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Who Is To Blame When You Slip And Fall – Maryland Premise Liability Injury Claims

Who Is To Blame When You Slip And Fall – Maryland Premise Liability Injury Claims Lawyer, Gaithersburg, MDSlip or trip and fall injuries are perhaps the most frequent and well understood premise liability cases. These occur when someone who is responsible for a business, house, or area fails in their duty to provide a safe environment, and their negligence results in injury or harm. This exposes them to a premise liability claim for the harm caused. If you have been hurt in such a fall, it is important to understand how to establish blame and legal liability to be able to sue. This article explains:

  • How liability is determined in slip-and-fall cases in Maryland.
  • The types of compensation that can be claimed and how they are affected by contributory negligence in Maryland.
  • When you should contact a personal injury attorney after a fall and how they can help.

How Is Liability Determined In A Slip And Fall Case And What Factors Are Considered?

Two factors are essential to determining if someone else was responsible for your injury after a fall.

The first is your status as an invitee, guest, visitor, or trespasser. The lower your status, the lower the level of liability is for the owner or occupant of the premise where you were hurt.

The second factor is even more important. You have to show negligence on behalf of the owner or occupant of the premises and demonstrate that their negligence led to your harm or injury. To do so you need to show they had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous condition. They can be deemed negligent in their actions or inactions if…

  • They were aware of it and failed to remedy it,
  • They created it and did not fix it, or
  • They should have known it was present and did not address it.

If both of these factors are at play, they are liable for the harm caused and can be pursued under a premise liability personal injury claim with the help of an experienced attorney. Together, you will be able to claim compensation for the damages they caused you.

What Types Of Compensations Can I Claim After A Slip And Fall Accident In Maryland?

If you have been the victim of a slip and fall accident and injury, you can pursue the liable party for considerable compensation. This can include

  • Economic damages, including…
    • surgical expenses,
    • medical costs,
    • medication and other treatment expenses,
    • physical therapy and long-term medical care costs,
    • lost wages,
    • the inability to work, and
    • any other damages easily quantifiable into a dollar amount.
  • Non-economic damages, including…
    • Pain and suffering
    • Scarring, and
    • Mental anguish.

If you are unsure what damages might be recoverable in a slip and fall premise liability claim, an experienced personal injury attorney can help. Unfortunately, if it turns out you were partially responsible for the accident, you may not be able to claim anything at all.

How Can Maryland’s Contributory Negligence Statute Affect My Slip And Fall Claim?

Maryland has very strict rules about establishing blame and recovering damages. This is called the contributory negligence statute and it means that anyone found to be even partially to blame for an accident or injury cannot pursue someone else for the harm and costs associated with the accident.

If you are deemed to be partially to blame for your fall, you would be barred from recovering any compensation at all for your slip and fall accident.

In many premises liability cases, contributory negligence is a common and strong defense. If there’s a hazard on the floor that should have been known about by the premises owner, that hazard may be so open and obvious that the injured party should have seen it and avoided it as well.

Maryland law is clear: a plaintiff cannot recover damages if the injuries resulted from or were reasonably foreseeable consequences of the plaintiff’s negligence. If you were texting on your phone when you slipped in the grocery store, in what was clearly an open and obvious hazard, you might be deemed negligent and unable to sue, even if the owner was also at fault.

How Can A Slip And Fall Attorney Assist Me In Pursuing A Personal Injury Claim In Maryland?

It is difficult to navigate any laws or legal procedures on your own without experience, and foolish to do so when money is on the line. An attorney will be able to help you build and argue a strong case to make the best possible claim to recover the maximum possible damages.

First, they will help you figure out who is responsible, which in premise liability cases is not always easy. The owner of a premise may be different from the occupant, and determining who is at fault and who to sue is rarely straightforward. Especially when different occupants have responsibility over different areas of a larger property owned by another party. 

Next, a personal injury attorney also can help make sure that the potential defendants are put on notice, such that evidence is preserved or they can be held responsible if it is not. For example, incidents are often caught on video now as there are cameras everywhere. If you fell and hurt yourself, there may be a video of it, but the person who holds that video may not want to maintain it, or it might get copied over unintentionally because those videos are only held for a certain period of time.

An attorney can send a request instructing the holder of the video or other evidence to preserve it so that it is not destroyed. If it is destroyed after that, such a request can serve as a form of proof as there are presumptions of that evidence that will apply in trial. If a video is destroyed after it was asked to be held, the court can instruct the jury that that evidence was helpful to the plaintiff.

Generally speaking, however, the most important role an attorney can play in a slip-and-fall case is helping you determine whether you have a compensable claim or not. Depending on the attorney, you might get different answers which will depend on their experience, honesty, and willingness to go out on a limb for their client. Talking to an attorney is essential when making a decision as to whether there is the ability to recover or not.

What Steps Should I Take Immediately After A Slip And Fall Accident In Maryland To Protect My Rights And Potential Claims?

If you have fallen and hurt yourself, seek medical treatment immediately if it is needed. Oftentimes, a premise may even have a no-fault type of insurance, which can assist in paying medical expenses. Do not hesitate to get the care you need.

Next, take pictures of the area, the cause of the fall, and any injuries you suffered, or have a third party at the scene do so. The more evidence you get, the better.

Finally, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible to help know what evidence to preserve and to put the potential defendants on notice of the possible claim.

For more information on Premise Liability In A Maryland Slip & Fall Injury Claim, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 670-0443 today.

The Yolles Legal Group

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(301) 670-0443

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