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Who is liable in slip-and-fall accidents?

People slip-and-fall for a number of reasons. Sometimes a lack of paying attention may be to blame, but other times, poor property conditions may be the problem. Slip-and-fall accidents happen, and when they do it is okay for victims -- whether in Maryland or elsewhere -- to question who is responsible for any damages sustained.

When someone is injured on another person's property, the property owner may be held responsible. The condition of the property at the time of the incident, as well as the property owner's attempts to correct or make others aware of any potential hazards matters are important questions in such cases. Examples of potential hazards include:

  • Torn carpeting
  • Poor lighting
  • Narrow stairs
  • Cracked sidewalks
  • Wet floors

In order for a property owner to be considered liable for damages incurred in a slip-and-fall accident, certain elements must exist in one's case. These include that the owner was aware of the problem and failed to address it in a timely manner, that proper warning was not given or posted or that the hazardous condition was created by the owner. This is true for incidents on private and commercial property.

Proving fault in slip-and-fall accidents can be difficult. There are some cases that are clearly the result of dangerous property conditions, while there are others that may have been the result of a number of different factors leading to a victim's contributory negligence. In either case, the victim may seek to recoup any losses sustained in such an incident. Premises liability claims that are filed and successfully litigated in a Maryland civil court could result in full, or at least partial compensation, for one's losses.

Source: FindLaw, "Slip and Fall Accidents Overview", Accessed on March 27, 2016

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