Process of a DC Slip and Fall Case

When you are out and about, the last thing you expect is that you will fall and get injured. Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that you do not slip and fall while on their premises. If you have fallen in public due to a property owner’s negligence, it is important that you retain the services of a lawyer. If you want to know more about the process of a DC slip and fall case, speak with a knowledgeable slip and fall attorney that could answer your questions.

Slip and Fall Cases

Slip and fall cases in the District are heard in DC Superior Court. When there is a diversity of citizenship or if the defendant is the federal government, the case is heard in federal court.

Common defendants in DC slip and fall cases could be restaurant owners, property owners, landowners, and the federal government.

What Happens Following a Slip and Fall

After a slip and fall, the attorney files the demand letter, if the case does not settle, the next step is the filing of the summons of the claim which is done in court. Once the case is filed in court, the defendant or their agent is served with a copy of the complaint. The defendant composes an answer, and discovery is a requested for the production of documents.

Interrogatories are exchanged between the parties, and the court then has an initial scheduling conference to set a discovery schedule. That includes exchanging paper documents and depositions of all parties involved. There might be expert depositions from medical providers and liability experts such as engineers. After that, there may be a dispositive motion and if the case does not settle, it goes to trial.

Establishing Liability in a Slip and Fall

The first thing the personal injury attorney needs to prove to establish liability during the process of a DC slip and fall case is duty which is responsibility. If there is responsibility, whether it is due to mistakenly maintaining the property. The attorney needs to establish breach, which is an out-of-state condition and the defendant had actual notice or constructive notice of the condition if the individual is not at fault. Because of the accident, they suffered injury.

How the Age of the Injured Party Impacts Liability

Depending on the nature of the injuries, when the person injured is six years old or less, there is no contributory negligence. If one is under 18, they are entitled to a modified instruction on contributory negligence which is that a child of the same age and intelligence is acting reasonably under the circumstance. If someone is injured while working, the jury can factor in their expected work life and any future awards.

Role of Evidence in Establishing Liability

During the process of a DC slip and fall case, a slip and fall lawyer usually tries to use evidence to identify the responsible party. They look for land records to identify the owner and the lease records to determine the occupier. They might also have an investigator take pictures or interview people to determine who occupied the site at the time of the accident.

To help corroborate an injury claim, the person should take a picture of what caused them to fall. If someone says they witnessed the accident, the injured party should get their name and phone number, so the lawyer can contact them. A witness who saw the accident, might help establish whether the other party was doing anything wrong.

How an Experienced DC Slip and Fall Lawyer Could Help

An experienced slip and fall lawyer could do an assessment of liability to determine who is at fault and an assessment of contributory negligence which determines whether there are third parties, and they contributed to the accident. If that is not the case, a person needs to do an assessment of damages including their medical bills and expenses, their pain and suffering, and lost wages. A seasoned attorney is more than capable of guiding an individual through the process of a DC slip and fall case and advocating for them.