Can You Recover Damages After A Slip And Fall Accident If Your Own Carelessness Caused It?
Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere. You can slip, fall, and injure yourself on residential or commercial property. The question of whether someone can recover damages after a slip and fall accident caused by their own carelessness is complex, as it depends on the state in which the accident occurred and the circumstances of the accident.
If you believe that your own carelessness was responsible for it, you might need to consult with an experienced attorney to determine if you can still recover damages. Our Maryland personal injury attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP can investigate your particular situation and help you understand what your legal options are. With offices in Lutherville, Baltimore, Gaithersburg, and Frederick, we serve injured victims throughout the state of Maryland.
The Effect of Property Owners’ Duty of Care
One of the factors that affect an individual’s right to recover damages after a slip and fall accident caused by their own carelessness is the concept of property owners’ duty of care. This refers to how much responsibility property owners have over visitors on their premises.
Generally speaking, property owners owe visitors a reasonable level of safety—this means that they must take steps needed to keep visitors safe from foreseeable harm or danger (e.g., removing foreign objects or debris).
If it’s shown that a property owner did not uphold this reasonable level of safety due to negligence or recklessness (e.g., failing to remove hazardous materials), then the visitor may still have grounds for filing a personal injury claim against them despite being partially responsible for their own injury.
Comparative Negligence vs. Contributory Negligence
When determining whether an individual is entitled to compensation for injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident, courts look at the doctrine of comparative vs. contributory negligence. This doctrine looks at what percentage of fault each party has for causing an accident. In contributory negligence states, if an injured person is found to be even partially responsible for their injury—even just 1%—they may be barred from recovering any damages from another party who may have been more responsible (e.g., the property owner).
However, some states follow what’s known as “modified comparative negligence” rules instead. In this situation, if an injured person was found to be more than 50% responsible for their own injury, they are not able to recover any damages from another party; however, if they are found to be less than 50% responsible, they may still be able to recover a portion of the damages.
According to the Legal Information Institute, Maryland is still among the very few states that follow the contributory negligence rule, which means injured victims are barred from compensation if their own negligence or carelessness contributed to the accident.
Speak with Maryland Personal Injury Attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident and think that you are the only one to blame for it, do not jump to conclusions just yet. You might still be entitled to financial compensation, depending on how the accident occurred. Contact our attorneys at Berman | Sobin | Gross LLP to discuss your unique situation. You won’t lose anything by speaking with our attorneys because our consultations are free. Call 800-248-3352 today.