Accidents on sidewalks are more common than one would think. Cracks, holes, gaps and other trip hazards can actually do a lot of harm to unsuspecting pedestrians. Maryland residents who have been hurt while walking on a poorly maintained sidewalk have every right to question who might be liable for any damages sustained due to this dangerous property.
When a person is injured on another individual's property, it can be difficult to determine who is considered liable for that injury. Slip-and-fall accidents affect thousands of people every year across the country, including some right here in Maryland. While some of these accidents result in only minor injuries, some may have more serious outcomes. In these cases, it is only natural to question factors that may have contributed to the incident.
From time to time, Maryland residents may find themselves on property where the conditions are less than ideal. Conditions such as wet floors, poorly lit stairwells or walkways, building structural issues and broken railings are just a few concerns. There are numerous circumstances that could result in injury if property grounds are not properly taken care of or if adequate warning signs are not posted. Dangerous property conditions exist in a wide variety of places, and when someone does get hurt, they may have questions about who may be liable for their injuries.
After the long winter we’ve had here in Baltimore it is no wonder why many residents are looking forward to spring and warmer temperatures. Time spent outdoors enjoying the warm spring sunshine can be a special treat after months of snow and cold. Many people like to relax and soak up a few rays outside on their backyard deck.
In Baltimore, sidewalks that are located on public property are the responsibility of the city to maintain. Residents have the right to walk on city sidewalks that are safe and free from defects that present a fall risk.
Business owners in Baltimore have a standard of care that they are expected to provide for their customers. These standards vary depending on the type of person who enters the property. Those who come on the property can be characterized as invitees, licensees or trespassers. A customer to the business is most likely considered to be an invitee, as the owner invites the customer onto his or her property in order to profit from the customer. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure the reasonable care and safety of the customer who enters the property.
One of the problems with a wet floor is that the water is both slippery and very hard to see. Many people suffer injuries when they unexpectedly slide through a puddle on a smooth floor and fall to the ground. Indeed, it is up to a property owner to inspect floors to make sure that no water has spilled, to wipe up wet areas immediately, and to mark recently cleaned floors with a large and obvious sign warning guests to step carefully. Visitors to a commercial business can be hurt in a slip-and-fall accident when owners do not take these critical steps.
Premises liability claims are designed to compensate people when they get hurt due to a property owner’s negligence. For instance, an injured person can file a premises liability lawsuit against a Baltimore area business if icy sidewalks or inadequate lighting cause a slip-and-fall accident. A grocery store or shopping mall owner who fails to set out signage warning of wet floors could be held responsible for resulting injuries to its patrons.
When a parent sends their child to any type of school in Maryland, they place their trust in the teachers and administrators who help to teach their children. There may be certain activities on school grounds that students are involved in that require a parent to be informed and to give their consent for their child to be involved. If a tragic accident occurs, the owner of the property may be held responsible if the proper documentation was not received before the student participated in the event, and a premises liability lawsuit may be on the horizon.
Most people look straight ahead or at the surrounding scenery during a walk on paved sidewalks. They do not watch their feet because sidewalks are expected to be mostly smooth and uniform, or at least unchanged from day to day. Accordingly, when a construction crew digs up a sidewalk and fails to alert the general public, unsuspecting pedestrians can be the victim of a slip-and-fall accident resulting in painful injuries.