Elements of a Maryland Slip and Fall Claim

The duty of care in a Maryland slip and fall case is typically controlled by the person who is responsible for the ownership or maintenance of the property. The liability laws for such slip and fall cases in Maryland are dependent on this element.

This duty can change depending on the type of property involved. If the property is a private residence, then a homeowner would have the primary duty to maintain the property. If the property is a commercial space that is rented out by a business, then that lessee business owner may be responsible for the duty of care.

To further determine liability in your slip and fall case, consult with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible.

Requirements of a Property Owner

The duty of care owed by a property owner is to maintain the property in a reasonably safe condition for a specific purpose. These liability laws in slip and fall cases in Maryland often depend on the type of property involved and the intended purpose of such property.

Common Causes

The most common cause of slip and fall accidents in Maryland is a dangerous condition that exists at a premise. The type of dangerous condition can depend on the type of property involved. Most often times, there is some foreign substance such as water or a cleaning solution or some other material that is left on the floor which should not be there. Other premises liability cases can stem from the size of steps that do not conform to building codes or zoning regulations or any other irregularities in the walking surface.

Multiple Defendants

In cases with multiple defendants, the defendant can be the property owner, the lessee of the property, any additional company that may be responsible for the maintenance of the property such as a management company or a condominium association, or both or any other person who is in charge of the maintenance, ownership or control of the property.

Determining the Extent of Injuries

A case should never be concluded until a full appreciation of the injuries is obtained. A case should not be concluded until all parties, both the injured person and the attorney, are satisfied that the injured person has a full appreciation for the nature and extent of the injuries sustained, the prognosis for treatment going forward as well as the diagnosis for any potential complications or issues in the future.

At the first consultation with an attorney, a person should bring any and all documentation in their possession regarding the incident, such as an incident report completed at the time of the fall by the injured person and the owner or manager of the property. Also, medical records, photographs or any other documentation concerning the incident should be brought to the initial consultation.

Complications

Typically, when people are injured, they are injured initially and then recover over time through treatment. If a person develops new or worsening symptoms later on down the road, then there is a question as to whether the injuries were in fact caused by the initial fall.

Therefore, the claim is more likely to be denied or significantly undervalued if there is the question as to the nature and extent of the injury. Also, if a person has concluded their case and has been compensated for their case, they will only receive compensation in exchange for a written release. The release will preclude any additional or future claims for any other damages reportedly related to the slip and fall.

Statute of Limitations

Generally speaking, the slip and fall liability laws in Maryland offer a three-year statute of limitations on such cases.

There can be exceptions in cases involving minor or other specific circumstances that may apply. For instance, the capacity of the party, such as, if the property were owned by a government agency, there may be other notice requirements that can affect the statute of limitations.

Appealing the Case

An appeal of a trial in a slip and fall case is appealed in the same way as any other appeal case. However, liability laws in Maryland slip and fall cases state that there must be some justifiable legal reason to appeal the court’s final decision.

Whatever that legal issue is will depend on the manner in which the trial is conducted and the legal decision that is rendered by the court.

The person wanting to note the appeal would have to file a notice of appeal in the circuit court in the county where the trial was conducted within the time prescribed by the rules.

They will then follow the appellate rules thereafter in order to prepare the necessary documents to be transferred to the Court of Special Appeals and then prepare the appropriate legal briefs on the issue and potentially appear for and present oral arguments.

Contacting an Attorney

Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall incident should contact a Maryland slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. This will allow the attorney to investigate the facts and circumstances of the incident and take the necessary steps to preserve any evidence that may be necessary to establish liability for damages when the time comes.