Slip and Fall
Slip & Fall Attorney Washington DC, Maryland, & Virginia
Slip and fall, or trip and fall, accidents can result in serious injuries and can require the involvement of a Washington, DC slip and fall attorney. Slip and fall accidents happen every day in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. These accidents may be caused by the neglect of a property owner to either clean or place caution signs indicating spill or slippery situation where people frequent. They can also occur when property owners fail to maintain their parking lots, floors, and walkways. In fact, any number of situations can contribute to a slip and fall. Sprains, tears, and broken bones are some of the most common injuries that result from slip and fall accidents.
Washington DC injury lawyers are often contacted when individuals have fallen at an area business. Sometimes the injuries these individuals receive are minor and require little more than first-aid treatment. Often, however, the injuries are more severe and involve fractures or muscle strains and tears. These injuries may require emergency medical care, x-rays and MRIs, and even physical therapy. Especially alarming, many victims of a slip and fall do not initially realize the extent of their injuries. The adrenaline rush that comes with the fall can block pain signals. And even if the individual does feel the pain associated with an injury, they may not associate it with a significant injury until that pain fails to dull in time. That is why many Washington DC slip and fall law firm recommends that you exercise caution and receive immediate medical attention after a fall.
A majority of falls occur on the same level that a slip or trip takes place. A “slip” occurs where there is not enough traction between the footwear and the walking surface. This can occur if the surface is wet or messy. A “trip” occurs when a person collides with an object and loses balance as a result of that collision. This may happen when walking over a broken piece of flooring or a frayed or curling rug. Both slips and trips can result in falls that cause injuries. Conditions that pose the risk of slip and fall may include, but are not limited to:
- Wet or oily floors – floors may be wet due to mopping or spills
- Poorly maintained walkways – chipped tiles, broken pavement, or ruts in walkways
- Weather hazards – snow or ice that was not cleared away, or deep puddles and standing water
- Unsafe or broken stairways – steps with loose tiles or uneven stairs
- Loose handrails – railings that are not fastened securely in place
- Unguarded manholes – exposed to passersby
- Uneven flooring – broken tiles, flooring materials that do not align
- Unsafe construction site conditions – construction materials left in the walkway, broken or uneven concrete
- Poor lighting – dim views of walking areas and possible hazards
- Obstructed view – the inability to see potential hazards
- Clutter – objects in areas of traffic, small items in walkways
Property owners aren’t liable every time a person happens to fall on their properties, and slip and fall cases can also be quite complex. Generally, for a property owner to be liable for a slip and fall injury, there usually must be some evidence of a defect or a dangerous condition on the property that caused the fall and the property owner must have known or should have known of this dangerous condition. This can be any kind of condition that is unsafe, or poses an unacceptable risk of harm to a person who is lawfully on the property. Often, expert testimony from an engineer, or safety expert, will be needed to prove how the defective condition was dangerous, how long the dangerous condition existed, and whether any steps were taken by the property owner to make the conditions safe enough. Due to these complex requirements, it is important to contact a Washington, DC slip and fall attorney right away. The attorney will assess your individual case and can determine if there is reason to believe the business is liable. This comprehensive assessment helps prevent cases that will not result in positive outcomes.
Slip and Fall Frequently Asked Questions:
Where are the most common locations people slip and fall?
Slip and fall accidents are so common because they can happen nearly anywhere at nearly any time. Someone can slip and fall anywhere from a parking lot to a sidewalk, at a shopping mall, playground, home or anywhere in between. The unsafe conditions of a property or business can lead to a serious injury, especially if the person injured is elderly. Dark or poorly lit locations are a common location. Locations with uneven pavement are also common locations for slip and falls. Commercial kitchens are a common place for slip and falls, which is why it’s so important that an employer have the proper non-slip flooring or carpeting around such locations.
A big problem about slip and fall accidents is that people often assume that their slip and fall was their own fault, but that’s generally not the case. Business owners, homeowners and landlords have premises liability, which is the responsibility to maintain property conditions at all times.
What are common causes for slip and falls?
There are a variety of causes for slip and falls, which can include defects in pavement, snow and ice accumulation, torn, raised, or worn carpeting, inadequate lighting, broken or unsafe handrails, holes and depressions in the ground, spilled food or drinks, stray electrical cords and wires.
What are some immediate steps I should take after an accident?
It’s crucial to know how to handle the steps after a slip and fall accident. First off, seek medical treatment. If you have slipped and fallen, you should go see a doctor and/or seek medical treatment. Make sure you keep all documents of this. Next, report the accident. No matter where the slip trip and fall occurs, a baseball game, a business, an apartment, report the incident to a manager, apartment manager, etc and make sure you have and keep documentation. Next, make sure you document everything. That will be key if you need to take legal recourse. Following that, do not give any statements. You can decline to give a statement. Don’t post on social media. Speak to an attorney before you speak to the insurance company. You are allowed to decline until speaking to a legal professional. And finally, call an attorney. Make sure you call a slip and fall attorney in Washington DC so you can know your rights and how to navigate your slip and fall and the aftermath.
How much is a slip and fall case worth?
There’s no set answer to that common question. Each case is unique, that’s why you should contact our legal professionals to get a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers at Cohen & Cohen can answer your questions and sort out the details of your unique case. Some injuries are greater than others, therefore some compensations are larger than others.
I fell at a friend’s apartment. Who would pay my bills?
This question is why slip and fall cases are so complex. If you fall at a rental property, your friend may not be on the hook. Instead, the property owner, landlord, or business owner may be the one responsible for injuries that take place on their property, due to “premises liability.” If a property owner did not maintain the safety of the stairs, the landlord or property owner may be liable. If you fell because snow was not removed properly, it is possible that a third party, like a snow removal service hired by the landlord, might be held responsible if that company failed to fulfil their duties.
The best solution to sort out these complex problems is to reach out to a slip and fall attorney in the DC area.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you need a Washington, DC slip and fall attorney right away. An experienced slip and fall lawyers like those at Cohen & Cohen know that in a slip and fall case, time is of the essence. Once a person has been hurt as the result of a dangerous condition, most owners will act quickly to fix the problem. This means that evidence of the dangerous condition may be destroyed. That is why experienced trip and fall attorneys act immediately to preserve evidence of the condition.
During your free consultation, your Washington, DC slip and fall attorney will listen as you present your interpretation of the facts. Your attorney will then ask questions to better assess what happened, your injuries, and the behavior of any employees after you were injured. Your attorney is then prepared to collect evidence in your case, through video or photographs of the hazardous conditions and the statements of any witnesses present or personnel who may have been aware of the dangerous conditions. After compiling evidence and your explanation, your attorney can then proceed to pursue justice in your case. Often, we are able to settle your case with the insurance company without ever entering the courtroom. But rest assured, should our Washington, DC slip and fall attorneys feel that you will not achieve acceptable compensation without progressing to trial, they will competently represent you in the courtroom.
Injuries, whether broken bones, lacerations, concussions, sprains, or torn muscles, can mean medical bills and time off work to recover. Victims of falls need help to navigate the legal system, document hazardous conditions, get expert testimony, and negotiate with the insurance adjuster. These matters are complex and are best handled by experienced professionals that can act in your best interest and defense to help get you the compensation that you deserve. If you’ve been hurt in a slip and fall in Washington, DC, Maryland or Northern Virginia, call Cohen & Cohen to speak with a slip and fall attorney today.