When injured because of a property owner’s failure to remedy dangerous property conditions on their premises, there’s nothing more frustrating than hearing they were unaware of the situation when you know this is false. If you are injured due to the negligence of a property owner in Maryland, ensuring you understand how to prove the owner knew about the hazard with the help of a Prince George’s County personal injury attorney is crucial. The following blog explores what common risks you can face and how to protect yourself in the event you are injured.
What Constitutes Dangerous Property Conditions?
Dangerous property conditions are hazards caused by poor maintenance, code violations, or failure to ensure a property is safe. While a home or business owner is not solely responsible for the injuries someone faces on their property, they must take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of harm.
Dangerous conditions a property owner could be liable for include the following:
- Uncleared snow and ice from a sidewalk or parking lot
- Failure to put proper fencing around a pool
- Failure to clean up a spill
- Inadequate lighting
- Broken escalators and elevators
- Unsafe stairwells
- Potholes and cracks on roads and walkways
- Fire hazards
- Unleashed dogs
These are not the only hazards a homeowner can be held liable for if a visitor on their property is injured, but they are some of the most common.
It’s also important to note that property owners do not have a duty of care to trespassers on their property. As such, if an uninvited individual enters a fenced-in backyard and is attacked by a dog, the homeowner would not be liable for their injuries.
How Can I Prove the Owner Was Aware of the Risk?
If you are injured due to a dangerous property condition, you may be able to prove that the owner knew about the risk on their property, therefore proving them liable for the injuries you’ve sustained.
One way you may be able to prove negligence is by obtaining security camera footage or a photograph of the property that depicts the conditions. Generally, these can be useful in proving the hazard existed long enough on the property that the owner knew or should have known about it. Additionally, you may be able to locate eyewitnesses or neighbors who noticed the hazard prior to your accident.
If the hazard was a code violation, such as having inadequate fire safety or stairs that are too steep, you may have an easier time holding them liable, as this shows the hazard directly violated local or state code laws.
Regardless, if you are injured due to the negligence of a property owner, ensuring you take the necessary steps to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible is vital to recover the compensation you’re entitled to at the hands of a negligent owner.
When you need help, McCarthy, Winkelman, Mester & Offutt are ready to assist. Our dedicated legal team has the experience you need to assist you during these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can help you navigate this process.