Recovering Against Negligent Landowners in Maryland Slip and Fall Cases

Most Maryland residents know that when someone else causes them to be injured, the state’s law protects them by allowing them to file a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, if Driver A runs a red light and hits Driver B, Driver B can sue Driver A to recover for their injuries. If a manufacturer sells a defective product to a customer that causes them to get hurt, the customer can sue the manufacturer. Most of these cases have a clear cause and effect — the defendant (negligent party) takes some action that causes the plaintiff to get hurt. Recovering may be complicated, however, for those who are injured in a Maryland slip and fall accident. Unlike many other personal injury lawsuits, these are often caused by a defendant failing to do something, rather than some action that they took.

Take, for example, the facts of a recent state appellate case. According to the court’s written opinion, the plaintiff, a grandmother, was staying at the defendant’s hotel with her four grandchildren, whom she took to the hotel pool one evening. At some point, she left the pool to escort her youngest grandson to the bathroom, walking along the sidewalk from the pool to the hotel room. According to the plaintiff’s testimony, the sidewalk was shiny, wet, and looked slick. The plaintiff told her grandson, who was dripping wet and walking in front of her, to slow down. While walking, she slipped and fell, suffering multiple injuries to the left side of her body.

Under Maryland premises liability law, the injured plaintiff, in this case, may be able to hold the hotel owner responsible. State law requires hotel owners, and other landowners, to take reasonable care in maintaining their property, and to warn guests of any known dangers. For instance, if the plaintiff could show that the hotel knew that the area in question was prone to getting very slippery and dangerous, and yet decided not to put up a sign warning of said fact, they may be successful in their personal injury suit.

However, Maryland law also provides some defenses for landowners facing these slip and fall suits. For example, the doctrine of contributory negligence may be used to bar a plaintiff’s recovery. Under this strict doctrine, accident victims who were even partially responsible for their own injuries—even if only five percent at fault—can not recover. In the case above, the hotel may argue that the plaintiff was negligent herself and partially at fault. Or, alternatively, they may try to use the assumption of risk defense, stating that the plaintiff knew about the risks of walking over the wet sidewalk but did so anyhow, thus making it so they cannot recover.

It is important for anyone who has been injured in a Maryland slip and fall accident to work with a dedicated attorney who can help anticipate any defenses and prepare accordingly.

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

As the above discussion has shown, slip and fall cases may come with unexpected hurdles and difficulties. However, skilled advocates who are well-versed in Maryland premises liability law know the common defenses defendants use, as well as how to overcome them.  To learn more about how a dedicated Maryland injury attorney can make the difference in your case, contact Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, today. Our attorneys will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve. Call today us today at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation.

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