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Are property owners responsible if I get hurt on their premises?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | PERSONAL INJURY (PLAINTIFF) - Personal Injury

Maryland property owners have a responsibility to take reasonable measures to prevent legal visitors from getting injured on their premises. If a person falls and suffers an injury on someone else’s property, they may file a personal injury claim against a property owner to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering.

Generally, a property owner who knew of a dangerous condition on their property or should have known of a dangerous condition on their property, but negligently failed to take reasonable steps to remedy the problem may be held liable for slip-and-falls on the property. However, there must also be evidence to establish the accident was caused by the dangerous condition and the victim suffered injuries in the accident.

When are property owners not responsible for injuries?

Property owners are not always responsible for accidents that occur on their property. Here are few examples of situations where they may not be liable for a slip-and-fall:

  • The injured party is trespassing. Property owners do not owe the same duty of care to trespassers as they do to legal visitors (e.g., licensees or invitees). Generally, the property owner is only obligation to a trespasser is to refrain from willfully injuring or entrapping them.
  • The property owner acted reasonably. Property owners are legally required to take reasonable steps to maintain their properties in a safe condition and/or warn legal visitors or invitees of dangerous conditions that exist on the property. However, this does not mean that they must go above and beyond to prevent any and all accidents from occurring. The actions taken by property owners should be proportional to the potential risk of an accident. If the accident that occurs is not foreseeable or could not have prevented with reasonable measures, the property owner may not be liable.
  • The injured party was determined to be partially or fully liable for their own accident. Maryland is one of the few states that follows the law of contributory negligence. This means that if an injured party is even just partially responsible for their own accident, they will be unable to recover damages from the property owner. Siip-and-fall accident victims may be liable for their own injuries if they were wearing faulty footwear, using their cell phone while walking, or ignoring posted warning signs.

If you feel a property owner is at fault for your slip-and-fall, the evidence you present to establish their negligence will be critical to winning your case.