Baltimore Slip and Fall Lawyers
Filing a Slip and Fall Injury Claim in Maryland
If you were injured after slipping, tripping, and falling on someone else’s property, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Slip and fall accidents are among the leading causes of serious bodily injuries, such as brain injuries and broken bones, but many people hesitate to take legal action, fearing that their claim may be viewed as frivolous or even that they were to blame for the accident. However, if the property owner’s negligence contributed to your slip and fall, you likely have grounds for a personal injury claim.
At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we know how serious slips, trips, and falls can be. We also believe that you should not have to simply deal with the consequences of a property owner’s negligence on your own—and the law agrees. Our team can help you review your options and, if appropriate, bring a claim against the property owner or another liable party. Our goal is to help you recover the full compensation you are owed under Maryland premises liability law, and we will stop at nothing in our efforts to ensure that justice is served.
Reach out to our Baltimore slip and fall lawyers today for a free consultation; call (443) 201-2334 or contact us online using our secure submission form.
What Is a “Dangerous Property Condition?”
One key element in proving your slip and fall claim is establishing the existence of a dangerous property condition. You must show how this condition led to the slip and fall accident, thereby causing your injuries and resulting damages.
But what exactly is a “dangerous property condition?”
Generally speaking, a dangerous property condition is defined as any condition or hazard that poses a foreseeable risk of injury or harm. In other words, if the property owner (or another liable party) would reasonably know that the condition in question could lead to an accident or injury, the condition is likely considered “dangerous.”
Some common examples of dangerous property conditions that frequently lead to slip, trip, and fall accidents include:
- Wet or slippery floors
- Recently waxed floors
- Torn or ripped carpeting
- Uneven flooring or ground
- Potholes, cracks, etc.
- Poorly marked steps
- Missing handrails
- Defective stairs/stairwells
- Insufficient lighting
- Improper signage
- Cluttered walkways
- Narrow aisles
- Loose floorboards, mats, and rugs
- Accumulated ice or snow
- Defective sidewalks
- Cords, wires, and other tripping hazards
If the property owner knows about one of these or another dangerous condition, yet fails to take reasonable steps to remove or warn visitors about it, they could be held responsible for a resulting slip and fall accident.
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When Is a Maryland Property Owner Liable for a Slip and Fall Accident?
Certain conditions must be met for a property owner in Maryland to be considered legally responsible for a slip, trip, and fall accident.
You and your attorney must establish each of the following elements in your slip and fall case:
- Injury: First, to have a case, you must prove that you were actually injured and that those injuries led to measurable, compensable damages. If you slipped and fell but did not suffer any injuries, you do not have a case. Additionally, if you only suffered very minor injuries that did not lead to any damages (such as medical costs or pain and suffering), you also likely do not have a case.
- Duty of Care: Next, you must prove that the property owner owed you a duty of care, meaning they had a legal responsibility to you as a visitor on the property. In Maryland, the duty of care owed by property owners to visitors depends on the visitor’s status. If the visitor was there for commercial/business purposes (i.e., the visitor was an “invitee”), the property owner’s duty of care includes maintaining the property, removing or repairing dangerous conditions, and warning visitors of any possible hazards that could cause harm. If the visitor was lawfully on the property for non-commercial/business purposes (i.e., they were a “licensee”), the property owner’s duty of care only involves warning of potential hazards. If the person was trespassing, meaning they were not legally allowed to be on the property, the property owner only has a responsibility to avoid causing intentional, wanton, or willful injury.
- Breach of the Duty of Care: Once you have established that the property owner owed you a duty of care based on your visitor status, you must also prove that they breached (or failed to uphold) that duty of care. Most often, this involves proving that the property owner knew about a dangerous condition on the property but failed to take adequate steps to remove the dangerous condition or warn you about it. You can also show that the property owner breached the duty of care by proving that they did not conduct reasonable and adequate property maintenance, as required by the duty of care.
- Causation: Lastly, you must prove “causation.” This refers to the connection between the property owner’s failure to uphold the duty of care and the accident that caused your injuries. In other words, you must prove that the property owner’s negligence was the direct or indirect cause of your slip and fall, as well as your injuries and resulting damages.
Under Maryland’s strict contributory negligence rule, you may also need to prove that you were not at fault in any way for the incident that led to your injuries. Under this rule, you cannot bring a claim for damages if you were even one percent at fault. Insurance adjusters know this, and they will often use it to dispute or deny your claim. If the insurance company is saying you were even partly at fault for your slip and fall accident, you need an attorney who can fight back and protect your right to compensation.
At Mike Slocumb Law Firm, we know how to aggressively fight back against the insurance company’s efforts to avoid paying you the fair compensation you are owed. Our Baltimore slip and fall lawyers have decades of experience and a long history of success in complex premises liability cases. To date, we have secured more than half a billion dollars for our clients. We’re ready to fight for every penny you deserve.
Like car accidents, truck accidents, and most other personal injury claims, slip and fall claims in Maryland are subject to a three-year statute of limitations. This means that you have three years from the date of the accident (or injury) to file your claim in court. If you miss this filing deadline, you will almost certainly lose your right to sue the liable party for damages.
There are very few exceptions to this rule; we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our firm as soon as possible to learn how we can help you with your slip, trip, and fall case. There are no upfront or out-of-pocket expenses for you when you hire Mike Slocumb Law Firm. Instead, we only get paid if we recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf.
Contact our firm online or call (443) 201-2334 to request a complimentary case evaluation today. Hablamos español.