If you have been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, you may have a personal injury case under Maryland laws. If you are trying to determine whether you can file a claim due to premises liability, you will need to understand your rights and responsibilities.
What is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is the responsibility of the owner in being responsible for any damages resulting from a risk or danger that resulted in your injury. In this type of case, the expectation is, generally, that you had expectations of being free from potential danger while on the property. There are a number of potential situations and areas in which premises liability may apply, including:
• Slips and falls
• Construction sites
• Swimming pools
• Falling equipment
• Animal attacks
• Failing to have security
• And many others
If any of these situations results in you being injured, you may have a premises liability case in Maryland.
Proving the Case
As the injured person, you will have to prove a few different things, including your right to be on the property. If you were invited, whether for business or social reasons, the owner may be liable for the injury, but if you were considered as a trespasser, meaning you were not invited, or told you could be on the property, the owner will not be held responsible. After proving that you were on the property by the owner’s consent, you will also have to prove:
• That the defendant that caused the injury either owned, rented, or occupied the property where the injury occurred
• That there was some type of negligence involved with the property use
• That an injury actually occurred
• That the significant factors in the injury were due to the defendant being negligent
Another important consideration in a premises liability case is whether the owner of the property was reasonable in providing a safe environment. You will need to determine whether the owner had plenty of time to be aware of the situation that caused your injury, and should have known that it presented a risk. If the injury was the result of tripping over something left on the floor, reasonableness will depend on whether there was a good reason for it to be there, and whether there was a better place for it. Additionally, if there was a need for the item to be there, should there have been some type of warning or protection around it to prevent injury to others.
You will also have to honestly consider whether the problem was also attributable to your own carelessness. Where you paying attention to your surroundings? Was your being in the dangerous area legitimate? Were you walking normally, or running, skipping, jumping, or the like? These questions will all come up after you file your claim, and if you were even partially responsible, under Maryland’s contributory negligence rule, you will not be able to collect any damages if your case goes to court.
If you’ve been injured on someone else’s property due to no fault of your own, contact us today. We’re here to help.