Slip and Fall and Premises Liability Lawsuits

Updated on March 28th, 2024 at 02:30 pm

A slip and fall attorney or premises liability attorney in DC or Maryland can help you recover for injuries you suffered when you are on the premises of another. Slip and fall is the casual term for premises liability. If you are on the property of a busines or another and suffer an injury due to the property owner’s negligence, then you can cover damages for your injuries.

Slip and fall injuries are a consequence of an unsafe or hazardous condition. Some claims can arise because the plaintiff simply wasn’t paying attention. But many cases arise from dangerous conditions that the plaintiff could not have foreseen. These conditions can come from poor design, improper or negligent maintenance of the premises, or slippery surfaces due to poor maintenance.

How Does a Slip and Fall Case Work?

Maryland and DC law requires that property owners do what is reasonable for maintaining the property. What constitutes reasonable care? Reasonable care covers different issues: a property owner’s obligations to be aware of and cure any dangerous conditions or to warn others of a potentially hazardous condition.

While many slip and fall cases have value, they are difficult to prove. Maryland and DC are one of just a few jurisdictions nationwide that follow a contributory negligence rule. This means that if a plaintiff is proved to have been even slight above 0% negligent, then recovery will be barred. This defense comes into play on slip and fall cases where a plaintiff was not watching where the plaintiff was walking or disregarded an open and obvious danger or hazardous condition. This does not mean slip and fall cases should not be pursued, but instead requires even more diligence from a Maryland slip and fall attorney to fully assess the actions of the premise’s owner, the plaintiff, and the damages therefrom.

Different Types of Slip and Fall Cases

Snow and Ice

Slip and falls on snow and ice are difficult to win and Maryland and DC courts have limited the liability of premises owners. If you are walking to or from your home or perhaps to or from your place of employment, then your case has a chance of success.

Slip and Fall Generally

In a premises liability case, the plaintiff must show that the owner had actual or constructive notice of a hazard. Actual notice means the owner knew of the hazard and did nothing to cure it. Constructive notice means that the owner should have known even if the owner did not actually know. This applies in all aspects of slip and fall cases, such as tripping and falling on a slippery surface in a store, tripping and falling over a crack in the sidewalk, and tripping and falling over any object that should not have been in a walkway. One way that a plaintiff can establish constructive notice is to demonstrate that defendants are charged with constructive knowledge of what a reasonable inspection would have disclosed.

At some point, it is wise for an owner to inspect the site to make sure it is clear of hazards. Contact us for a free evaluation on the merits of your slip and fall case in DC or Maryland.

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