Baltimore Premises Liability Attorney
When you step inside a commercial establishment or a friend’s private property in Baltimore, Maryland, you expect to find a safe environment. You are not walking into those places thinking that you may need to call a Baltimore premises liability lawyer afterward.
What Exactly Is “Premises Liability”?
Not all Baltimore residents exercises proper diligence when caring for their properties. Some can even be negligent in that regard. If you end up injured due to the hazardous conditions on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability case on your hands. As you have probably guessed, negligence does play a starring role in many premises liability cases.
Premises liability cases stem from people failing to meet their obligations regarding securing their properties. However, you cannot assume that you or your premises liability attorney in Baltimore can sue someone simply because you received injuries on their property. The property owner does owe their visitors a duty of care, but the visitors must be responsible for their safety as well.
It is important to note that they treat premises liability cases as personal injury cases. Therefore, they follow the same rules regarding deadlines and compensation. You should hire legal assistance if you plan to pursue a premises liability claim. Look for an experienced Baltimore premises liability lawyer such as John Leppler so you can tackle this case the right way.
What Are Some Common Types of Premises Liability Cases in Baltimore, Maryland?
Plaintiffs can push forward with different types of premises liability claims. We have highlighted some of the more common types of those cases in this part of the article.
Commercial establishments always put out those brightly colored wet floor signs to ensure their customers know about the hazard. They also want to avoid taking responsibility if someone slips and falls. If you believe an establishment failed to warn adequately about its slippery floors, you can sue them. Partner with a premises liability attorney and take legal action immediately.
Poor Maintenance Cases
You can lump slip and fall accidents into this category, but we are using this subsection to highlight other hazards that arise from poor maintenance. Exposed wiring can electrocute the patrons of a commercial establishment and cause serious injuries. Also, you can sue property owners because they failed to repair stairs that are missing steps. Owners of office buildings could also be hit with lawsuits if their elevators malfunctioned due to negligence.
You can also sue a property owner if their dog attacks you. Dog bite cases can be complicated because the element of provocation can come into play. Also, Maryland is a strict liability state regarding dog bite cases. That means the dog owner is responsible for the attack even if the animal had never exhibited that kind of aggressive behavior before.
Swimming Pool Accidents
Swimming pools made accessible for public use should be well-maintained and monitored at all times. Property owners should keep detailed maintenance records to ensure that the water in the pool is always safe for swimmers. Lifeguards should also be present so they can respond to any accident.
Negligent Security Incidents
A commercial property owner has a duty to protect patrons from expected dangers. If they fail to provide adequate protection, they may soon come face to face with a Baltimore premises lawyer familiar with Maryland negligent security laws. Notably, cases like these do not stem from incidents where security was lacking. They could also arise if the security personnel themselves were involved in the case. An example of that would be a bouncer assaulting a patron.
Where Do Accidents Related to Inadequate Security Typically Happen?
You never know when you may need the services of a premises liability attorney in Baltimore. That is mainly because those incidents can occur in many different establishments. The lack of security can be an issue at a mall or a shopping center. For example, after someone mugs you, they may escape through an exit that does not have security.
Inadequate security incidents also occur at convenience stores, gas stations, and parking lots throughout Baltimore County. Those locations should feature security personnel and adequate lighting to be deemed safe for customers. Again, you could sue the property owner if those crucial elements were lacking.
Similar incidents can also happen inside apartment complexes. Incidents at apartment complexes can be especially traumatizing because you expect your living quarters to be safe. Your compensation for that incident should account for the pain and suffering you endured. Hire a negligent security attorney and take legal action against the property owner who failed to set up the features that could have prevented the attack against you.
Do I Need a Baltimore Premises Liability Attorney, or Can I Handle My Case by Myself?
