Meetings can be scheduled by appointment at various locations for the convenience of our clients. If you can't come to us, we'll come to you.
Baltimore, MD
410.576.4287410.576.4287
Tysons Corner, VA
888.540.2599888.540.2599
By Appointment Only
Bethesda, MD
301.470.7201301.470.7201
Washington, DC
202.659.0555202.659.0555

Potential Personal Injury Claims For Fire At Northeast Baltimore Apartment Complex

Posted on: March 6, 2017

At least one person was reported injured due to a fire that broke out at an apartment complex in Parkville, a suburb about eight miles northeast of Baltimore. According to a report released by WJZ-TV CBS Baltimore, authorities were alerted around 4 p.m. on January 31, 2017. The Baltimore County Fire Department arrived at the Ridge Gardens Apartments, near Putty Hill Avenue and Old Harford Road shortly thereafter. First responders faced a few challenges in getting the fire under control, and the investigation continues as to whether there were any other injuries reported besides the one at the scene. Officials have not released any additional information on the number of people residing at the apartment complex, the condition of the building, or the cause of the fire. The one victim that was identified, and any that may come forward, may have a cause of action against the building owner and/or manager based upon theories of premises liability.

Claim for Premises Liability: Negligence of Apartment Complex Owner

Generally, a plaintiff who files a personal injury lawsuit against the owner or operator of a premises for negligence, must prove:

  • Duty: That there was or exists a duty of care that the premises owner/occupier must adhere to. In general, an owner of property, such as an apartment complex, has a legal duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner.
  • Breach: A property owner that fails to maintain the building or property in a safe manner commits breach of the duty. Often, the breach is through carelessness, inattentiveness to conditions on the property, or failure to address hazards that could result in an injury.
  • Causation: If the hazardous condition was the cause of the injuries to the plaintiff, the causation element is established.
  • Damages: An injured victim presumably is damaged due to the accident that occurred on the owner’s premises. That person may be entitled to financial compensation for these losses, which he or she can pursue against the property owner as the responsible party.

Status of the Injured Victim

In a premises liability case, the general duty an owner’s duty to maintain the premises may vary depending on the identity of the victim: Invitee, Licensee, or Trespasser. The obligation of a landlord to maintain the apartment building in a safe condition for tenants and those legally allowed to be on the property is clear. However, there may be issues with regards to the duty owed to a trespasser. For instance, if the person injured in the Baltimore apartment fire had broken into the building to use the laundry facilities or pool, there may be no right to compensation. If he or she was there illegally, the law will not reward an individual for injuries that resulted from trespassing.

Damages

The damages component of a premise liability lawsuit grounded in negligence falls into two primary categories – economic and non-economic. Losses that are ascertainable by some sort of proof are considered economic damages. In a personal injury lawsuit, they may include:

  • Medical Bills for Treatment and Recovery: When the victim seeks medical care for injuries, there will be bills from the healthcare providers itemizing the procedures and treatment. There may also be ongoing care for rehabilitation purposes. These documents establish a definite amount that the victim incurred for medical treatment, so they are considered economic damages.
  • Lost Wages: A person who is out of work due to injuries can claim economic damages for lost wages. Past paystubs and payroll information serve as evidence of the amount that the victim would have made in income had the accident not occurred.
  • Funeral and Burial Expenses: If the accident on a premises was severe enough to cause death, there will be costs related to the funeral and burial of the victim.

A victim may also suffer losses that are not easy to determine from documents or other evidence. Under Maryland law, these are non-economic damages, such as:

  • Pain and Suffering: Injuries obviously cause a certain amount of pain, which may range from extreme in the immediate aftermath of an accident to mild discomfort during the recovery period. It is difficult to put a dollar value on the amount of physical anguish a victim feels, which is why pain and suffering are non-economic damages.
  • Other Non-Economic Losses: There are other impacts on a victim’s life after an on-premises accident causes injuries. That person’s familial relationships may be affected where he or she cannot offer the same love, guidance, companionships, affection, or comfort.

 

Statutory Cap on Non-Economic Damages in Maryland

Under state law, there is a limit on the amount a victim can recover for non-economic damages. The Maryland legislature enacted a formula for this statutory cap, which increases by $15,000 every October.

  • October 1, 2014: $800,000
  • October 1, 2015: $815,000
  • October 1, 2016: $830,000
  • October 1, 2017: $845,000

The relevant figure is based upon what year the premises liability accident occurred, so incidents refer to a time window of October 1 through September 30. For example, the statutory limit on non-economic damages for the victim injured in the January 31, 2017 apartment complex fire would go back to the amount that kicked in on October 1, 20176: $830,000.

