Washington D.C. encompasses many properties open to the public for recreational use and amusement. While government officials, business owners, and managers take steps to ensure the health and safety of visitors, accidents can happen. Those who suffer injuries at a Washington D.C. park, national monument, museum, arboretum, or similar location should contact an attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
Generally, government agencies and private property owners maintain a legal duty to make their properties safe from unreasonable risk of harm to visitors and guests. When a property owner fails to ensure the safety of their premises, visitors may face serious injuries. These injuries may stem from icy pathways, uneven surfaces, inadequate or nonexistent security, toxin exposure, and broken steps or handrails. Despite the public policy reasons surrounding the duty to maintain a safe environment, cases involving public properties pose significant burdens on injury victims.
The law imposes different rules on injury victims who wish to pursue personal injury claims against a government agency. To further add to the challenges many injury victims face, the law provides recreational use property owners with certain protections. A recent federal court decision addressed an issue that many premises liability victims encounter when pursuing a claim against an outdoor recreation area owner. In that case, the government maintained a public shower at a beach. According to the record, the government allowed an algae film to develop on the shower floor and did not provide any warning of the film. A couple sued the government for injuries after the husband fell on the shower floor and suffered severe injuries.