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Can a Trespasser Sue Getting Injured on Someone’s Property?

Imagine you are in Safeway to pick up some orange juice and waffles. Before you can get either delicious item into your basket, you slip and fall on a wet piece of floor. As a result of the slip and fall, you suffer a serious injury. Whether you can build a strong legal case against Safeway will depend on multiple factors. One of these factors will be which of the following categories you fall into: the “licensee” category, “invitee” category, or “trespasser” category.

After all, while it is generally true that, in Maryland, property owners have to keep their property relatively safe so that visitors don’t suffer avoidable injuries, the particular duty of the property owner depends on which category the injured person falls into.

In this blog post, I won’t get into what makes someone a licensee, invitee, or trespasser. Instead, I’ll focus on whether folks who fall in the trespasser category might have a case.

Can a Trespasser Sue?

Can a trespasser who trips and falls over an item errantly laying on a business’ floor hire an attorney like me to sue the business considering he was trespassing at the time of the fall?

Probably not, because a property owner does not have a duty to protect a trespasser from hazards. This contrasts with the duties owed to licensees and invitees, and bare licensees.

It is worth noting, however, that a property owner must not intentionally injure a trespasser; for example, the owner cannot use a trap to intentionally injure a trespasser.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious injury due to a dangerous condition on some business’s or some person’s property, you may have questions about your legal options. If you have not yet started a lawsuit and are contemplating bringing one, I encourage you to contact me today. I can answer your legal questions and would love to talk with you. You can reach me at 410-513-9978 or by email at stefan.akorli@fintusinjuryfirm.com.

The Deadline for Filing a Slip-and-Fall Claim Against a City or Town in Maryland

If you have been seriously injured in a slip and fall in Maryland, you may feel wronged. You may especially feel wronged if you slipped and fell on public property, which your taxes went toward. You may start to wonder what legal options you have.

Many Marylanders may be surprised to learn that their legal options and the process they must follow to get justice depends, to some extent, on whether they were injured on government-owned property or not.

You may be wondering what happens if, for example, you slip and fall on a poorly maintained city-owned sidewalk in downtown Baltimore. Would you have a legal case against the city?

The good news is that, in Maryland, a city, county, or state government may, depending on the circumstances, be sued and held responsible.

However, to continue the downtown Baltimore sidewalk example, if you suffer an injury on a public sidewalk, you would have to make your legal claim pursuant to the Maryland Tort Claims Act (MTCA), and the MTCA  requires you to file your claim much sooner than someone injured on private property would have to file a comparable claim.

A claim under the MTCA must be filed within one year of the date of your injury. One year is a very short period of time. Meanwhile, someone injured on private property would have up to three years from the date of their injury to file their case.

Does the MTCA unfairly hamstring victims? Probably so.

Should victims act quickly to find an attorney if they’ve suffered serious injuries? Definitely.  

Does a Pedestrian Hit by a Car Need an Attorney?

If you’ve fully recovered from only minor injuries and only missed several days of work after the car struck you, you might be able to negotiate a fair insurance settlement without a lawyer. The more evidence you have, the better your chances will be for a fair insurance settlement.

But, what about someone who have suffered severe injuries? The answer is simple: severe injuries require an attorney.

If you’ve been severely injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you’ll need the care, the knowledge, the dedication, and the skills of a personal injury attorney to get you fair compensation. Get a free consultation with Fintus Injury Firm today! Call us at 1-888-542-4743 or contact us through our website.

Severe injury claims include permanent scarring, spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures, and traumatic brain injuries.

You shouldn’t trust the insurance company to look out for you or your family. After all, they don’t have any incentive to treat look out for you or family. Their claims adjusters, even if they are nice and likeable, are taught to avoid large payouts to people like you. There’s too much at risk to face a large insurance company on your own, and it costs you nothing to find out what a personal injury attorney can do for you.

Should You Go to a Doctor After Slipping and Falling on Ice?

Most of us have slipped and fallen on ice before. I certainly have–multiple times. Before becoming a lawyer, I did not seek medical attention after slipping and falling on ice. But should you seek medical treatment after slipping and falling on ice?

For many people, slipping and falling on ice results in serious injuries that are immediately obvious. These injuries will typically lead the injured man or woman to call 9-1-1 or drive themselves immediately to a hospital emergency room.

Meanwhile, other people suffer injuries whose seriousness is not immediately obvious. They have to wrestle with the common tendency to take a wait-and-see approach. In the wait-and-see approach, we say to ourselves: “let me see if this pain heals on its own.”

We might prefer the wait-and-see approach because going to the doctor feels like an inconvenience, or because we don’t have health insurance, or because we’ve had a bad experience with doctors in the past, or for some other reasons.  

But is it wise to take the wait-and-see approach?

Sometimes someone who has slipped and fallen on ice has suffered serious injuries that just are not immediately apparent. While they may experience severe pain and they may initially wait to see if the pain goes away on its own, it may not be wise for them to take the wait-and-see approach for a long time.

Some doctors advise that it’s good to get medical attention if you’re experiencing severe pain more than 24 hours after the slip and fall. Among other things, a doctor you see can order and review an x-ray (or other imaging studies) to diagnose how serious your injury is.

From the perspective of a legal claim you might have against a business, residential property owner, or government who failed to maintain safe walking areas, it is wise to see a doctor soon after your slip and fall.

After all, getting immediate medical treatment after your fall helps you establish the relationship between the fall and your injuries. Getting immediate medical treatment (and getting follow-up care) also empowers you to show the full nature of your injuries, so that you can receive fair compensation.

Trailblazing Lawyer: Charlotte E. Ray

One of the wonderful things about Maryland’s location is that it is close to the nation’s capital, close to where so much history has occurred. Picture a historic event that happened in DC. You probably imagined an event that occurred on or near the National Mall; maybe you imagined the March on Washington, Barack Obama’s first inauguration, or the 2017 Women’s March.

But, in pockets of DC that are miles away from the Mall, history has also occurred–albeit with less fanfare. For instance, at Howard University, young folks have made history. They have made history in the legal world. In fact, Howard’s students have played a pivotal role in the history of the legal world.

Howard’s law school counts Thurgood Marshall as a graduate. While he wanted to attend the University of Maryland’s law school, the school didn’t accept him because he was black. He attended Howard instead. He, of course, went on to become the first black US Supreme Court justice.  

Howard University’s law school also counts Charlotte Ray (born 1850) as a graduate. Upon graduating from Howard in 1872, she became the first black woman in the US to receive a law degree. She passed the bar and began practicing law that same year. She opened her own law firm. But, after practicing for only a few years, her firm failed because of prejudice against blacks and against women.

Still, she was a pioneer. And it’s hard to overstate the amount of guts and grit she must have had to break new ground–less than a decade after the end of American slavery–in a legal world dominated by white male judges, lawyers, and jurors.

She, at least partially, cleared a path for so many future black lawyers to comfortably walk down.

Black History Month is a fitting time for black lawyers, like me, to recognize the contribution of trailblazing black women like her.

After all, we are her offspring.

A Black Lives Matter March vs. Med Mal Laws

In past posts, I’ve written about the absurdly low cap on non-economic damages in Maryland medical malpractice cases (the cap for, among other things, physical pain, grief, and the loss of the enjoyment of life).

I have urged state lawmakers to eliminate the cap–to bring Maryland in line with many other states.

Well, there has been some movement … in California.

Well, California is like Maryland: both states have a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, and the caps are ridiculously low.

In past posts, I’ve noted that these low caps are an underappreciated civil rights issue.

Folks in California are beginning to treat it like such. Read the report and watch the video: