DC Slip and Fall Claim Process

A slip and fall accident occurs when someone slips on something on the ground that causes a fall and injury. Liability in a fall injury case can be difficult to pursue for anyone who is not familiar with the DC slip and fall claim process. For more information regarding slip and fall cases or to discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation with a DC slip and fall accident lawyer today.

What is The Process of a Slip and Fall Case?

First you put the property owner on notice of the incident. Then the insurance company becomes involved. Once they are on notice of a potential claim, they will be performing their investigation while the injured party performs theirs.

Then, based upon the investigation, the injured party will present the theory of the case to the insurance company regarding the nature of the injuries and damages sustained. Once the injured party has completed treatment, the attorney will submit what is referred to as a demand letter, which lays out the case, this includes:

  • Proof of their liability
  • Substantiation of the damages through medical bills, lost wages, and any other types of damages

We present the letter to the insurance company in order to try to resolve the case without litigation, and go back and forth in that process to determine what issues have to be addressed in order to resolve the case short of litigation.

They request evidence such as videos or an accident report and monitor the claim and the individual’s treatment. Once the person’s medical treatment is completed, their attorney gets copies of the medical records, sends a claim letter which is the notice of the accident and the injuries, and makes a demand to settle the case.

What Happens If an Agreement Cannot Be Reached?

If an agreement cannot be reached, the case moves into litigation, and a focus is placed on any additional matters that need to be considered for purposes of litigating the case, including any expert testimony that would be needed to establish issues of liability and treatment.  Throughout the process, the injured party looks at it from a cost/benefit analysis of proceeding to litigation in order to maximize the injured party’s recovery.

What Should a Client Do During The Claims Process?

If they have secured an experienced attorney early in the process, they need to concentrate on providing any information regarding the accident and any witnesses to it, and not giving any sort of recorded statement to the other party.  Their explanation will form the facts and circumstances, such as the names of the owners and managers of the property. The client also needs to save any footwear and clothing, but most importantly they need to seek medical attention for their injuries. If they have been injured, they need to document their injuries formally, because simply saying they’re hurt is not sufficient to prove the nature and extent of the injury, and the reasonableness of the treatment and the medical bills incurred.

That has to be established by medical professionals, so it is very important that they seek medical attention to document their injury early on in the process.

Holding a Landlord Liable for Slip and Falls

A landlord should have knowledge of recent criminal activity on their premises. A person cannot have constructive notice of criminal conduct; they need to have actual notice.

If a premise such as a club has multiple shootings, the club is charged with the duty to know there is criminal liability.

They need to take steps to prevent the criminal activity. In a situation where there is no indication that a third party is likely to cause harm, there is no liability.

Proving a Trip and Fall Case

Pictures of the cause of their trip can be critical to use throughout DC slip and fall claim process. The defendant will not keep video evidence of the accident even if they have it. The injured person should take pictures of the accident scene and what caused their trip and fall when possible.

The plaintiff tries to prove they were injured because of the negligence of the landowner or the manager or tenant of the property.

The defense may argue that they did not have notice and if they did have notice the plaintiff was contributorily negligent. Whatever damages they may have sustained are all related to the accident and not as serious as the plaintiff claims.

Speaking with a Slip Injury Attorney

When initiating the DC slip and fall claim process, the injured person needs to share their medical history and give authorization to obtain medical records relating to the accident. They also need to explain what happened and what they were doing during the 24 hours before the accident.

A personal accident lawyer may ask about pre-existing medical conditions the person has and their injuries and resulting medical treatment since the accident.