- posted: Feb. 10, 2016
The January 2016 snowstorm that blasted Maryland and much of the Northeast stranded people in their homes for days and brought travel to a standstill. Even after all of this snow, however, many homeowners and business owners ignored local ordinances and common sense by failing to keep their premises and sidewalks safe. Property owners have a duty to remove snow and ice promptly. When reasonable care is not taken, they can be held liable for the damage that results from their violation.
Compared to the laws of other states, Maryland law presents a challenge for victims of injuries caused by unsafe premises. Maryland follows the doctrine of contributory negligence, which allows negligent property owners to evade legal responsibility if the injured person bears any amount of fault in the accident. Even if the property owner is held to be mostly liable, an injured plaintiff cannot recover.
Insurance company attorneys take advantage of this lenient standard and will dig deep to try to find some way to blame an injured plaintiff for their fall, such as:
- Arguing that the poorly maintained site was not a danger because the hazard was so obvious.
- Claiming that the plaintiff was not paying attention when the incident occurred. Increasingly, this argument alleges that the person was looking at their phone prior to getting hurt.
- Alleging that the injured person behaved inappropriately by being in the wrong place or engaging in a risky activity.
If you’ve been hurt in a fall due to unsafe conditions such as snow or ice, an experienced personal injury attorney is necessary to combat insurance company attorneys and the difficult Maryland premises liability standards. The knowledgeable attorneys at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. assist people who have suffered damage in slip and fall incidents.