Slip & Falls
When a person slips and falls due to hazardous conditions caused by a property owner, the owner can be held liable for related injuries. Property owners can also be liable for slip and fall injuries if they knew or should have known of hazardous conditions and failed to correct them or to warn about the dangers. Anyone suffering a slip and fall injury should photograph hazards that caused their fall and get the names and contact information of all witnesses. And if parties report slip and fall injuries to property owners or their agents, they should get the name of the property owner and a copy of the injury report.Experience and Track Record
Washington, D.C. slip and fall attorney Douglas Sparks has successfully handled dozens of slip and fall cases for clients injured on public sidewalks and roadways, dangerous stairs, poorly constructed bleachers, icy walkways, slippery parking garages, loose or missing manhole covers, and other hazardous conditions. He knows the defense tactics employed by insurance companies in slip and fall cases, which typically include blaming the victim, denying prior knowledge of hazardous conditions, and/or arguing there was no duty to warn of “open and obvious” hazardous conditions. Frequently, these defenses can be overcome by conducting a thorough investigation. Mr. Sparks and his investigators interview area residents and access various data bases to uncover prior complaints or injuries on the premises, to establish the length of time a particular hazard existed, and to determine whether the condition violated applicable safety codes or industry standards. You can read reviews from some Slip and Fall clients here.Representative Cases Handled by Douglas Sparks
- A 65 year old Atlanta woman was visiting D.C. on business. As she was leaving a downtown restaurant after dinner, she tripped and fell on a single step near the exit. The woman sustained multiple fractures that required numerous surgical procedures. With the assistance of an expert, Washington, D.C. slip and fall lawyer Douglas Sparks established that the height and location of the single step violated municipal safety and construction codes. He also deposed restaurant employees who admitted that several restaurant patrons had previously tripped over the step in question. Confronted with this evidence, the restaurant’s insurer settled the case before trial.
- A senior U.S. Park Ranger was escorting VIP’s to their seats for Washington, D.C.’s annual Labor Day Concert. The seats were in temporary bleachers that had been constructed by a private contractor. The Ranger tripped over a board that extended beyond the bleacher seats and into the aisle. She sustained injuries that required surgery and left her with permanent disfigurement. During litigation, the contractor denied responsibility for the dangerous board and suggested that someone may have sabotaged the bleachers after they were constructed. The contractor, however, could produce no evidence to support its sabotage theory. The contractor’s insurer settled the case before trial.
- A woman walked to the street in front of her D.C. home to speak with her daughter who was in a parked car. As the woman approached the curb, she tripped and fell over a protruding public utility manhole cover. The woman underwent surgery for a severe knee injury and had major permanent scarring. Washington, D.C. slip and fall attorney Douglas Sparks sued the public utility company responsible for maintaining the manhole. The company produced work orders and a witness purportedly showing that it had repaired the manhole before the incident – a preposterous claim. Shortly before trial, the company’s star witness was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he’d been doing side jobs on company time and falsifying work orders to cover up his activities. The utility company quickly settled the case.