Baltimore Slip and Fall Attorney
Slip and fall cases in Baltimore, Maryland, are not always as simple as they may seem. Everything from the party responsible for your accident to how much you can recoup in compensation based on existing Maryland laws deserves increased scrutiny. You must partner with an experienced Baltimore slip and fall lawyer to honor your rights.
Imagine you are walking around Eastpoint Mall and an improperly secured handrail gives way and you end up taking a hard unexpected fall. Or perhaps you are washing clothes at Sudsville Laundry and you suffer a nasty spill after failing to spot some liquid detergent on the floor.
Make sure you can secure compensation for your accident by contacting a slip and fall attorney in Baltimore, Maryland.
How Do Slip and Fall Accidents Occur in Baltimore, Maryland?
Slip and fall accidents are fairly common in Baltimore County. That is mainly because the accidents can result from various forms of negligence. Let’s discuss the specific causes of those accidents that necessitate a call to a slip and fall attorney in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wet Surfaces Not Marked by Warning Signs
Wet surfaces are among the most common causes of accidents. Spilled drinks, recently cleaned floors, and unpatched roof leaks can all cause floors to become slippery. Any moisture that appears on the surface of a floor can be hazardous and must be recognized.
Establishments must always keep an eye out for those slick surfaces. They must immediately clean those surfaces to save their customers from slip and fall accidents. Aside from cleaning the moist surface, an establishment’s maintenance workers must also set up warning signs to alert customers to its presence.
Damaged walkways are hazards similarly capable of causing nasty falls. Cracked floor tiles that were haphazardly repaired may give way while you are walking on them. Broken walkways disguised with covers may also be hazardous. Do not hesitate to take legal action if your accident was caused by one of those damaged walkways.
Parking Lot Potholes
Potholes are typically troublesome for motorists, but they can still cause problems while you are getting into or out of your vehicle. You may not notice a pothole while exiting your car and twist your ankle stepping into it. Walking into a pothole can also cause injuries if you are carrying objects back to your car. The establishment’s inability to fill or set up warnings around that pothole could be the basis of your lawsuit.
Broken staircases are arguably the most dangerous of all the potential causes of slip and fall accidents. Slipping on a broken step can send you tumbling down the stairs. A fall from that height may saddle you with a significant injury. Commercial establishments should prohibit access to those broken stairways to prevent accidents.
Lastly, poor lighting may also be why you need the services of a slip and fall attorney in Baltimore. Inadequate lighting may obscure the obstacles present in and around a commercial establishment. You could easily trip over those obstacles because the establishment’s management failed to provide sufficient lighting.
Falls Are the Leading Cause of Injury Among Older Adults
Slip and fall accidents should always be taken seriously. Although bad falls may not seem that threatening, the statistics paint a more troubling picture.
According to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of injury for adults sixty-five and older. To illustrate the danger those falls pose even further, you should note that they are also the leading cause of fatal injuries within that same demographic. The age-adjusted fall death rate for adults sixty-five and older reached 78.0 per 10,000 in 2021. For context, that same statistic stood at 55.3 per 10,000 back in 2012.
We should also note how costly fall injuries are for older adults. Medical expenses for older adults who suffer falls climb to around $50 billion annually. You may have a hefty hospital bill following your fall accident. Ensure the right party pays for that bill by working with a Baltimore slip and fall attorney at Leppler Injury Law.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip and Fall in Baltimore, Maryland?
Identifying the party responsible for your accident is a must if you are seeking compensation. In a slip and fall case, the blame is typically on the party who owes you a duty of care. That party could either be the owner of the establishment or the party renting it when your accident occurred. Determining which party should respond to your lawsuit is something your lawyer can help with.
Blame may fall on the establishment owner if they fail to address repairs their tenant already pointed out. They may also be the recipient of your lawsuit if they did not tell their tenant about existing issues with the establishment. Responsibility for the accident may also fall on the establishment based on the terms of the contract they provided.
Meanwhile, the tenant may be held responsible if they or one of their employees created the hazard that caused your fall. An example of that may be one of their employees spilling some liquid on the floor and failing to clean it up in time.
Your slip and fall lawyer in Baltimore can sift through the facts of your case and identify the defendant. Once they identify the defendant, you can file a lawsuit and secure the necessary compensation.
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall Lawsuit in Baltimore, Maryland
To make your lawsuit credible, you must highlight the negligence displayed by the responsible party. So, how should you go about doing that?
For starters, you must prove that you were on the property legally. Proving that should not be an issue if your accident occurred inside a commercial establishment. If you were on private property when the accident occurred, you should present proof that they invited you. A text message or witness statement could serve as that piece of evidence. Establishing that you were on the property legally is crucial because it means the owner, or the tenant owed you a duty of care.
