You may be walking down an apartment hallway or pushing your cart through the grocery store. You might encounter a puddle, a patch of ice or a loose step. A lot of things can cause you to lose your balance, slip and fall.
While some accidents leave you with only bumps and bruises, other slip-and-fall accidents are more severe. You can suffer head injuries, fractures, muscle strains or spine and nerve damage. These injuries can leave you serious medical bills, which may include surgery and rehabilitation.
If you were injured on someone else’s property or at a business, you may have a case for premises liability. Here is what you need to know about filing a slip-and-fall lawsuit.
How long do you have to file suit?
Like most other states, Maryland has a statute of limitations on how long you must file a slip-and-fall lawsuit. You have three years after the date of the accident to file suit. After your injury occurs, you must file a complaint with the court within that three-year period. If you do not file suit within this time, the court will typically dismiss any claim filed after the statute of limitations has expired.
What happens if they blame you for the fall?
When filing a premises liability suit, it is common for the property owner to put part of the blame on you. They may try to claim you had no right to be on the property, you were not paying attention or that condition that caused you to fall should have been obvious. In Maryland, it is particularly critical that you and your attorney prove that this did not happen.
Some states are comparative negligence states. That means if an injured person is found partly at fault for an accident, the damages are reduced by the percentage of his or her fault. However, Maryland is a contributory negligence state. If an injured party is found even partially to blame for an accident, he or she cannot recover any damages from the property owner.
What must you prove to win?
To win a slip-and-fall case, you must prove the property owner created the unsafe condition, and they either knew about the condition or should have known about the condition. Failing to fix a dangerous condition is what makes the property owner liable for your injuries.