First Things to Look For When Filing a Slip and Fall Case in DC
Been injured in a slip and fall accident in Washington, DC? If so the following are the first things you should be looking for according to a DC slip and fall lawyer. For more information call and schedule a consultation today.
What Are Some of The First Things An Attorney Will Look For in a Slip and Fall Injury Case?
The first thing an attorney will look for in a slip and fall injury case is to make sure that the injury has been reported in a timely manner. Next, it is important to investigate what the hazard, dangerous condition, or obstacle was and to determine whether the landlord would have had actual or constructive notice of it. It is important these things are investigated as it can have a huge impact on the case.
In DC, the law provides that contributory negligence can be a complete bar to recovery by an injured party, such that if the negligent party is 99% at fault but the injured party is even as little as 1% at fault, that can bar recovery. So you have to look to the actions of the injured party as well: were they careful, were they looking where they were going, and were they aware of the dangerous condition. If the hazard could be readily seen, there is a question of whether or not it could have been avoided by the party that was ultimately injured.
You look at all these things, and you want to make sure that the names of the owners and managers of the property are known. You also want to know of any witnesses to the accident, and you want to take good pictures of the scene and the injuries. It’s important for the injured party to seek medical attention and document their injuries. Once the attorney is involved, any contact from the insurance company or property owner is curtailed by letting them know we are representing the injured party and telling them that they have to deal with us. We always want to make sure that the injured party doesn’t make any recorded or detailed statements concerning the incident, because they have no obligation to do so and they really should not. Once they have retained legal representation, the attorney can and should do that for them, and there’s no responsibility or reason for them to do it themselves.
What Are Some of The First Things You Ask Potential Clients Involved in DC Slip and Fall Cases?
We ask them to take us through the scenario and explain why they were on the premises in order to establish whether they were there lawfully. We want to know how long they had been on the premises and how the incident happened: was it when they were arriving, after they had been there for a period of time, or when they were leaving? We ask if they had an opportunity to see the dangerous condition before the injury occurred.