Premises Liability Attorney Washington DC
It’s a safe assumption to make that most property owners in Washington DC will want to maintain safety on their grounds. Homeowners hope that their family, friends, and other visitors come to no harm while visiting, and companies rely on a reputation for safety as one of the factors that keep people coming back for repeat business.
However, while this wish for safety is common sense, it is also a legal obligation. It is not a criminal act when people are injured on someone else’s property, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t legal repercussions. When someone fails to ensure a reasonable amount of safety on their property, and if harm occurs as a result of that, it is known as premises liability. That’s when a premises liability attorney in Washington DC can be an important guide in carrying out a lawsuit for financial damages.
Negligence Must Be Involved
Accidents can happen anywhere, so the grounds for needing a premises liability attorney in Washington DC are very specific. For example, if you are on a golf course in the middle of a lightning storm, and everyone, including management, has advised you to stop golfing, but you have verbally acknowledged you are ignoring all warnings, it is not premises liability if you get struck by lightning while out on the course. In this case, management clearly realized there was a risk, and, short of restraining you against your will—which would have been illegal—took reasonable precautions to keep you safe.
For a case to be considered a viable example of premises liability, negligence must be provable. This means that the property owner must be aware that some aspect of the property currently presents a potential risk of harm. However, the owners have chosen to ignore that risk.
For example, an amusement park maintains many rides that use heavy mechanical and hydraulic equipment that requires regular maintenance. An inspection of the roller coaster reveals that some mechanical problems could lead to an accident. The amusement park should, in theory, shut the ride down, repair it, and only reopen it for customers when they are sure the issue has been addressed. However, the ride is also a major attraction, and the profits for the amusement park would be considerably lower if they shut it down for the night, so they advise staff to ignore the mechanical problem and run the ride as usual. Unfortunately, the ride derails and people are injured.
This is a classic example of premises liability. The management knew there was a potential for harm, ignored the risk, and injuries were a direct result. A premises liability attorney in Washington DC would say this is a clear case that could go to court.
What Can You Get?
If you are injured on someone else’s property, whether public or private, and that is due to what you believe is negligence, then you are entitled to compensation. A civil lawsuit for premises liability, sometimes colloquially referred to as “slip and fall injuries,” means you are seeking financial compensation for your injuries, or, in the worst cases, for wrongful death.
Depending on the extent of the injuries or death, amounts involved in compensation can vary dramatically. On the low end, costs for medical treatment and possibly lost wages while recovering would be sought. For more serious injuries, such as paralysis resulting in the use of a wheelchair, and the inability to work at a former job due to that disability, greater additional compensation, such as pain and suffering, or compensation for permanently lost wages can be sought.
In the worst case scenarios, such as the death of a family member due to premises liability, different types of compensation are available. The loss of financial support from someone that was the main source of income for a family can be part of the financial damages. Additional compensation can come in the form of business, or even investments the decedent was involved in that would have their value affected by the wrongful death. In the most extreme cases of malignancy and negligence, a premises liability attorney in Washington DC may even make available punitive damages, though it is a much rarer occurrence.
Always Work With Professionals
If you are the victim of premises liability and the property owners responsible don’t agree with you, you have only one recourse left; going to court for a civil lawsuit. Finding an experienced premises liability attorney in Washington DC is a critical step in this undertaking. Premises liability is complex, and the journey to proving negligence in a way that can convince a jury requires coordination, investigation, persistence, and a keen understanding of the law.
While Americans are legally entitled to represent themselves in court for a lawsuit, it is highly inadvisable to do so. Your best chance of success, and getting the compensation amount you deserve is to engage an experienced premises liability attorney in Washington DC to act as your advocate and guide on this challenging journey.