Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents in Maryland occur when someone trips, slips, falls, or is otherwise injured on someone else’s property. If a person is injured on another person’s property as a result of the property owner's failure to take proper care of his or her property and to remove dangerous conditions that caused the injured person to fall, then that person has the right to receive compensation for the injuries and losses he or she sustained as a result of the fall. Slip and fall accidents can happen on both public and private property.
In Maryland, slip and fall cases are not easy to win, but an experienced personal injury lawyer, such as those at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, will be able to determine if the case is winnable. These types of cases are extremely fact specific. The owner of the property is responsible only if the owner knew of a dangerous condition that caused the injured person to fall and failed to eliminate that dangerous condition. In addition, under certain circumstances, the owner of the property can be held responsible even if the owner of the property did not know of the dangerous condition, but failed to properly monitor the condition of the property. For example, if a person steps into a hole in a lawn at an apartment complex that exists undetected for a period of time because the apartment complex fails to monitor the condition of its lawn, that person may have the right to recover compensation for his or her injuries. Therefore, an initial thorough investigation into the accident is absolutely crucial because the condition of the property can be changed very quickly and evidence can be lost. Similarly, faulty construction, poorly built stairs, absence of a sign that the floor is wet, and other fact specific causes that could have been responsible for the injury need to be investigated without delay.
The most likely location of a slip and fall accident is at a business frequented by members of the public. Shopping malls, grocery stores and other busy retail outlets are prime examples. Business owners have an obligation to maintain their premises in a reasonable manner. If they fail to do so, they can be held liable for any injuries that result from their negligence. The most egregious situation is when the owner has negligently created the condition that results in injuries. Because the owner created the dangerous condition, the injured person would not then be required to prove that the owner had knowledge of the dangerous condition. Knowledge would be presumed.
There are other places where slip and falls can occur and the owner could still be liable. Premises liability extends to owners of private residences, but the legal standard is different depending on the purpose for the injured person's visit to the residence. If the injured person was a trespasser on private property, it is unlikely that he or she will be entitled to compensation for injuries sustained while on the premises without the owner’s permission. If the owner is aware of a person's presence then that person may either be categorized as a social guest or a business invitee. Each of these classifications carries different rights and responsibilities for both the guest and the owner. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to assess the rights of the injured person based on these legal nuances and conduct a thorough investigation into the accident.
Please contact Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free, no obligation consultation if you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident in Maryland or Washington D.C. Our experienced attorneys have successfully represented individuals who have been injured in slip and fall accidents in the past. You can send an e-mail to Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen, or call our toll free number at 1-800-654-1949.