Slip/Trip and Fall

Our Hanover Personal Injury Lawyers Provide Slip-and-Fall Accident Answers

Slip-and-fall and trip-and-fall accidents are among the most common personal injury accidents, but we know that each personal injury case is unique. At Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP, we have helped hundreds of clients throughout Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and Washington, D.C. get compensation for their injuries. Every successful claim starts with listening to our clients' concerns and answering their questions. Here are answers to questions our attorneys are most commonly asked:

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If you have fallen and are not sure whether the property owner was guilty of negligence, please contact Hartel, DeSantis & Howie, LLP online or call our Maryland legal team at (443) 749-5111 for a free consultation.


Q. What is a slip-and-fall accident?
A. Generally, a slip-and-fall accident happens on a floor or surface that is wet or slick, causing you to slip. A trip-and-fall most often happens when you catch your heel or toe on something like a frayed carpet, broken linoleum, or on uneven pavement, and fall down. You may also hear the terms “stump-and-fall” or “falling-down” accidents. They are all premises liability accidents – accidents that occur on somebody else's property as a result of the property owner's negligence.

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Q. Where do most slip-and-fall accidents occur?
A. While many think of slip-and-fall accidents happening in grocery store aisles where a spill has not been cleaned up, they can occur almost anywhere: shopping centers, malls, movie theaters, hotels and motels, office buildings, apartment complexes, amusement parks, marinas, department stores and parking lots – even government buildings, libraries, schools and schoolyards, public parks and private homes.

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Q. What are the most common reasons for this kind of accident?
A. Common causes of slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents include:

  • Weather-related issues, such as icy sidewalks or parking lots
  • Debris or merchandise left in store aisles
  • Uneven stair treads or treads that have worn or chipped tiles or linoleum
  • Lack of or broken handrails
  • Liquid or grease left on walking surfaces
  • Floors not posted with “wet floor” signs
  • Frayed or curled carpets or rugs
  • Potholes
  • Uneven pavement or floors

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Q. Who is responsible for my injury?
A. While it may seem obvious to you that there was a wet floor that was left unmarked, and that it was the cause of your fall, the law is a little more complex. To file a personal injury slip-and-fall lawsuit against a property owner, you must first prove negligence, including all of the below:

  • That the owner had a duty to protect a person on the property from injury
  • That the owner breached his or her duty
  • That the person on the property suffered actual injury or loss
  • That the injury and loss proximately resulted from the property owner's breach of duty to protect a person on that property from injury

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Q. If I fell on somebody else's property and sustained an injury, how can I protect my rights?
A. Making a case for your slip-and-fall lawsuit is a complex legal process. The defense will often try to prove assumption of risk (that you voluntarily assumed a risk of slipping and falling by entering a hockey rink, for instance) or contributory negligence (that although there may have been an unsafe condition on a property, you were also negligent in your actions). If an accident occurred on government property, special rules may apply. If you have been injured in a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accident, get any necessary medical attention first. Most of all, be wary about signing anything without first talking to an attorney.

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