Who Is the Negligent Party for a Dangerous Sidewalk in Maryland?

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pedestrian walking street

Sidewalk accidents often occur in the form of trips or slip and falls. In these instances, they are not caused by careless pedestrians but by dangerous sidewalk conditions. Follow along to learn how a proficient St. Mary’s County sidewalk accident lawyer at The Dorsey Law Firm can help you in filing a premises liability claim against the negligent party.

Who is the negligent party for a dangerous sidewalk?

Sidewalk accidents can occur for many different reasons. Though, in many cases, passersby are injured in sidewalk accidents as a result of property owners failing to ensure their sidewalks are safe. Common dangerous sidewalk conditions that cause accidents include the following:

  • Uncleared weather-related hazards, such as snow or ice.
  • Uncleared debris.
  • Potholes.
  • Uneven pavement.

Importantly, property owners whose sidewalk is adjacent to a public sidewalk must clear snow and ice away within 72 hours of the last snowfall, by the St. Mary’s County Sidewalk Snow Removal Ordinance.

How can I hold the negligent party accountable for their dangerous sidewalk conditions?

You are likely able to receive compensation, and hold the negligent property owner responsible via a premises liability claim. To build a successful claim, you must do some preliminary work to satisfy the burden of proof. That is, this work will establish that the property owner knew of, or should have known of, the dangerous sidewalk conditions and failed to take action to resolve them, which directly caused your accident and injuries. Thus, it is best to take the following approach immediately after your accident:

  1. Call 911: the police will call for an ambulance and conduct an accident report, which you should ask for a copy of.
  2. Capture the scene: take photos and videos of your injuries, damages, and dangers that caused your accident.
  3. Collect witness contact information: ask if they took any photos and videos and if they want to provide witness testimony.
  4. Seek medical treatment: do so at the scene and at follow-up appointments, where you should ask for a copy of medical documentation and bills.
  5. Contact our firm: reach out to a talented St. Mary’s County slip and fall lawyer who can collect any leftover evidence, like surveillance camera footage.

What is the statute of limitations for premises liability claims in the state of Maryland?

The statute of limitations for most premises liability claims in Maryland is three years from the date of the accident. However, if you were injured on a sidewalk owned by a municipality or on government property, you will have to file a Notice of Claim within one year. To avoid being barred from suing, you need one of our attorneys on your side that can ensure that you meet all of your claims deadlines.

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