Victims in premises liability cases may instinctively think of handling their case solo. They have a clear recollection of what happened and know where to get the evidence from. In their mind, they could tackle the case without the assistance of a Baltimore premises liability lawyer. As the victim in a premises liability accident, you can handle your case as you see fit. That said, you must be aware of the risks involved in doing so.
For instance, you may deal with high-powered attorneys and insurers if you are filing a premises liability claim against a commercial establishment. They will use every trick in the book to get you to admit fault for what happened. If you admit fault, that could have serious consequences for your lawsuit. You also must consider the difficulty of gathering evidence. Collecting evidence can be a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. It may not be something you can handle, given your other commitments.
Hiring a premises liability lawyer also makes sense if you sustained injuries from the accident. In Maryland, plaintiffs only have three years to file their premises liability claims. You might have trouble meeting that deadline if you received serious injuries because of what happened. Get a premises liability lawyer in Baltimore to take care of the filing on your behalf.
How Is Fault Proven in a Baltimore Premises Liability Case?
A plaintiff must establish certain elements first if they want to prove that a negligent property owner caused their accident. First, they must demonstrate that the property owner owed them a duty of care. Owners of commercial establishments owe that duty of care to all of their patrons. A private property owner also owes that duty of care to their guests.
Next, you or your Baltimore premises liability lawyer must show that you were on the property legally. If you were on private property at the time of the accident, you must prove that you were invited. If you were trespassing on the property when the accident happened, you could miss out on compensation completely. Plaintiffs in these cases need to prove that the owner’s negligence directly led to the development of the hazardous condition. They must also prove that the property owner knew about the hazard and had ample time to address it.
Lastly, the plaintiff must establish that the property owner’s negligence directly caused their injuries. They must prove to the court that you could have prevented it had the defendant exercised their basic duty of care. Proving all those elements in your case can be challenging. Partner with a premises liability attorney in Baltimore so you can present the strongest case possible.
What Is “Shared Liability” in a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Assigning liability in a premises liability case is not always a straightforward undertaking. That is because the blame does not always lie with one party alone. In many cases, the parties involved can share the liability. The property owner may have been negligent because they took too long to address an existing hazard, but the plaintiff’s negligence may have also contributed to the accident. Both share the blame for what happened in that scenario.
As the plaintiff in a premises liability case, you do not want the court ruling that you and the defendant both shoulder blame for what happened. However, if the court reaches that decision, it likely means that you will not receive compensation. Because the state of Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, plaintiffs in premises liability cases can be deemed ineligible to receive compensation even if they share only one% of the blame for the accident.
Defense lawyers know that and will continue making a case for shared liability to shield their clients from pricey payouts. Prevent that strategy from succeeding by enlisting the help of a premises liability lawyer in Baltimore.
Baltimore Crime Statistics
Crime is a prevalent threat in many major cities. However, the statistics indicate that it is an even greater problem in Baltimore City. Baltimore City is way above average (in a bad way) in terms of violent and property crime rates. The violent crime rate in the city is especially troubling because it is three times greater than the country’s average.
Additional statistics provided by Neighborhood Scout provide more context for the crime situation in Baltimore City. Per their numbers, Baltimore City is safer than only four% of all the cities in the United States. Why do all those statistics matter in the context of premises liability cases? They matter because they clearly illustrate how important it is for businesses to invest in their security.
Owners of commercial establishments cannot feign ignorance about the risk they expose their customers to if they fail to install essential security features such as cameras and lights. There is also no excuse for neglecting to hire a security guard, knowing how prevalent crimes like robbery are in the city.
If you believe an establishment failed to put the proper safety measures in place, you should take legal action against them. Get in touch with a premises liability attorney and start putting your lawsuit together.
Experienced Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland
Commercial establishment owners must keep their customers safe. Failing to meet that obligation opens them up to litigation. Contact a Baltimore premises liability attorney at Leppler Injury Law today and we will pursue the claim on your behalf. Additionally, if the commercial establishment owner fails to meet their obligation, we will ensure they are held accountable for their negligence.