Like much of the east coast, the winter months bring snow and ice to many parts of Maryland. Naturally, this weather can increase the risk of injuries from a slip and fall. While many weather-related accidents occur at businesses, especially in parking lots or sidewalks, individuals can suffer injuries anywhere snow and ice accumulate. Under Maryland law, property owners have a duty of care to those who enter their property. The standard of care varies depending on the type of visitor; however, generally, property owners must ensure that their property is reasonably safe from dangers.
During the winter, property owners have the duty to exercise reasonable care in areas that they should reasonably expect people to be. The duty includes inspecting the property for dangers like icy patches and other slick areas. Further, property owners should remediate dangerous conditions that may lead to a slip and fall. Those who fail to do this may be liable for negligence under the state’s premises liability laws.
Are Maryland businesses responsible for clearing sidewalks after a snow storm?
Many businesses and government properties contract with snow removal companies to ensure that their property is clear of dangers; However, in most cases, liability for a slip and fall injury still falls on the property owner. For example, a property owner may be liable for injuries if their snow removal company did a poor job or failed to remove the hazards. The inquiries in these cases tend to hinge on the totality of the circumstances and whether the property owner’s conduct was reasonable.
On the other side, the law expects members of the public to act reasonably as well. A claimant’s reasonableness is a critical determination in Maryland because of the state’s strict contributory negligence laws. The claimant may not recover if the fact-finder concludes that the victim bore responsibility for their injuries. However, these cases are fact-specific and often hinge on a plaintiff’s evidence that refutes contributory negligence. For example, a victim may argue that their actions did not amount to contributory negligence because they could not see the specific hazard. This argument may be relevant in black ice cases where the danger is not readily visible. As such, Maryland slip and fall victims should consult with an attorney to prepare a legally sound and compelling case. After a successful Maryland slip and fall lawsuit, the plaintiff may recover compensation for their losses. COmpensation in these cases typically includes the cost of the victim’s medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Slip and Fall Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries or died because of a business owner’s negligence, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. The lawyers on our team have an in-depth grasp of the complex laws that govern these cases. Our firm handles accident cases stemming from Maryland slip and fall accidents, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, medical negligence, dog bites, and more. We provide clients with respect, compassion, and individualized attention during all stages of their claims. Our lawyers have secured significant amounts of compensation for our clients. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Maryland accident attorney at our office.