Columbia, MD Slip and Fall Lawyer

A slip and fall accident is an incident in which a person trips (or slips) and then falls, sustaining an injury. Falls are regrettably common. Accordingly, slip and fall cases can cover wildly different fact patterns. To establish negligence in Howard County, you and your Columbia, MD slip and fall lawyer must prove—by a preponderance of the evidence—four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.  The last of those elements requires the victim to have suffered tangible losses and, in some cases, non-economic losses. Examples of some injuries include: broken bones, torn muscles, hyperextended ligaments, gashes, cuts, and other types of wounds.

Speak with our personal injury practice group if you believe that you have an actionable claim.  Our legal team is standing by to conduct your free initial consultation.

Compensation in Slip and Fall Claims

Slip and Fall Lawyer in Columbia, MDTwo types of compensation may be sought in most slip and fall cases. The first type of compensation is called economic damages. Economic damages cover tangible costs that can be calculated and quantified. This includes, but is not limited to, medical expenses, loss of income from missed work, and property damage. There is no cap, or limit, on economic damages in Maryland.

There is, however, a cap on non-economic damages in Maryland. Non-economic damages include losses that cannot be easily quantified. According to the Annotated Maryland Code, Section 11-108(a)(2), noneconomic damages include:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Physical Impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Other Nonpecuniary Injuries

The cap on noneconomic damages is determined by the date when the cause of action arises. For example, any incident that occurs after October 1, 2014 will be subject to a cap of $800,000. See Section 11-108(b)(2).

It is important for people to understand that injured people have the right to recover for their injuries if the injuries were caused by the negligent acts or omissions of some other person or entity. Oftentimes, people assume that a fall was caused by his or her own clumsiness or inattentiveness and this is simply not the case. Premises owners have the obligation to maintain the property in such a way to make it safe for its intended purpose.

Public spaces are created with the intended purpose of being used by people. Thus, the owners of these public spaces are required to keep the space in good condition. It is important for anyone who has been seriously injured due to slip and fall to consult with a qualified and experienced attorney in order to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the fall.

Property Owners Defense

All cases require a close evaluation of the incident. Premises owners are afforded a few defenses that can be difficult to overcome. Primary among these defenses is the lack of notice of a dangerous condition, and/or the opportunity to correct the dangerous condition. The injured person must be able to establish, affirmatively, that the person responsible for the care and maintenance of property knew of the dangerous condition and had an opportunity to correct the dangerous condition, yet failed to do so.

Additionally, the injured person cannot cause or contribute to his or her injuries. Any alcohol use by the injured person may be used as evidence to establish that the injured person, at a minimum, contributed to his or her injuries. If the injured person contributed to his or her injuries, then he or she is prohibited from recovery as the matter of law. It is for the plaintiff to establish the fault necessary to overcome these issues.

Filing a Slip and Fall Claim in Columbia

If you live in the Columbia, Maryland area and  suffered an injury due to a slip and fall incident, you will have to go through a legal process to file a personal injury claim in pursuit of just compensation.

The first step you should take after any serious fall is to seek medical assistance for the injury or injuries you have suffered. While this is happening, you need to be sure you retain all of the records from any type of treatment you receive, so that any future legal representation can document your damages. The next step to take is gathering all the evidence that can prove fault regarding the responsible party. In addition to medical records, this includes witness statements, incident reports, photos, diagrams, notes, and whatever other documentation you can think of that may be relevant. Take this information with you when you visit a Columbia, MD slip and fall attorney so that he or she can use it to properly appraise your claim. Once you have hired an attorney, you may have an opportunity to settle out of court. Sometimes out-of-court settlements are preferable to going to trial, as it can resolve the issue in a more timely manner.

The Value of an Attorney in Slip and Fall Cases

If you retain a Columbia, MD slip and fall lawyer, he or she can explain what options are available to you and help you make a reasoned decision on whether or not to pursue a settlement or go to trial. It’s important to be aware that sometimes, the negligent party may offer you compensation immediately after an incident in exchange for signing a release form. These forms generally prohibit injured parties from seeking further compensation, even if they later realize that the extent of their injuries and damage far exceeds the initial compensation given. This is why you should never commit to anything until you have consulted with a qualified attorney in Columbia.   In addition, you should never agree to give a recorded statement or discuss your case with an insurance company because they can use your words against you.

With the help of a Columbia, MD slip and fall lawyer well-versed in civil litigation, you can better assess the situation and fight for the full amount to which you are entitled.  Call our firm today for a free consultation.