Legal Question in Personal Injury in Maryland

Independant Contractor Question

I work part-time as an independant contractor; I deliver newspapers 7 days a week; Sunday morning between 7:30 - 8:00 AM, I was delivering to an apartment complex in Germantown that had not been cleared of the snow, when I slipped and fell causing me to a trip to Shady Grove Hospital. Other apartment complexes, condo and housing associations had already begun snow removal by this time. My leg is not broken, but the damage is severe enough that I am, and will be, in a brace for several weeks. My question is, what are the chances of suing either the apartment complex or the snow removal company (or both) and winning? Or is it even worth it to try?

Asked on 2/16/06, 10:22 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Sher Wagshal and Sher
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Re: Independant Contractor Question

I believe you have a difficult, though not impossible case because of the timing. The issue as to the responsibility of the property owner or maintenance company in charge of the area where you fell is, did they have a reasonable opportunity after the snowfall to make the area safe for persons using the area?

As I recall, there was a heavy overnight snowfall, and although in many areas it had let up by sunrise, in others it was still lightly snowing into the morning. If other property owners in the immediate vicinity had already cleared their properties at the time you fell, that would bolster your case on this issue. But whether it is reasonable to expect a property owner to have cleared his passageways at that time under the circumstances is hard to say. Still, given the serious nature of your injuries, it's possible the insurance carrier would consider settling your claim--it's worth a shot.

Robert Sher

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2/16/06, 2:11 pm
G. Joseph Holthaus III Law Offices of G. Joseph Holthaus
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Re: Independant Contractor Question

When the snow stopped in the local area is an important issue. Clearly there is no issue with the apartment complex having received notice of the snow as the storm was covered extensively by the news. The appropriateness of actions of the management company is one aspect.

Another aspect is where you fell. Depending on where you fell it may be a county easement or property for which the apartment complex is not responsible.

Your injuries apppear to warrant a review of your case. Contact me for a free phone consultation.

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2/16/06, 3:55 pm

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