If you fall down and slip in a private business or on a property, what recourse do you have? Slip and fall claims in Maryland are common, and the law is based on a fault system. If you are the victim of a slip and fall accident, here is what you need to know about making slip and fall claims in Maryland.
Understanding Slip and Fall Claims in Maryland
In Maryland, business and property owners are not necessarily liable if you slip and fall somewhere on their property. When making a slip and fall claim, you must be able to demonstrate that the property owner knew about or should have known about the hazard and failed to properly notify you. Falling can occur inside or outside of a business for a variety of reasons, including torn carpeting, steps with varying heights, wet floors, a slippery substance on the floor or obstructions like extension cords.
Liability is the process used to determine who caused an accident. For example, if you slipped and fell on a glass of water that you spilled in your own home, you would be liable. On property that does not belong to you, the property owner is not automatically liable for all slip and fall claims in Maryland. The law says that owners must take “reasonable steps” to make sure their properties are safe. Things that could constitute a strong argument include poor lighting, abrupt changes in the height of steps or floor or flooring with large holes. Conditions that have clearly persisted for long enough to fix them or label them with a warning sign can be strong for slip and fall claims in Maryland.
What Can Complicate a Slip and Fall Claim?
The property owner should have an insurance company, and they will likely be the ones trying to show that the property owner did nothing wrong. What types of arguments could you expect to hear?
- Contributory Negligence: In Maryland, if you did anything that contributed to your slip and fall, you cannot make a claim against the property owner. Due to the harsh laws in Maryland, if you contributed to even 1% of what occurred, you cannot make a claim.
- Assumption of Risk: Maryland also holds that you can assume risk, which means that you should have understood the risk you were taking and cannot make a claim as a result. For example, if you walk on a surface with visible ice and snow, in most cases the law will see you as assuming risk.
Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with Slip and Fall Claims in Maryland
If you are searching for the right attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.