Slip, trips, and falls are leading causes of injuries – in the home, workplace, and public areas. While some of these may be “accidents,” many are preventable. Slip and falls commonly result from the negligence of property owners who fail to take reasonable steps to address potential hazards. If you or someone you love has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may have the right to seek financial compensation for your damages.
Whether your slip and fall case stems from an incident in a private home or housing complex, a commercial business, or our city streets or subways in Washington DC, an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer from Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. can help you better understand your rights and options.
Our slip and fall attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience and have recovered over $500 million for clients. We serve residents throughout D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Call (202-664-1605) to speak with a lawyer about your case.
Slip & Falls: Common Causes, Injuries & Damages
Slip and fall accidents can occur just about anywhere and anytime – whether it’s a residential house, a public or private building, a restaurant or commercial business, a parking garage or sidewalk, or a Metro station.
While people slip, trip, and fall for all sorts of reasons, those caused by the mistakes, oversight, or negligence of others may provide the basis for victims to pursue personal injury lawsuits against the responsible party.
Common Causes of Slip & Falls
- Wet and slippery floors (i.e., spills)
- Ice and snow (i.e., icy walkways)
- Narrow or broken staircases/railings
- Poor lighting or lack of lighting
- Cracked or broken sidewalks
- Loose carpeting or uneven floors
- Debris and tripping hazards
- Open or uncovered holes
Many of these hazards can and often should be addressed by property owners, public entities, and others who have a legal obligation to do so. The failures of those parties can have serious consequences.
Common Types of Slip and Fall Injuries
A fall injury may include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck and back injuries
- Concussions/brain injuries
- Chipped teeth and dental injuries
- Dislocation, sprains, and lacerations
- Scarring and long-term disability
Common Types of Damages
Some damages you may receive in your personal injury lawsuit may include:
- Medical bills (both for past treatment and future needs)
- Lost wages from missing work
- Lost future earnings
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional or psychological injuries
Taking Legal Action: Your Right to Damages
Slip and fall accidents usually involve the legal concept of premises liability. As the name implies, these cases involve premises owners liable for injuries and damages victims suffer on their properties.
However, a slip and fall and resulting injury does not necessarily mean you will be compensated. You still need to pursue legal action, prove your case, and deal with any disputes or denials made by the property owner or insurance company.
Though every case is unique, there are some common elements victims must prove when they bring civil lawsuits against a premises owner. That means to prevail in your slip and fall claim. You will need to demonstrate that:
1. The Property Owner Had a Legal Duty to Keep You Safe
This legal duty can vary depending on where the accident occurred, and who you were in relation to the owner (i.e. premises liability usually covers invited guests and people who patronize public businesses, but there may be a different standard for those who trespass or otherwise enter a property without permission).
2. The Premises Owner Failed to Meet Their Legal Duty
If a property owner owed you a duty of care, you’ll need to prove that the property owner created the hazardous condition that caused your fall, or should have known and corrected the condition and that they failed to meet their duty (which is called a breach of duty).
The property owner’s negligence arises from failing to address potential hazards an owner knew or should have known about (i.e. not cleaning up a spill they knew a guest might slip on).
3. You Were Injured as a Result of the Owner’s Failure
In your claim, you will also need to prove you were injured as a result of the property owner’s failure to address potential hazards. If you suffered physical injuries and obtained medical treatment, and/or your injuries caused other harm in other areas of your life (i.e. your work, finances, emotional well-being, etc.), you’ll need to establish those damages.
You Should Be Provided Compensation From the Owner
If you have injuries and damages caused by a negligent property owner, you shouldn’t have to be the one to pay for them. That principle is why we have a civil justice system, and why personal injury lawsuits are a powerful and effective tool for ensuring victims recover the funds to cover their losses.
Business Liability: Who’s Responsible?
Slip, trip, and fall accidents happen regularly, but not every slip and fall results in a civil injury claim. The ones that do are generally those caused by the negligence of businesses – including business owners and their employees – that failed to meet their legal duty to keep visitors safe from preventable harm.
This legal duty obligates businesses to take reasonable actions when there are potential slip, trip, or fall hazards on their properties. Businesses may be liable for hazards that they:
- Caused themselves and failed to address; or
- Knew about or should have known about, and failed to address.
Failing to take these steps puts customers at risk, and is negligence that constitutes a “breach” of their legal duty – and something that may make them potentially liable for any accidents, injuries, and related damages victims suffer as a result.
Whether the business is a grocery store, a restaurant, a hotel, a public/government business, or some other type of commercial entity, they often owe patrons a duty of care.
Reaching a Settlement in Your Slip and Fall Claim
Reaching a resolution in a slip and fall matter looks different in every case, especially if there are unique issues involved – such as a public or government entity as a defendant, or a child who may have been unknowingly trespassing at the time of the injury.
These and other issues can make for complicated cases, but they can be effectively handled with the help of attorneys who know the law, how to fight corporations and insurance companies, and what steps to take when it comes to negotiating or litigating a fair resolution.
Why You Should Hire a Slip and Fall Attorney from CSCS
For more than 50 years, the Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyers of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have successfully represented individuals and families who have been injured or lost loved ones as the result of someone else’s negligence. Here is a small sample of some of our successful verdicts and settlements:
- $15 million for a woman who was permanently paralyzed from the neck down as a result of being struck by a stray bullet.
- $6 million on behalf of a man who suffered a brain injury as a result of a rear-end collision.
- $5 million medical malpractice settlement on behalf of a 14-year-old client who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of a doctor’s inappropriate use of a chemical product.
- $4.8 million on behalf of a severely injured man when his motorcycle struck a trailer being pulled by a minivan.
- $4.5 million for a woman who was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident after being struck from behind by a transit bus in a crosswalk.
Request a FREE Case Evaluation Anywhere in the DMV
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has been serving residents of Washington, D,C., Maryland, and Virginia for decades and has recovered over $500 million in verdicts and settlements – including successful recoveries in a range of slip and fall cases. If you have a question about your rights and the next steps in your legal journey, our team is available to review your case and discuss how we can use our experience and resources to help.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.