Next, you must demonstrate how the defendant breached their duty to keep you safe. The breach may come in the form of the defendant failing to clean a slippery surface or setting up warnings around it.
With the breach highlighted, you and your lawyer can now create the link between the defendant’s negligence and your injuries. Secure your medical records from your doctor and explain how the fall led to your fractured tailbone or concussion. You should also note how much treating your injuries will cost to illustrate the type of multi-faceted harm the defendant’s negligence has caused.
Proving negligence will not be easy, but it should be a manageable task as long as you stick to the facts of the case. Hiring an experienced Baltimore slip and fall lawyer will also improve your lawsuit’s odds of success.
Common Defense Tactics Used by Property and Business Owners
In your mind, there is no doubt that the property owner is responsible for your accident. Even so, you cannot expect them to hand over your compensation without a fight. Expect them to utilize various tactics to avoid their responsibilities. The common tactics property owners may use are detailed below.
The Hazard Was Too New to be Recognized
Many business owners plead ignorance when defending themselves in slip and fall cases. They may say that the hazard responsible for the accident was too new for them to address in time. A more detailed investigation may be required to determine if the property owner should have known about the hazard prior to your accident.
The Plaintiff Should Have Done More to Avoid the Hazard
The establishment owner may also say they are not entirely responsible for your accident because you could have done more to prevent it. They may claim that you fell because you were distracted by your phone. Disputing that claim is critical because Maryland is a contributory negligence state. Because of contributory negligence, even sharing 1% of the blame for the accident may be enough to disqualify you from receiving compensation.
Get your lawyer on the case to ensure contributory negligence does not play a factor in your claim.
The Injury You Sustained Is Not Related to the Accident
Defense lawyers can also question the credibility of your injuries to dispute the legitimacy of your Baltimore personal injury lawsuit. More specifically, the other side may state that your injuries were unrelated to the accident. They may say you already had injuries before your fall.
Collect and present your detailed medical documents to dispute that erroneous argument.
How Much Is My Baltimore Slip and Fall Claim Worth?
Attaching an exact figure to your claim is difficult because the circumstances vary significantly from one case to the next. To find out how much your claim is worth, you must consider the economic and non-economic damages you sustained.
Economic damages in personal injury cases account for the plaintiff’s quantifiable losses. These include your medical and repair bills and lost wages.
Non-economic damages compensate plaintiffs for their quantifiable losses. Examples of non-economic damages may include emotional distress, lost opportunities, and loss of enjoyment of life. Because non-economic damages are unquantifiable, special calculation methods determine them, and your lawyer can handle those calculations.
As noted earlier, contributory negligence can affect your lawsuit and make your claim worthless. Prevent it from having a part in your case by hiring an experienced slip and fall attorney in Baltimore, Maryland.
Maryland Statute of Limitations for Baltimore Slip and Fall Accidents
Taking urgent action is a must if you wish to recover damages in the wake of your slip and fall accident. Waiting too long could be interpreted as you failing to take your injury seriously. The court may not rule in your favor because of that. On top of that, delaying your lawsuit filing may cause the statute of limitations to come into play.
The statute of limitations essentially serves as a deadline for lawsuit filing. If you exceed the statute of limitations without filing the lawsuit, the court will unlikely recognize your claim. Maryland gives a plaintiff three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. Avoid brushing up to that deadline by coordinating with your lawyer.
Seeking medical attention in the immediate aftermath of your slip and fall accident in Baltimore, Maryland, is critical. You need to visit a reputable medical facility to get the care you need and document your accident-related injuries.
The University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson offers some of the best patient experiences anywhere in the country. The facility is in the top 15% of hospitals in the United States in terms of patient experience. They also offer various services that can help patients suffering from the effects of fall accidents. Those services include neurology, orthopedic treatment, joint care, and physical therapy.
You can also get treatment for your injuries courtesy of Baltimore Medical System. Baltimore Medical System is a non-profit health center committed to delivering high-quality health services to the communities they serve. Secure the health services you need at an affordable price by working with this health center. Scheduling an appointment for specialty care at Baltimore Medical System is also an option if your injuries require more specified care.
Another facility that can help with your accident-related injuries is MHC Healthcare. Some of the injuries you sustained following your slip and fall accident may linger even after receiving immediate treatment. That is because they require continuing care. The therapists at Hamilton Physical Therapy can guide you through a specified treatment regimen so you can finally break free from your lingering pain.
Keep these medical facilities in mind so you know where to go for expert treatment after sustaining accident-related injuries.
Knowledgeable Baltimore Injury and Accident Attorney
Attorney John Leppler of Leppler Injury Law is ready to help if you were injured in a Baltimore slip and fall accident. Unlike the mega-firms in Baltimore, John always has time for his clients. Call John to discuss your case and determine the best strategy. Contact us at Leppler Injury Law today to schedule your initial consultation!