Each time you lawfully enter someone else’s property in Washington D.C., whether it is a government facility, a private residence, a shopping center, or anywhere else, you have a legal right to expect that the property owners have taken the appropriate measures to make your visit is safe from hazards or dangers. Most of the time, visits go off without issue, but there is always the risk of suffering from injuries due to a hazard you encounter on someone else’s premises, which will open the door to a personal injury claim in order to recover measurable damages for your injuries and losses.
Typically, you will file a claim with the property owner’s insurance company to recover appropriate damages for your accident. If you are only interested in resolving your claim as quickly as possible, the process is fairly simple. However, it is likely you will settle for far less than what you actually deserve if this is the route you take. In order to get the money you are actually owed following a premises liability accident in Washington D.C., you will need to go through a series of aggressive negotiations. This is where a personal injury attorney comes in handy.
Contact Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers, LLP For a Free Consultation Today
When you are working with a premises liability attorney after your D.C. accident, you can be confident that you have taken the right steps to get the money you are actually owed, and not just the money the insurance company wants to pay. The team at Balkin & Mausner Injury Lawyers, LLP has a history of experience representing personal injury clients of all types, including those who have been hurt in accidents caused by improper maintenance, lack of security, faulty infrastructure, and other issues of premises liability.
We offer a free initial consultation for personal injury victims so that we can have a direct conversation about the specifics of the accident, the steps that the victim has already taken, and to give a better sense of how we can help. The sooner we are able to connect with each other, the sooner we will be able to take on the insurance companies or property owners and build a case intended to get you the money you deserve for your injuries and suffering.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a legal term that requires property owners to maintain a safe environment for their visitors. Some of the main responsibilities of a property owner in order to uphold their premises liability duty of care include the following:
- Providing proper security in high-risk areas like parking garages
- Maintain infrastructure to avoid things like crumbling walkways or broken stairs
- Adhere to building codes when improving existing structures
- Carry out routine maintenance on machinery, like escalators and elevators
- Warn visitors of wet floors from cleaning, and fix leaks that lead to wet floors
- Clear ice and snow from stairs and walkways
- Fix any hazards that may lead to an accident, or properly warn visitors of the hazard
These are just a few of the many ongoing duties that a property owner must keep up with in order to provide safety to a visitor. If you were injured in an accident that was caused by a property owner’s failure to provide you with a safe visit, then you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries, suffering, and additional damages.
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability Law in Washington D.C.
The following are a few of the most common questions that we answer during our initial consultations regarding premises liability cases. Whether or not you see your question below, keep in mind that the answer we provide you during your initial consultation will be different from the general answer below. These answers are not meant to be taken as legal advice but are intended to give you an idea of how it may pertain to your unique situation.
Can I File a Claim If I Was Hurt at a Business, Hotel, or Other Property?
If you were hurt on property owned by someone else and were legally allowed to be there at the time of your injuries, and the accident was caused by a property owner’s failure to provide you with a safe visit, then you may be able to file a tort claim against them. In order to answer this question in greater detail and with certainty, we will need to discuss your accident with our legal team. There are many variables and factors that must be considered when trying to make sense of an accident and whether or not it opens the door for a premises liability claim, and we will want to be clear on all of these before giving you an answer.
That said, if you are hurt on someone else’s property it is important that you take steps to protect your possible options for legal action. Be sure that you do not sign anything that a property owner may furnish, as it may be a legal document absolving the responsible party of their liability or waiving your rights to legal recourse. Contact an attorney as soon as possible.
When Can I File a Claim Under Premises Liability Law?
You can file a claim under premises liability law as soon as you have been injured, provided that the situation meets the four main criteria for a tort case, which are listed below:
- The owner had a duty of reasonable care owed to the victim — in this instance, the duty of care was to provide a safe visit to their property
- The owner failed to uphold their duty of care — for example, by not repairing a faulty handrail
- The failed duty of care led to an accident, such as a fall down the stairs due to a broken handrail
- The accident led to measurable damages
As you can imagine, the possible situations that lead to a premises liability case vary greatly from case to case, so we will need to go through the details of your case during our initial consultation to determine your options.
What is a Property Owner’s Duty of Reasonable Care?
A property owner has a reasonable duty of care owed to visitors, meaning that they must take prudent and reasonable action to provide a safe visit. This means that they are not required to meticulously inspect every square foot of the premises in order to ensure that there are no possible hazards before allowing visitors, but does require that they address hazards that they knew of or should have reasonably been aware of.
In the event you are injured, a property owner can not simply claim ignorance of the hazard to avoid liability. We will need to set out that, under their duty of reasonable care, it is fair to expect that they should have known about the issue before your accident. There are many methods of doing so, and we will explore all options in order to build the strongest case for you.