DC Slip and Fall Case Considerations

If you have been injured in a slip and fall case, talk to a skilled personal injury attorney that can help. Time is of the essence in these cases due to the fact that under DC Code 12301 Sub-Section 8, the statute of limitations for a personal injury is three years. The statute of limitations is just one of the DC slip and fall case considerations that an attorney can keep in mind when filing your personal injury claim. Speak with a lawyer today, and know that you are in capable hands.

Common Injuries

Slip and fall cases usually occur when somebody slips, and falls on a slippery substance, usually water or a cleaning solution. Common injuries in slip and fall cases include:

  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Concussions and other head injuries
  • Knee injuries
  • Ankle injuries
  • Hip injuries
  • Wrist injuries
  • Elbow injuries

Defendants in Slip and Fall Cases

One of the DC slip and fall case considerations to take into account is whether there is a singular defendant or multiple defendants. Potential defendants in slip and fall case include the property owner, the operator of a business or premises, a cleaning company or a subcontractor, and all of them can be held responsible.

Duty That Property Owners Have

Duty of care standards depend on the facts of the case. Property owners have to ensure that the property is in a reasonably safe condition. In terms of premises liability, by and large, there is not a statutory scheme that addresses the issue but it is understood that there are certain requirements and regulations that govern the standard of care under certain circumstances. Also, industry standards dictate what is and is not appropriate or reasonably safe under similar circumstances.

The second thing is that witnesses are incredibly important.

Reasons a Judge May Reject a Slip and Fall Case

A judge might reject a case if the plaintiff cannot prove notice of the dangerous condition by the individual who they are seeking to hold liable. For instance, if a party is a restaurant and water gets spilled and somebody slips and falls two seconds after the water is spilled, it is very difficult to be held liable because they did not have a reasonable amount of time to rectify the condition.

Another one of the DC slip and fall case considerations to keep in mind is that the doctrine of contributory negligence is a very powerful doctrine. That means that even if someone has a slip and fall, they might not get any money. Incidents, where someone slips and falls and is found contributorily negligent, include when a person is shown to be drunk, on drugs, or on their cellphone. That person can be held contributorily negligent as a matter of law, although that is an incredibly rare find.

Process of Appealing a Case

A slip and fall case is appealed the same way as any other case. They have to file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the decision, triggering the appeal. They have to file a request for the record on appeal within 10 days of filing the notice of appeal. Within 40 days of receiving the record and filing the record with the court, the appellant has to file a brief. The respondent to the appeal has 30 days to respond to the brief, and the reply brief to the respondent’s brief is due 7 days thereafter.

What Happens if Someone Develops Injuries Over Time?

More injuries developing over time just means that more discovery is done on the person’s medical care. Typically, they do not file a lawsuit before the medical care is done, so if somebody broke their arm and they are getting active treatment, by and large, they do not file a claim; they wait until they are done with their medical care.

If that is not practical, then they file additional discovery and the medical records, they get copies of the medical records and then, if necessary, they spend the time for discovery and both parties are entitled to do more investigation on the nature and cause of the injuries.

Once the case has concluded, the settlement document includes a hold harmless agreement which states that they hold the defendant harmless for all claims, known and unknown, arising out of the incident. If they sign over those, they have no further recourse notwithstanding the fact that subsequent injuries have arisen after the claim is settled.

Consulting a DC Slip and Fall Lawyer

If you have been injured in a slip and fall case, it is important that you get in contact with a qualified attorney. If you slip and fall and break your arm, once you get into a hospital, you should wait two or three days and then reach out to a lawyer. By and large, slips and falls occur on transient conditions, which means that when someone slips and falls on water or a cleaning solution and by the time the person is done with their initial medical treatment, the condition is cleaned up.

When meeting with a lawyer, you should bring all the information that you have with you. That includes pictures, medical documentation, names and numbers of any witnesses, as well as a concise statement about what happened. Consult a knowledgeable attorney that is aware of DC slip and fall case considerations and could keep them in mind when filing your claim.