are serious. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury because of a snow or ice accident, you should know that you could be eligible for compensation to make up for your losses. Johnnie Bond Law helps accident victims demonstrate liability for snow and ice accidents and fights to get a fair and full recovery.
Are Property Owners Responsible for a Snow or Ice Accident?
In Maryland and DC, property owners bear the responsibility for keeping their property safe from dangerous conditions. Whether the building is a shop, business, municipal building, or home, the property owner must clear ice or snow off their property within a particular window of time. This window varies depending on the municipality, but the law is clear: property owners can be held accountable for snow and ice accidents that occur on their premises.
Duty of Care for Safe Conditions Before and After a Storm
An owner’s responsibility to keep their property safe is called their duty of care. To the best of their ability, a property owner must inspect their property for any hazards and proactively minimize danger.
Before a storm, this might mean pretreating the ground with salt ahead of snowfall. After the storm, this would involve removing snow and ice from publically accessible walkways within a reasonable timeframe.
How Does Negligence Factor In?
One mitigating factor when it comes to attributing responsibility is contributory negligence. DC and Maryland are two of only a handful of jurisdictions that apply this standard. It means that if the victim contributed even slightly to their fall—or could have easily avoided the accident—their lawsuit may fail.
The District of Columbia and state of Maryland assume that residents know the risks involved when walking over snow and ice, so a victim could be found contributorily negligent, depending on the specifics of their case. Even so, this argument often fails in cases where the victim saw no other available path and had to walk through, especially if they were on their way to conduct essential business. It is crucial to collect evidence to show why a victim had no way of detecting the danger or no alternative route.
Burden of Proof for an Injured Person
To recover compensation for your injuries, you need to prove owner liability for your injuries. To do this, you should:
- Seek medical attention. Even if you’re not in pain in the immediate aftermath of the fall, that could be the result of adrenaline. It’s crucial that you seek medical attention right away and ask the doctor for a copy of all documents as proof.
- Document everything. If you can, take pictures and videos of the snowy or icy conditions that caused your fall. A snow and ice accidents lawyer will be able to use this evidence in your favor.
- Get contact information. Iif someone witnessed your fall, ask them for their contact information so they can corroborate your claim.
- Refrain from posting on social media. While it’s understandable to want to keep your friends and family informed, it’s best to do this via private communication. Public posts about the accident could hurt your chances of recovering compensation.
- Hire a personal injury attorney. A skilled snow and ice accidents lawyer will pursue additional avenues of negligence proof, such as CCTV footage and police reports.
- File your claim on time. The statute of limitations for most injury claims in DC and Maryland is three years from when the injury occurred. If you don’t file your claim within this timeframe, you likely won’t recover any compensation.
If you have been the victim of a snow and ice accident, you should know that you are not alone. Our team at the Johnnie Bond Law firm is here for you.
A Snow and Ice Accidents Lawyer at Johnnie Bond Law Can Help
If you’ve suffered a slip-and-fall injury because of snow or ice, our team will work with the insurance companies on your behalf so that you can focus on recovery. To get experienced help on your side, contact Johnnie Bond Law at 202-683-6803 to schedule your free consultation with a snow and ice accidents lawyer today.
Get a Free Case Evaluation.
We're Available to Help You 24/7.
You can also complete the form below, and we will reach out to you.