Washington D.C. Premises Liability FAQs
Inadequate Security & Slip and Fall Cases
Q. What do the words “premises liability” mean?
A. Premises liability is a term used to describe the legal responsibility that a landowner and occupiers of a property have for injuries and accidents that occur on their property. Premises liability claims can be filed for a variety of reasons, such as the common slip-and-fall claim. Also, claims may be filed for injuries that are result of equipment that is used on the property. Furthermore, injuries that may be a result of another person’s actions on the property may be the responsibility of a property owner, especially if the owner fails to provide adequate security on the property and you are assaulted.
Q. I was hurt when I slipped and fell. Do I have a claim?
A. Yes, under premises liability, you may have a slip-and-fall cause of action. A slip-and-fall accident can occur nearly anywhere, on public or private property, indoors or outdoors. A slip-and-fall injury can occur because of dangers such as poor weather conditions (for example, ice, snow, or rain), uneven sidewalks, potholes, poorly lit or unmarked pathways or stairs, slippery tiling, unbalanced flooring, rippled carpet, and/or walkway obstructions.
Q: How should the building I live in be prepared in case of a fire?
A. Building owners and/or property management personnel are required to use reasonable care to prevent injuries in case of fire and to help people on their property to escape safely. These required safeguards can include an indoor sprinkler system, exit signs and posted escape routes.
Q: I was injured while walking on a public sidewalk next to a construction site after tripping over a brick from the site. Who is responsible for my injuries?
A. In some circumstances, the injured person will be able to recover damages from the construction company, which has a duty to take reasonable steps to keep public sidewalks near its construction site free from bricks and other debris. If the company fails to remove such obstructions and someone trips and falls, the company may be liable. Construction companies should also tell pedestrians they could get injured if they stray from the sidewalk. Posting a sign is usually not enough. If a company fails to place barriers and warning lamps by a building pit, for example, it may be responsible if anyone falls into it and gets injured.
If you have question or want more information please call 202-803-5800 or email us to learn more.