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As a pedestrian, you must mind every step that you take on the Washington, D.C. sidewalks. This is so you make a diligent effort to steer clear of any potentially dangerous sidewalk conditions that you may encounter. But unfortunately, you may still be made a victim of an accident. Follow along to find out whether you can sue the city for an unsafe sidewalk and how a proficient Washington, D.C. slip and fall lawyer at Simeone & Miller, LLP can work alongside you in your claim.

What are common hazards that are seen on Washington, D.C. sidewalks?

Just when you least expect it, you may slip and fall due to a hazard that is left uncleared from the Washington, D.C. sidewalks. Common examples are as follows:

  • Snow, ice, standing water, etc. have been left uncleared.
  • A fallen tree branch, traffic sign, etc. has been left uncleared.
  • Overgrown greenery and overflowing garbage have been left uncleared.
  • Tree root damage has been left unpaved.
  • Cracks in the pavement have been left unpaved.
  • Tools and equipment have been left uncontained from a construction site’s barricades.
  • Abrupt changes in walkway elevation are left unmarked with warnings.

Can I sue Washington, D.C. for an unsafe sidewalk?

First of all, you must understand that Washington, D.C. is not always the liable party for an unsafe sidewalk. That is, if your slip and fall accident occurred in front of a private residence or a commercial building, then you may have to place blame on a property owner. But if your incident was on the sidewalk or a public building or otherwise a public area, then you may pinpoint the city as the at-fault party.

Once you clarify that the city is liable, you must confirm that the following circumstances are true:

  1.  The conditions on a certain Washington, D.C. sidewalk were unreasonably dangerous.
  2. The city knew, or should have reasonably known, about this dangerous sidewalk condition.
  3. The city failed to rectify this dangerous sidewalk condition in a timely manner.
  4. You encountered this dangerous sidewalk condition and subsequently incurred injuries and damages.

Lastly, you must file a strict claim-filing procedure when going against a city entity. This means that you must submit a Notice of Claim before moving forward with your personal injury claim. This notice must disclose the specifics of your accident, your intention to sue, and your desired amount of financial compensation, among other things. Importantly, this notice must be sent within 180 days from the date on which your slip and fall occurred.

In the end, you must not hesitate and reach out to a talented Washington, D.C. premises liability lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Our team at Simeone & Miller, LLP will be awaiting your phone call.