When you suffer an injury due to a slip, trip, or fall on someone else’s property, it can be difficult to know exactly who is at fault, and as such, responsible for your injury. Whether your injury was due to uneven ground, a wet floor, or even faulty stairs, you may be entitled to damages through a personal injury case in Maryland. However, there are a few things you need to consider before filing your claim.
If it’s pouring down rain, or there are several inches of snow on the ground, it is natural that floors are going to become slippery. Also, things fall over, or get dropped, which can cause a slip or fall. There are also useful items that are designed for a purpose, such as grates and the like, that can cause a slip and fall. All of these things are normal, everyday occurrences. We have a personal responsibility to look out for our own safety by paying attention to our surroundings, and looking where we are going. However, there are times when negligence plays a part in these situations.
In Maryland, for personal injury cases involving slips and falls, you must prove negligence on the part of the property owner. For negligence to be proven, there has to be a duty of care, a breach of that duty, and damages arising as a direct result. This means you will need to show that the owner of the business or property had a duty to provide a particular standard of care to protect visitors, that he or she failed to do so, and that because of that failure, you were injured.
Maryland Visitor Status
Maryland courts have determined that there are essentially four types of visitors that may be on a property. Each of those classes has its own duty of care that the owner must meet:
• Invitees – These are people that the owner invites onto the premises for business, and to whom the most responsibility is given for keeping them safe.
• Licensee by Invite – These include friends and other social visitors, and the owner must make sure that these people are made aware of any potentially dangerous risk.
• Bare Licensee – These are visitors to a property that have permission to be there, but are not there for anything related to the property owner. The owner cannot cause willful harm or take part in conduct that could hurt them, or create new situations that might present danger without prior warning.
• Trespasser – These visitors do not have permission to be on the property, and the owner can’t cause willful harm.
There are also three conditions that can prove negligence:
• The risk or danger had to be caused by an employee or the owner
• Employees or the owner had to have knowledge of the danger
• Employees or the owner should have known about the issue if proper care would have shown it existed
Based on your class and business on the property, if your situation meets one of the above conditions, the owner of the property is at fault, and you have a personal injury case under Maryland law.
If you or a loved one believe that you may have a case, contact us today. We are here to help.