Slip and fall accidents often occur when a pedestrian loses footing because of an issue with a walking surface – in other words, a defective or dangerous condition exists that precipitated the fall. These incidents often occur on surfaces such as uneven or raised walkways, iced covered concrete or asphalt, and broken asphalt. Indoors, these accidents can happen because of conditions such as spilled items of food, liquid puddles, moveable rugs, missing or broken handrails, poor lighting, steps that are too high or short, and more.
The injuries resulting from slip and falls can vary, ranging from soft tissue injuries, to sprains and bruising, to concussions, to fractures of the hip, ankle, to injuries of the back, discs, and neck.
The liability of property owners
Property owners have an obligation under Maryland law to provide an environment that is safe and hazard-free for passersby, customers, and other visitors. If they do not, they can be held liable for your injuries and the damages you sustain. In order to make your case, however, you must prove that the dangerous conditions existed, that the owners knew (or could reasonably have been expected to know) that conditions existed, and that they failed to address the conditions. You must also show that you suffered losses because of their failure to provide a safe environment.
Exceptions to the rule
Maryland is a contributory negligence state – one of only a handful of states that follow this doctrine. In short, it means that if you are even 1% at-fault for your own injuries, you could be barred from collecting compensation. For example, if you are walking down the street and see scaffolding around a worksite, and signs that warn of potential hazards, you could be barred from recovery if you choose to walk in that dangerous area anyway.
The attorney for the property owner will likely push this legal doctrine on the court if given an opportunity. This is why you need an experienced premises liability attorney on your side.
Assessing potential damages
The nature and severity of your injury will help determine how your damages are assessed during settlement negotiations or in trial. Some of the factors that will be reviewed include:
- Whether your injury is severe or permanent in nature
- Whether the defendant created the hazard causing your injury
- Whether the defendant is a likeable person or group of persons
- Whether you, as the plaintiff, are a sympathetic, relatable, likable figure to the court
- Whether your attorney can successfully fight against any notion that you were the slightest bit responsible for your injury
If you have sustained one or more injuries in a slip and fall accident because of another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive significant compensation. Our Maryland slip and fall attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. can investigate the incident that led to your injury and determine the liability of the responsible party. To request a free case review, call us today at 410.730.7737 or reach us through our contact form.