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Can you sue a business if you got hurt falling on their sidewalk?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2023 | Injuries |

Walkways and sidewalks outside businesses should be free of hazards to ensure the safety of customers and the general public. However, slips and falls due to poorly maintained sidewalks are not uncommon and can lead to severe injuries.

Understanding the duty of businesses in maintaining their sidewalks and your rights as an individual is helpful when dealing with such situations.

Responsibilities of Maryland businesses

In Maryland, business owners have a legal obligation to maintain their properties, including sidewalks, in a safe condition. This duty extends to ensuring that surfaces are free from hazards such as uneven pavement, cracks or ice and snow in the winter. Businesses that fail to uphold this responsibility may face liability for injuries resulting from their negligence.

Negligence in sidewalk accidents

Establishing negligence in a slip and fall case involves proving that the business owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to rectify it. Evidence such as photographs of the poorly maintained sidewalk, witness statements or any reports made to the business about the condition can be valuable in substantiating a negligence claim.

Contributory negligence

Maryland follows the rule of contributory negligence, which can be a complex area of personal injury law. Under this rule, if you bear any percentage of fault for your accident – even as little as 1% – you may not be able to recover any damages. This rule underscores the importance of demonstrating that the accident occurred solely due to the business owner’s negligence.

Potential damages in slip and fall cases

If you successfully establish negligence on the part of the business owner, you could be eligible for damages. These may cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses you incurred as a result of the accident.

If you fall and get hurt due to a Maryland business not maintaining its sidewalk, you can potentially sue for damages. However, the complex nature of contributory negligence in Maryland makes it essential to prove the business’s negligence and to ensure that you did not contribute to the accident.

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