Residents of Upper Marlboro and other nearby areas of Maryland may want to learn more about premises liability and who is liable for injuries and accidents that occur on a property. It might be a “slip and fall.” Claims of this type might also occur against a ride at an amusement park or a public sidewalk or, even, against the home of an attacking animal.
According to sources, liability is determined by the following:
• Legal status of the visitor
• Conditions of the property and actions by the owner and visitor
• Injured person is trespasser or child
• Fault of both owner and visitors
The legal status of the visitor is important
Were they invited? Are they licensees, which means they have the consent of the owner but are there for their own purposes? They may be a social guest, invited by the owner. Or in some cases, they may be a trespasser.
The condition of the property
Both invitees and licensees have the same consideration. Both have a uniform standard that includes the expectation of reasonable care. It is expected for visitors and the owner; however, it does not apply to someone who is trespassing.
What is the use of the property? The circumstances under which the visitor gained entry will receive consideration. Whether a dangerous situation that would lead to injury received repair, and whether the visitor had a warning are considerations.
What happens with trespassers?
If the owner has knowledge that there are trespassers in the area, they may give a reasonable warning that danger exists on the property. This is to prevent injury. it applies to conditions which the owner created, and it might cause death or serious injury to anyone there, including a trespasser.
If the property owner knows that children are in the area, they must give a warning. This is often called the “attractive nuisance” doctrine. An unprotected neighbor’s swimming pool that is easily accessible might fall under this category.
Can both parties be at fault?
When it comes to premises liability, both parties may be at fault. It is often argued that the visitor must take reasonable care for their safety.
Maryland is a contributory negligence state, however. What this means is that a victim who bears even the slightest degree of fault will be barred from recovery.