Columbia Premises Liability/ Slip & Fall
Representing Victims of Dangerous Property Conditions
Premises liability claims, sometimes referred to as slip and fall cases, are among the most well-known and least understood type of civil claim. While many people think of slip and fall claims as being somewhat frivolous or an easy way to receive a payout, the reality is that these cases are often incredibly serious and extremely complex. Slip and fall victims, as well as others injured due to unsafe property conditions, usually suffer severe injuries. To make matters worse, insurance companies vigorously defend these claims. While you may be entitled to compensation, actually receiving a fair settlement or verdict is not always easy. As such, it’s important that those injured on another’s property seek representation from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. The Columbia premises liability attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been successfully representing slip and fall victims in Howard County, Maryland for over 25 years. We have what it takes to fight for your rights and advocate for your recovery.
Get in touch with our legal team today; call (855) 954-4141 or submit an online contact form to request a free and confidential consultation.
What Is Premises Liability?
When a person is injured due to a dangerous or defective condition on someone else’s property, they can bring a claim against the property owner. This is known as a premises liability claim.
The mere fact that a person sustained an injury while on the property does not make the property owner liable. Property owners owe a duty of care to keep their property reasonably safe. However, the duty of care property owners owe to those that enter their property depends on the visiting person’s status.
Generally speaking, property owners owe different levels of care to different people. These people include:
- Business invitees (e.g., a customer entering a store)
- Licensees by invitation (e.g., social guest)
- Licensees (e.g., door to door salesmen)
A business invitee is owed the highest duty of care while a trespasser receives the lowest duty of care.
Theories of Negligence & Defenses in Premises Liability Claims
One theory of negligence allows a victim to a hold a property owner liable for damages by proving that the owner knew of a dangerous condition or defect and failed to repair or provide warning of the condition. The problem with this theory is that if a victim is unable to prove that the property owner knew of the condition, the claim will fail. Accordingly, property owners routinely claim that they had no knowledge of the dangerous condition.
An alternative theory of negligence allows a victim to hold a property owner liable for damages by proving that the dangerous condition was open and obvious and would have been discovered had the property owner conducted reasonable inspections. The problem with this theory is that a property owner can claim that the victim was somehow negligent and, therefore, contributed to the accident/incident that led to their injuries and other damages. Maryland adheres to the defense doctrine of contributory negligence. Under this doctrine, if a person is deemed to have taken a negligent action that contributed to their own injuries, they are precluded from recovering any compensation. With regards to slip and falls, people are required to be observant of their surroundings. Accordingly, by claiming the dangerous condition was open and obvious, a property owner could potentially argue that the victim was contributorily negligent because the victim failed to observe the dangerous condition.
The final theory of negligence allows a victim to hold a property owner liable by proving that the property owner created the dangerous condition. This theory is difficult to prove and requires an extensive amount of investigation.
Successfully pursuing a slip and fall or any type of premises liability case is complicated; it is in your best interests to obtain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable Columbia premises liability lawyer.
Injuries & Damages in Premises Liability Cases
Victims of slip and fall accidents often suffer severe injuries.
These injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
These and other slip and fall injuries require extensive medical treatment and may have lifelong consequences, which will likely require future medical care. Additionally, these injuries may result in the victim being unable to work. This adds an additional financial strain on victims and their families.
Accordingly, under Maryland law, slip and fall victims can claim economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are meant to compensate an accident victim for medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, and the cost of future medical care, among other financial losses. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate an accident victim for the pain and suffering caused by the fall.
We Are Ready to Fight for You
At Portner & Shure, P.A., we have been successfully winning premises liability and slip and fall cases in Howard County for over 25 years. We are committed to providing a high level of client service, as evidenced in our many five-star reviews from past clients. Our reputation for aggressive victim advocacy and tireless representation has allowed our attorneys to win numerous awards and honors. We provide free initial consultations and contingency fees, meaning you do not owe any attorneys’ fees unless/until we secure a favorable settlement or verdict for you.
Schedule your complimentary case evaluation today by calling us at (855) 954-4141.