Are There Any Specific Time Limits For Reporting The Slip And Fall To The Property Owner Or Manager?

You must create a record of your fall if you are to have any chance of a successful claim, and ideally, you would report your fall to the property management as soon as it happened. There also are other requirements you must meet in order to prevail in this personal injury case, so don’t wait to notify the property owner or manager.

There are several defenses the owner can use against you, so don’t hesitate to consult an experienced, knowledgeable personal injury attorney to guide you through this process.

Report Your Slip And Fall As Soon As Possible.

We know that memories fade over time, or we don’t remember events as they really happened. More importantly, the scene of your fall could change significantly between the day you fell and when you reported it to the property owner or manager. That puddle on the floor could have been wiped up long ago, that crack in the parking lot was filled in months ago, and the hot sun has melted that black ice. If you don’t tell the owner right away, then evidence you might collect at the scene, such as photographs, can be questioned. When (not “if”) you received medical care for any injuries, even though you told the doctor what happened, the owner could ask why he should believe it happened on his property, when he was never notified about it. 

After your fall, let the property manager or owner know about the hazardous condition and the fact that you have fallen.  By doing so, you are alerting the responsible party that there was a hazardous condition and you might have been injured. In turn, this creates a record of the incident.

Depending on what type of business you have fallen in, it is very common for a property manager or owner to ask you to write a brief description of what happened. If you are asked to do so, and/or fill out any forms, take a photo of the completed form or your statement. It is very common for businesses to consider such documents part of their investigation and refuse to give you a copy.

Gather Evidence As Soon As Possible.

If you are seriously injured, seek medical treatment immediately. After you notify the manager, if you are able, you should take the following steps:

  • Photograph the scene. Try to take photos from different angles. Show any warning signs that were there at the time. Use a coin or another object to show the depth of any cracks or holes in pavement. 
  • Ask about security cameras. It seems as if there are cameras everywhere nowadays, so these tapes can be very helpful. Ask to see the videos, but if the business refuses, take steps to prevent them from destroying the tapes, such as a written letter of notice asking them to preserve the video.
  • Take witness statements. Be sure to get their names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails. Ask them for a brief statement if they are cooperative, and jot it down or record it on your phone, with their permission.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. You might think you are not injured at the time, but some injuries could become apparent later. Seeing a doctor, clinic, or hospital will establish a record of the incident and your injuries.

The Statute of Limitations

In addition to timely notification of the property owner or manager, there is a court rule you must keep in mind. The statute of limitations is the cutoff date for personal injury cases to be filed with the court. In Maryland and the District of Columbia, the statute is three years; in Virginia, it is two years. This does not mean that the case has to be concluded and decided within that time frame, only that litigation has commenced. If you miss these deadlines, you are prohibited from bringing a case against the property owner or manager.

We Are Here To Help

Successfully navigating the legal landscape in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland requires a thorough understanding of the local legal systems and strategic skill in negotiation and litigation. The team at Jennifer Porter Law, PLLC, has the knowledge and experience to help you reach the best outcome. We strive to provide you with comprehensive guidance at every stage, ensuring you are well-informed and confident in the decisions made regarding your case.

We are committed to providing personalized and attentive legal representation. Call us at (571) 532-9070 or go online to schedule a consultation to learn what may be possible in your case.