Slip and fall accidents happen all the time and often, there’s no one you can blame. Maybe you forgot the floor of your home was wet or you weren’t looking to see where you were going. However, there are other times when a fall is due to someone else’s negligence. Maybe there was a spill at the grocery store, or your heel got caught in a loose carpet at a hotel. Slip and fall or trip and fall incidents can result in serious injuries. When these incidents happen, you may be able to get compensation by filing a personal injury claim. You have the legal right to do so but you have to file your slip and fall lawsuit within a specific time. If you’re wondering how that works, we’ll give you the basics here. For more information on your particular slip and fall accident, seek advice from a slip and fall injury attorney in Maryland.
The Statute of Limitations and What it Means for Your Case
The statute of limitations sets out the deadline by which you must file a civil action in the law courts. Each state has its own timelines. In Maryland, you have three years from the date of injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you try to file a case after this time, the court will most likely refuse to hear it.
Let’s say you slipped in a puddle and fell at the mall on January 2, 2020 and broke your arm. You would have until January 2, 2023 to file a slip and fall lawsuit to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and other losses. If you file the lawsuit on January 3, 2020, the property owner’s attorney would file a motion to dismiss the case. The statute of limitations would have expired, and the court would likely grant the dismissal.
An exception is usually made if the injured person was a minor or an incapacitated individual. In such cases, the clock starts when the child reaches the age of majority or the adult is no longer incapacitated. If you’re not sure about what applies to your situation, reach out to a slip and fall lawyer in Maryland.
In some cases, injured individuals are eager to file a lawsuit right away. Other times, they may opt to use that as a last resort and try to negotiate a settlement first. If your injuries are severe, your attorney may advise you to wait until you have a better idea of your damages. It’s not usually possible to quantify all your losses immediately after an injury. Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need multiple surgeries or long-term rehabilitation. Your attorney will monitor your situation and keep an eye on the deadlines so that you can file in time. They will also advise you on the best strategy for your particular situation.
Holding a Maryland Property Owner Liable
Before your attorney can file a slip and fall lawsuit, they’ll need to ensure they have a good chance of winning. This means considering how the court will view the claim and whether the property owner can be held liable. Slip and fall cases are not as clear-cut as they may at first seem. Property owners required to make their premises safe and hazard-free. However, it can be tough for victims to get compensation because of Maryland’s contributory negligence doctrine. The property owner will argue that you were in some way responsible for your injuries. They may say you ignored a warning sign, or you were walking and texting. If they can convince a court that you were at least one percent responsible, you won’t win the case. Property owners, their insurance companies and their attorneys use this defense regularly. Your lawyer will need to present evidence to show that you were in no way responsible for what happened. They may draw on video evidence, eyewitness testimony and expert opinion to build their case.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC Today to Discuss Your Slip and Fall Lawsuit
Even though you have three years to file a lawsuit, you should contact a lawyer immediately after the incident. That way, your attorney can gather evidence from early and begin to build a strong case. If you want to win your case, you need to give your Maryland slip and fall injury law firm ample time. If you’re ready to get legal advice and representation, contact Pinder Plotkin LLC today to set up a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so you don’t have to pay under we secure compensation for you.