Do I Have a Claim if I Slip on Ice Outside of a Business?
It’s wintertime here in Baltimore, and that means lower temperatures and an increased chance of ice or snow on the ground. Unfortunately, ice can be treacherous, and it’s easy to slip and hurt yourself while you’re walking outside. Some slip-and-fall accidents are relatively minor, with not much damage other than to your pride. But some can be serious – think broken bones, concussions and neck or back injuries.
What happens if you slip and fall on the ice outside of a business? Are you eligible to receive compensation from the company? Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Is the business liable? The first thing you need to determine when building a personal injury case for a slip-and-fall accident outside of a business is whether the business is liable. This means you’ll have to prove that the business was aware that the ice on their property constituted a dangerous situation, and either neglected to rectify the situation or attempted to rectify it in a way that made it more dangerous as a result. For example, if there is an ice or snow storm on a Monday and the company still hasn’t cleared its walkway by Friday, you may be able to claim that the business knew the danger that an uncleared walkway presented and had ample time to clear it, but didn’t do so (and was therefore negligent). Or maybe the company did attempt to clear the ice, but did so in a way that actually made the environment more treacherous (they poured hot water on the ice to melt it and the hot water froze, for example).
2. Are you liable? Remember that Maryland is a contributory negligence state, which means that you can’t be compensated for an accident or injury if you are determined to be even 1% at fault for it. If you attempt to file a claim, be ready to answer questions about whether or not you were talking on the phone or otherwise distracted when you slipped, if you were under the influence of alcohol or other substances, or if you took a shortcut and didn’t stick to the specified walkway.
3. Can you prove that you were hurt where, when and how you said you were? In the immediate aftermath of a slip-and-fall accident, you’re likely to be a little overwhelmed (not to mention possibly in a lot of pain). It’s understandable if your first reaction isn’t to pull out your phone and snap pictures of the scene of your accident, or to try to talk to witnesses who can corroborate what happened. But having tangible proof of how your injury occurred (as well as documentation proving the injury, such as photos and medical records) is crucial in developing a credible claim.
Given all of the different things you need to keep in mind when considering a claim of this type, it makes sense to get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A qualified attorney can provide helpful advice and act as your representative throughout the process, ensuring the best possible outcome.
If you’ve hurt yourself slipping on the ice outside of a business and you think you have a right to a claim, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas Parr in Baltimore, MD today to schedule your free consultation. We don’t receive a fee unless we win.