Establishing a Maryland Premises Liability Case

A premises liability case in Maryland deals with the owner of the property and the duty owed by that owner to an invitee or licensee. The owner of real property has an obligation to maintain the property in a good and safe manner that is suitable for the intended purpose of the property.

If there is a dangerous condition that exists on the property, the owner must know of the dangerous condition and have sufficient time to resolve the condition. If the property owner fails to take the necessary steps, then they may be held liable.

If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer to establish a Maryland premises liability case. An experienced premises liability attorney can assist in mounting a claim to help recover any damages you may be entitled to.

Gathering Evidence

When establishing a premises liability case in Maryland, a lawyer must know all the facts and circumstances as to how the person came to be at the property or how the incident occurred; whether it is a slip and fall or a trip and fall or simply be able to explain the mechanism of the injury.

At that point, the injured person must be able to provide clear ownership information for the property so that the attorney can evaluate the claim based upon the proper people involved.

Requirements of Examination

The standard requirements of examination for an attorney when establishing a Maryland premises liability case are to collect the information regarding the type of property involved, identify the circumstances by which the injured person arrived at the property, and determine what took place.

Once the attorney understands the type of property at fault, such as a grocery store, restaurant, condominium, or a private home, the attorney can evaluate what happened to the person compared to the duty owed by the homeowner.

Potential Defenses

The most common defense strategy to combat establishing a premises liability case in Maryland is either contributory negligence or assumption of risk. A majority of premises liability cases stem from some form of fall such as a trip and fall on unsafe conditions or a slip and fall on a slippery, wet, or inappropriate type of floor.

Contributory Negligence

The defense of contributory negligence or assumption of risk comes into play in these public places because tens, hundreds, or thousands of other people safely traversed the same space and were not injured.

It falls to the defense of contributory negligence because this particular injured person was not keeping a proper lookout or being safe when traversing this particular space.

Assumption of Risk

The same is true if a person slips and falls on snow or ice. In Maryland, the Court of Appeals ruled that if a person has another safe entrance or exit to their apartment but chooses to exit where they know or should know there is snow or ice and slips and falls on the snow or ice, that person is deemed to be contributory negligent or assumed the risk of their injury.

Simply because an incident occurs does not mean that the owner of the real property is automatically at fault. There are many defenses.

The defenses of contributory negligence or assumption of risk are very strong when evaluating a claim and may be the major issues when establishing a Maryland premises liability case.

Type of Property Involved

When establishing a premises liability case in Maryland, the type of property affects a person’s liability case because the duty owed by the property owner is different based on the type of property owned.

An empty piece of land has a different duty than a home. A homeowner owes a different duty to an invitee or a licensee than a grocery store. A grocery store owes a different duty to licensees or invitees than a condominium building with a parking garage, a pool, a common area, or other such things.

The type of property can vary the duty owed by the owner to the licensee or the invitee, which must be established when building a premises liability claim in Maryland.