DC Slip & Fall Accidents: Ice and Snow
A Proven Personal Injury Team Holding Negligent Property Owners Accountable
Slip, trip, and fall accidents can happen just about anywhere, and at any time. Though they’re a daily occurrence throughout the country, the U.S. CDC reports risks of slip and fall injuries increase dramatically during winter months and in poor weather. That’s due of course to rain, snow, sleet, hail, and cold temperatures that can turn simple surfaces into serious dangerous.
Washington, DC and the entire DMV region is accustomed to winter weather, which is why slip and fall accidents involving ice, snow, and all types of frozen or icy surfaces are common during winter months, and in some cases during other times of year as well. When victims are injured in icy slip and fall accidents that could and should have been prevented, there’s a chance they may have the right recover compensation by holding negligent property owners and other at-fault parties accountable.
If you have a potential slip and fall accident involving ice, snow, or any other hazard, our award-winning DC personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. are here to help. We offer free consultations to residents across the District, Maryland, and Virginia, and can help you better understand your rights and what we can do to protect them. Contact us.
Slip & Fall Accidents Involving Ice, Snow, and Unsafe Conditions
While slip and fall accidents which don’t involve ice or snow have their own challenges, those that do involve snow or ice create more legal difficulties for victims than most people realize. Adverse weather and cold conditions are a fact of life for people in the DC Metro area, and people do suffer harm in icy fall accidents that are, in terms of the law, “accidents” they should have foreseen.
However, there are times when those “accidents” could and should have been prevented, and result not solely from natural causes or a victim’s own lack of cautiousness, but from the negligence of others. When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit related to an ice or snow-related slip and fall, victims have the burden of proving, generally, that:
- Their accidents resulted from the negligence of someone who owed them a duty of care;
- The injuries were caused by that negligence, and
- They suffered damages as a result.
While simple in theory, proving fault and liability, and securing fair compensation can be a very difficult task.
Accountability for Slip & Falls: How Premises Liability Works
Because proving a slip and fall involving ice and snow resulted from negligence, rather than just natural causes, is critical to prevailing in a personal injury claim, victims will need to prove someone or some entity is at fault. In most cases, this means applying laws of premises liability – which is the liability property owners have for accidents and injuries that occur on their property.
Under premises liability law, premises owners:
- Have a legal duty to take steps which ensure the safety of their property.
- Must take reasonable steps to address potential hazardous conditions (such as icy, slushy, wet, or snowy conditions) which they knew or should have known about.
- Can be held liable for injuries and damages victims suffer as a result of their failure to uphold their legal duty.
While they don’t typically owe this duty to trespassers (with rare exceptions in some cases involving children), premises owners usually do owe this duty of care to visitors, invited guests, customers, contracted workers, and others who lawfully visit their property. Because courts have been tough on how far this duty goes when it comes to black ice and what victims could or should have expected in terms of potential dangers, these cases require experienced lawyers who know how to prove liability.
Examples of Ice / Snow Slip & Falls Involving Negligence
Negligence can take many forms, from not fixing a dangerous hole on a patio that would allow ice to form or not repairing a machine that’s known to leak to failing to cover and barricade potential dangers or warn others about those hazards. Here are just a few examples of cases involving negligence in ice and snow-related slip and falls:
- Dangerous conditions in parking lots which property owner knew would cause ice to form in wet, cold, and snowy weather, but did not fix.
- Hazardous icy or snowy surfaces on patios, outdoor areas, and other similar properties premises owners did not address.
- Hazards on or near rented homes, apartment complexes, and other housing where landlords, HOAs, and property owners / managers failed to address conditions they know or should have known about.
- Dangerous conditions near ice machines and other appliances or equipment that resulted from a restaurant, hotel, or other property owner failing to properly maintain or fix the hazard.
- Icy or snowy sidewalks, Metro stations, and other publically owned properties owned by the DC government (cases against government entities are subject to different laws, time limitations, and other rules and procedures, which is why you should consult an experienced attorney as soon as possible for more insight into your potential claim.)
CSCS: Trusted by Victims Throughout the DC Area For Over 45 Years
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. is comprised of nationally recognized civil trial lawyers who have been fighting for the lives and livelihoods of injured victims and families throughout Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland for decades. Over the years, we’ve helped numerous clients hold negligent individuals, businesses, and even the government accountable for their negligence – and have recovered over $500 million in compensation on their behalves.
If you have potential case, call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online. Case evaluations are FREE and confidential, there’s no cost to hiring our firm, and there’s no fee unless we win.