Those who live in Baltimore and across Maryland can get hurt with very little warning. Injuries may result from car crashes, criminal activity and even improper property maintenance. Premises liability lawsuits often follow a serious injury that occurs on private property in Maryland.
Those hurt because of a slip and fall might potentially have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against a business or property owner. The responsibility to appropriately maintain private property falls to owners and tenants, not the people visiting a space. However, awareness of where risks are highest may benefit those who would prefer to avoid preventable injuries. Many slip and falls take place in Maryland in the following public places.
In parking lots and on sidewalks
There are many reasons why parking lots and sidewalks see serious slip-and-fall incidents. One of the reasons is improper maintenance. If businesses or homeowners fail to repave crumbling parking lots or address the damage to the sidewalk caused by tree root incursions, someone could trip over uneven sidewalk or catch their foot in a parking lot pothole. Those dependent on mobility assistance devices like wheelchairs, canes, walkers and crutches may be at particular risk of injury when encountering poorly-maintained sidewalks and parking lots.
Winter weather only worsens the risk by adding snow and ice into the mix. In Baltimore, as in many other municipalities, responsibility for clearing snow and ice falls to property owners and businesses occupying the adjacent property.
Inside stores and other businesses
Slip-and-falls frequently take place inside buildings. The entranceway is one of the most dangerous areas of a business when looking at slip-and-fall risk. Visitors may track snow or rain inside. They may also knock dirt and other debris off of their shoes, creating a slipping hazard inside the building. Areas near windows are also high-risk locations for slip-and-falls, as are spaces near refrigeration equipment, as they may leak. Any place there are exposed power cords or damaged flooring, there is also the risk of a trip-and-fall. Finally, there can be significant risk when going up or down stairs.
Individuals hurt in a slip-and-fall incident may need to file a premises liability lawsuit. A homeowners insurance policy or business insurance policy could help cover the costs that arise when someone slips and falls in a public space. Realizing that the risk factors for a slip-and-fall are readily identifiable may help people feel more confident about taking legal action against negligent property owners or businesses.