Maryland Premises Liability Attorney
Proudly Serving Those in Prince Georges, Charles, Calvert, Anne Arundel
Accidents happen. Sometimes they happen because of our own carelessness or through the fault of no one. However, there are also times when the accident is caused by someone else and could have been prevented. Maybe you trip on loose pavers outside your favorite outdoor shopping complex. Or a wobbly handrail doesn’t support your weight when you reach for it. Maybe you are on a deck that is poorly constructed and collapses.
Property owners have what is referred to as a duty of care, ensuring that their commercial property is safe and warns visitors of dangerous conditions. Negligent design, construction, or maintenance can all lead to potentially serious injuries, such as brain injuries, head trauma, back injuries, and broken bones.
Some common premises liability cases are as follows:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Elevator and escalator injuries
- Falling debris injuries
- Negligent security injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
- Asbestos injuries
Proof of Notice
The law requires that you prove “notice” in order to establish liability. Suppose a customer in the produce section of a grocery store slips on a smashed grape and breaks their ankle. If someone had previously seen the smashed grape and notified the store, then the store is on “notice” that there is a hazard that needs corrected. If they fail to warn customers or correct the issue, then they can be liable. However, if the store was not on “notice” of that smashed grape, then recovery is difficult.
Compensation in Premises Liability Cases
You can recover both economic and non-economic damages in premises liability cases. Economic damages are ones that have a specific dollar amount attached. Non-economic damages are subjective costs.
Economic damages include:
- Hospital bills
- Physician bills
- Medication costs
- Lost wages
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You may also recover future medical expenses and future loss of income.
Maryland has no damage caps on economic damages but does place a cap on non-economic costs. The caps change each year, which runs Oct. 1-Sept. 30, to reflect the rate of inflation. The cap is connected to the date of the accident, not the date of your lawsuit. Washington, D.C. has no damage caps.
In Maryland, contributory negligence means you contributed in some way to your injury. Regardless of how minimal, any contribution at all will preclude you from recovery. It is commonly explained as the 1% law. If you are even 1% at fault you are precluded from recovery. Maryland and D.C. are two of only a handful of places (Alabama, North Carolina, and Virginia) that follow strict contributory negligence rules.
You will also be barred from compensation if you knew about the risk and voluntarily continued despite it. Any injury that occurs because of your assumed risk is ineligible for damages.
Proving Premises Liability
To prove premises liability, it is critical to show that the owner or their representative knew of a danger or hazard but neglected to repair the damage or place signage warning others of its existence. After a fall, it is critical to document what caused the fall with photos. You also need to get the names of the employees who came to your aid. Additionally, it will be important to ask if the store security cameras captured the fall so you can refer to the footage as evidence.
Hire Experience for Your Premises Liability Case
If you were injured due to a slip or fall, contact our legal team to determine whether you have a potential claim. You have only three years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit, and only one year to file a formal claim if the accident happened at a state government agency.
Our premises liability attorneys at Potter Burnett Law are passionate about helping victims – working tirelessly to put you back on your feet and get you the compensation you deserve. Our courtroom experience allows us to confidently represent your case in a trial. We work with clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.
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