Establishing Homeowner Liability in Maryland Slip and Fall Accidents

Maryland slip and fall accidents occur under a range of circumstances and can result in serious injuries or even fatalities. According to recent statistics compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million people suffer injuries after a slip and fall accident every year. Additionally, over 15 thousand people die every year related to injuries they sustained during a slip and fall. In many cases, slippery surfaces or broken steps cause slip and falls. When an individual suffers injuries in a Maryland slip and fall accident, they must understand their rights and remedies.

Maryland premises liability law establishes when a property or landowner is responsible for damages that a person suffers when they are injured on the property owner’s land. Generally, all Maryland property owners owe their visitors a duty to keep them reasonably safe from harm. Specific responsibilities vary depending on the type of property owner and visitor. Maryland distinguishes visitors into four categories, trespassers, bare licensees, invitees, and licensees.

In Maryland, trespassers are those that enter a property without permission. Generally, landowners do not owe trespassers any duty except to avoid willful or wanton misconduct. Similarly, bare licensees are those that enter a property for their own gain. Bare licensees are people such as door to door salespeople. Property owners owe bare licensees the duty to warn of any known dangers.

Invitees are those that have an open invitation to enter a property. This typically includes customers at stores or those that are visiting a public park. In these cases, the owner must use reasonable care to notify invitees of any hazardous conditions. Licensees are those individuals that enter a property as a guest of the owner. These are usually friends and family members of the homeowner. In these cases, the homeowner must use reasonable care, but also warn their guests of latent dangers that may not be obvious. If the owner fails to do this, and the guest suffers injuries, the owner may be liable for their guest’s damages.

For example, in a recent opinion, an appellate court in another jurisdiction addressed issues that frequently occur in Maryland premises liability lawsuits. In that case, a woman fell and suffered injuries while stepping out of a home into a garage at her friend’s house. The woman claimed that the step was unsafe and had various code violations. The court ruled that the plaintiff did not establish that the garage step posed an unreasonable risk or that any prior accidents would notify the defendants of the existence of a hazardous feature. This case exemplified the importance of establishing all of the elements of a premises liability claim to avoid dismissal.

Have You Been Injured In a Maryland Slip and Fall Accident?

If you or your loved one suffered injuries because of a dangerous condition at a Maryland home, you should contact the experienced accident attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen. The Maryland premises liability attorneys at the law firm have vast experience advocating on behalf of injured victims throughout the state, as well as in Virginia and the District of Columbia. Our attorneys understand the challenges that many personal injury lawsuits present, and have the training and skill to overcome these barriers. Lawyers at the firm have recovered over 55 million dollars on behalf of their clients. Compensation often includes payments for medical bills, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Contact the law firm at 800-654-1949 to schedule your free consultation.

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