Premises Liability

Learn More About Filing a Premises Liability Claim

At the Hanover personal injury law firm of Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP, we help people in Montgomery County, Anne Arundel County, and throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area who have been hurt on someone else's property. Our lawyers have compiled a list of answers to questions we are most often asked by our clients. We hope these help as you discuss your legal options with one of our experienced premises liability lawyers:

Contact our office in Hanover to schedule a free consultation

At Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP, our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We can discuss your legal options when you meet with one of our personal injury lawyers at a free consultation. To schedule a time that works best for you, please contact us online or call us at (443) 749-5111.


Q. Where do premises liability accidents most often happen?
A. Accidents can and do happen almost anywhere. We have seen people injured in amusement parks, marinas, shopping centers, grocery stores, parking lots, restaurants, motels and hotels, apartment complexes, office buildings – even private homes, hospitals and medical buildings. If the injury was caused by negligence, you may have a right to file a claim.

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Q. I have heard that you can't sue for slipping on ice. Is that true?
A. Yes and no: Maryland's courts recently made a distinction between white ice – the ice you can see and should avoid – and black ice, which is often undetectable until you find it the hard way. It comes down to what you do know or should have known was a risk, and whether you chose to proceed in the face of that risk.

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Q. What does an assumption of risk mean?
A. If you knew there was a risk of danger, understood (or appreciated) the risk and chose to proceed in the face of the risk, you have assumed the risk. In that case, if you are injured, you may not file a premises liability lawsuit.

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Q. Can I sue the city if I was hurt on government property?
A. Yes, you can. However, the government has what is known as sovereign immunity. There are caps on the amount of compensation you can receive and a more limited time in which to file your claim. If you have been injured as the result of an accident on government property, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer with experience in government premises liability matters.

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Q. What is negligent security?
A. Owners of commercial properties including parking lots and parking decks, shopping centers and office buildings and similar business establishments are as responsible for ensuring that their visitors are as safe from criminal activity as they are from accidents caused by poor maintenance. If they do not have security cameras, adequate lighting, fences or trained security personnel – and you are the victim of a criminal act – they may be liable for your injuries.

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