If you are injured as a result of a dangerous or defective condition on someone’s property you may be entitled to recover damages against the owner of the premises. Maryland law requires owners of property to keep their property reasonably safe. If a property owner had knowledge and an opportunity to correct a dangerous condition existing on their property, the property owner may be responsible for damages and any injuries suffered by a person who is harmed.
Individuals or businesses who own properties have different obligations depending on the legal status of the person injured on their property. For example, an invitee is a person on the property for a business purpose. Business owners owe invitees a duty to inspect the property, keep the property safe and protect and/or warn of any foreseeable or potentially dangerous condition.
A social guest is known as a licensee by invitation. A person invited to someone’s home should be warned by the property owner of all dangerous conditions known, but the property owner does not have a duty to inspect the property in order to discover dangerous conditions.
A person who is on someone’s property with the owner’s consent, but for the person’s own purpose is known as a bare licensee. For example, a solicitor to one’s home would be considered a bare licensee. The property owner has a lesser duty of care in a premises liability case to bare licensees. The property owner’s obligation to a bare licensee is to refrain from creating a dangerous condition without warning the bare licensee or purposefully injuring that person.
The last category under Maryland law is a trespasser. A trespasser enters property without the owner’s permission and is the least protected under Maryland law. The only obligation the property owner has to a trespasser is to refrain from intentional injury with respect to the premises.
Slip and fall cases in Maryland are challenging. For example, if you are in a grocery store shopping and slip on a wet substance in an aisle, Maryland law would require that the owner had knowledge of the spill or with reasonable inspection should have known about it and had an opportunity to clean the spill and/or warn the invitees of the dangerous condition so that injury would not occur.
Our law firm has over thirty years of experience successfully handling premises liability and slip and fall cases. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, we will be more than happy to review the facts and circumstances and provide you with an opinion as to whether you have a claim.