Notice in DC Slip and Fall Cases

Suffered a slip and fall injury due to a property owner or businesses negligence in Washington, DC? The following is what you need to know regarding the establishment of notice and how the presence of notice can influence a premises liability case. For more information regarding your case and the impact of notice call and schedule a consultation with a DC slip and fall injury lawyer today.

What Does Notice Mean In Slip and Fall Cases?

In order to establish the responsibility of the landowner and prove that they are liable, the injured party has to prove that the defendant created the unsafe condition that caused the injury, or that the property owner should have known of the condition and the danger that it posed. 

That law imposes a burden on the injured party to prove that the property owner had notice of the defect or the dangerous condition. That’s referred to as notice: you must prove that the property owner had notice of the dangerous condition in order for them to be held responsible for injuries that someone sustained due to that dangerous condition. The property owner also has to have had enough time to do something about it as well.

What About Constructive Notice? 

The law says that the property owner is responsible for those dangerous conditions that they know of or should have known of. Constructive notice is the “should have known” part of that duty, and it means that there’s some condition that, by its very nature, the property owner should have been aware of.

Constructive notice means they should have known, as opposed to actual notice where they absolutely know. For example, actual notice occurs where the property owner directly created the danger, or where something exists on the property that, by the very nature of the kind of defect, danger, or obstacle it is, the property owner should have known that it was there. Constructive notice creates the duty that has to be established by the plaintiff in order for a property owner to be held responsible.

How Can Notice Impact The Case?

If there is no notice, it becomes very difficult to prove that the property owner was aware of the dangerous condition, and this is necessary to sustain a premises liability case against a property owner. The law states that a form of notice, either actual or constructive, has to be proven in order to hold a property owner responsible.

If you don’t have notice, then you’re not going to meet the burden that the law requires in order to sustain a case against the property owner for an injury that occurred on their property.