When you walk around Washington DC and the surrounding areas, you have every right to expect that the property owner or manager has taken the appropriate care to ensure that you will be safe from hazards. If there are hazards that they are unable to remedy, then it is up to them to provide you with ample, clear warnings and a way to avoid being injured. In the event that you are hurt after a fall due to a hazard on someone else’s property that you were lawfully on, then you have a right to compensation in the form of a slip and fall case, which is a common premise liability claim.
Find a Lawyer Easily
Balkin & Mausner is a personal injury law firm in Washington DC that handles slip and fall injury cases.The sooner you are able to hire a lawyer to represent your injuries, the better chances you will have of a fair settlement. From the moment you file a claim with an insurance company, you will benefit from the support and representation of an experienced slip and fall attorney in Washington DC, since insurance companies will spring into action immediately and attempt to limit your claim amount. Your lawyer will ensure that every communication with the insurance company is done with the intention of limiting your liability and maximizing your settlement amount.
Read more below to learn more about the specifics of slip and fall cases in Washington, as well as how you can benefit from the support of an attorney. Contact us now to be connected with an attorney as soon as possible.
What Is a Slip and Fall?
As the name implies, a slip and fall is a personal injury situation when someone is on property other than their own, and they are injured by slipping and falling because of an avoidable hazard that the property owner should have been addressed. There are some legal gray areas around trespassing and premise liability, so if you were not lawfully on the property then you should speak with an attorney to understand your options.
To determine whether or not you are the victim of a slip and fall, and therefore entitled to compensation, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was there a hazard on the property when you visited?
- Should the property owner, manager, or responsible party have been aware of the hazard, and taken some type of corrective action?
- Did the responsible party fail to either fix the hazard or properly alert you?
- Were you injured as a result of this failure?
If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions, there is a strong possibility that you have a right to compensation. Of course, there are many more details that you and your attorney will need to explore and clarify during the claims investigation so that you will have the necessary information throughout negotiations.
Examples of Slip and Fall Accidents
The following are just a few common examples of slip and fall accidents:
- A wet floor without a warning sign
- A broken stair tread on a stairwell that has not been closed off
- A hole or other hazard from construction on a sidewalk without any closures or warnings
- An icy walkway to a government building, especially during open hours
- Unsafe flooring in a private home
These examples are only a few of the many situations you, as a victim, can find yourself in. Regardless of how you were injured, and whether or not you are certain if you have a right for additional compensation, speaking with an attorney is the most important first step that you can take once you have gotten your immediate medical needs addressed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Slips and Falls
The following are just a few of the most common questions that a victim of a slip and fall may be asking after their injury, and questions that your Balkin & Mausner attorney will be able to answer for you in much greater detail once you connect with them.
Am I entitled to compensation for my injuries after an accident on someone else’s property?
Understanding the specifics of when someone is considered to be a victim of a slip and fall, and therefore entitled to compensation, rely on a variety of factors. What type of property were you injured on, and were you lawfully entitled to be on the property? Did you answer ‘yes’ on the factors provided in the above section? In order to work through this question with certainty, hire an attorney as soon as possible.
How much is my slip and fall case worth?
A slip and fall, like any personal injury case, takes many different factors, both economic and non-economic, into account when it comes to calculating a slip and fall settlement. Economic damages seek repayment for losses and expenses such as medical bills, treatment costs, and any impacts on a victim’s income or earning capacity. Non-economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for impacts that do not have specific dollar values, such as the actual pain and suffering of the injuries, and the emotional trauma of the accident.
When should I hire an attorney after a slip and fall accident?
One of the most important reasons to hire an attorney BEFORE even filing a claim with the insurance company is so that they have ample time to study your situation and reach a clear, evidence-based calculation of what you are owed. Calculating your damages is a major step in the process, but you can be certain that the insurance company will push back on every line item—without clear supporting evidence, you can expect a long and frustrating battle.
Will I need to go to trial to get a fair settlement for my slip and fall in Washington DC?
The good news about settlements after slip and fall cases is that very few personal injury claims ever make it to trial. When you hire an attorney immediately after your accident, they will have three years from the date of the accident for negotiating a settlement before the statute of limitations expires. During this time, you and your lawyer will work together to identify the settlement that you are comfortable accepting, and if it seems unlikely that you will reach an agreement, the next step is to file a lawsuit. However, even filing a lawsuit is not a guarantee that you will see trial; in fact, fewer than 50% of lawsuits ever reach trial.