Maryland Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall cases are personal injury claims arising from an incident where an individual slips (or trips) and falls. A slip and fall claim is almost always a claim that the party responsible for the hazardous condition was negligent. A Maryland slip and fall lawyer can help put you back on the road to rehabilitation by protecting your rights and fighting for compensatory damages for the harms and losses you have suffered. When a property owner or the person responsible for maintenance fails to do their due diligence in keeping their customers and visitors safe from harm, they can be held liable for the harms and losses that occur as a result of their negligence.
Bringing a suit against those responsible for your injury and seeking compensation for the harms and losses you have suffered as a result of their oversight and negligence can be a complicated process. A qualified attorney can make things easier. The Maryland slip and fall lawyers at our firm have the experience required to defend your rights and protect your interests.
Slip and Fall Injuries
A stumble down the stairs, or a feet-out-from-under-me moment on a city sidewalk can lead to significant physical harm. Unobserved risks due to poor lighting or hazards on the ground, such as ice or snow, and unsafe premises caused by uneven flooring are all factors that can contribute to this type of accident. Some of the more common incidents of slip and fall trauma can include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Brain Injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Shoulder injuries (e.g. dislocation)
- Knee injuries (torn ACL, MCL)
- Muscle and ligament injuries (strains, pulls, etc.)
Slip and Fall Liability in Maryland
Property owners are legally accountable for the state of their premises under the theory of premises liability. When a property owner or home owner is conscious of a hazard on their land or in their building and fails to address the dangerous situation, they may be held legally responsible if someone is injured as a result of their negligence. Indeed, this is a well-litigated area of law and the fact-specific circumstances of a case will determine liability. Accordingly, finding a seasoned Maryland slip and fall attorney who can explain how the law may apply to the facts of your case is the first step in gaining the financial compensation you deserve.
Experienced Maryland slip and fall lawyers understand that pursuing an injury claim can be difficult, as property owners may not always be held accountable for the injuries of others. For example, if a property owner had a wet floor sign displayed to indicate a slippery floor, the court may find that the property owner took reasonable steps to protect customers from hazardous conditions and thus is not liable.
Maryland law follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. In a jurisdiction that follows contributory negligence, if an injured party in a slip and fall incident is construed to have contributed to the incident (e.g. by spilling a liquid on the floor and then slipping in it), that party can be barred from recovery. Your attorney can carefully evaluate your case, determining who is likely to be at fault for your injuries under the law and inform you of your options.
In order to establish liability in a negligence claim, you must prove—by a preponderance of the evidence—four elements: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. In a slip and fall case, the breach of duty is typically the at-fault party’s failure to exercise reasonable care to ensure the property is safe. This can include situations where a party knew the property was not safe, but chose not to remedy or warn of the danger. It can, however, include situations where a party should have known about the danger, but failed to recognize the hazardous condition because they failed to inspect the area.
If you believe your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, and if you choose to retain a skilled slip and fall attorney, your lawyer will advise you on your claim and help you determine the best course of action for litigation.
There are many defenses available to a defendant in slip and fall cases. Primary defenses include lack of notice of the defect and/or an inability to correct the defect in time. This means that in order to establish liability, the injured person must prove that the owner of the property knew of the dangerous condition and took no steps to correct it. This can be difficult to prove in certain circumstances such as if there is simply water on the floor and no one knows how long it existed there.
Additionally, there are affirmative defenses of contributory negligence and assumption of risk. This means that even if the owner of the property were found to be primarily negligent in allowing the dangerous condition to exist, the courts can ultimately find that the injured person contributed to their injuries or assumed the risk of their injuries by appreciating the known risk and moving forward anyway. This typically occurs in snow and ice conditions when a property owner such as a condominium association or even a private homeowner failed to clear the snow within the time prescribed by the law. However, if a person knows that the ground is snow and/or ice-covered and chooses to exit the property through that door knowing of the dangerous condition, then they may be found contributorily negligent. If an injured person is contributorily negligent, then they are barred from recovery altogether.
Benefit of an Attorney
If you believe you have a claim, our firm offers free consultation. When you arrive for your consultation, it is important that you bring with you every piece of information that you think could even be remotely related to the situation at hand. When you enter a trial, or the investigation leading up to a trial, you want to be prepared: it is arguably the most important part of an investigation.
When your attorney deals with the insurance company to achieve the best possible outcome for your case they need to be confident that they have all the facts, details, and comprehensive understanding of the parameters of the case. To get this, a lawyer must work hand-in-hand as a team with their client. It is always better to bring something that turns out to be irrelevant than to forget to bring something that could end up being important in your case.