 

Investigation into the cause of a fire, whether at the Ridge Gardens Apartments or any other apartment complex in Maryland, are usually necessary to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a premises liability claim on behalf of an injured vicitm. Only if the victim proves the essential elements of a negligence case under this theory, will he or she be entitled to compensation for different types economic and non-economic losses.

by Justin Katz  
Justin Katz is a personal injury lawyer who represents injury victims in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC
Connect with me

Read Some of Our Recent Client Reviews!

Brittany Peterson
Brittany Peterson
08:19 17 Nov 18
Had a very awesome experience fast settlements... Communication was a A+ ...Strongly recommend Mr.Katz. !!! Ms. Robin made me felt like family was always there when i needed her and when i had a question.
Yarnell Goodwin
Yarnell Goodwin
23:38 15 Nov 18
Got a little more settlement money than expected. Was provided great service and prompt responses. I greatly appreciate it!
Ashley Poole
Ashley Poole
01:05 08 Nov 18
Attorney Bob Katz and his staff are highly recommend. Customer Service was impeccable. Every phone call and email was responded to in a timely manner. Natalie Ulrich was very professional, helpful and thorough every step of the way, which resulted in a stress free experience. I will recommend this law firm to family and friends!
Tania Jefferson
Tania Jefferson
17:51 06 Nov 18
Customer service was A+. All questions were answered promptly and information was shared appropriately. Concerns were addressed and I was made aware of all updates on my case. I would whole heartedly recommend this firm.
edward Robinson
edward Robinson
03:00 06 Nov 18
I highly recommend Mr. Katz and his staff. They were friendly, compassionate and really showed they had their clients best interest at heart. There was never a time you called them they didn't respond or returned your calls and answer your questions.They took the worry, and stress and turn it into reassurance. They were diligent and just down right professional. My wife and I really thank God for allowing us to cross paths on a professional business experience. Ms. Rebecca Slatery is the most courteous, compassionate soul. We wish you all peace, love and blessings. Thank you for your service.
J JR
J JR
20:11 31 Oct 18
I decided to use this firm again for an accident I was involved in. As always they were professional and caring. Rebecca slattery was the paralegal assigned to my case and she was professional and kept me up to date with everything. I would recommend this firm to friends and family!
Cedric Jones
Cedric Jones
19:04 23 Oct 18
Erica Z is amazing with keeping you to date and staying communication with you during the entire process. Meghan Young was a wonderful lawyer made me feel extremely comfortable in the courtroom and she also fights for the best possible outcome for you..GREAT LAW FIRM
Nguyen Le
Nguyen Le
16:44 23 Oct 18
It was a great experience being taken care of by Rebecca Slattery and Meghan Young, they helped me resolve my case and were very courteous and professional. Highly recommend working with this law firm
Soun Gil
Soun Gil
21:35 17 Oct 18
Ms. Park helped me out through my whole accident process. She took her time with me and made sure I understood everything. I would recommend to her all of my friends if they were to get into any accident.
Yejin Chung
Yejin Chung
15:40 12 Oct 18
I highly recommend. My family’s experience with this office was great. Christina Franetovich was very helpful throughout the whole process, which made this experience less stressful. She responded to my questions immediately and made sure that I understood everything.
Claudette Pope
Claudette Pope
13:18 30 Aug 18
I was referred to Gordon & feindblatt in 2014 when my family was in an accident, Mr. Katz personally consulted with me by phone and he was very polite and professional, Mr. Carpuso, one of the litigation attorneys even came out to our home and went over our case with us, he made sure all of our needs was addressed and before he left our home that day I felt like we were old friends. that case was settled and I was very pleased, I have used this law firm twice since then and the results are always the same, I have nothing but great experiences with Gordon & Feindblatt the staff are courteous and professional and they get the job done but the one in particular that really stood out for me is Rebecca Slattery, she is truly a gem, she is so compassionate, she walked me through the entire process, she even checked up on me from time to time just to see how I was feeling and I really appreciated her kindness. I will use this law firm again and again for any future legal issue that may arise and I would highly recommend Gordon & Fiendblatt to friends, family and co-workers.
UniversalSniping
UniversalSniping
02:32 04 Aug 18
The lawyer who was initially handling my case parted ways with the company and I was assigned a new lawyer. This new lawyer was amazing! Christina Franetovich made me feel secure by double checking all the facts and notes in my case so that I was not worried during this transition. I was on disability from an a different accident while she was finalizing my case, and I had called and hounded her about the time frame of my settlement very frequently to the point that I felt guilty for calling so much. Christina was very sympathetic to my situation and assured me that she would do everything in her power to make sure the situation would be resolved quickly. She actually finalized my case before the time frame she had given me, was always very courteous and knowledgable on the phone, and I feel extremely lucky that she ended up handling my case because the previous lawyer was not as amazing with customer service as Christina. She also has a way of making you feel comfortable and builds incredible rapport quickly. I am going to highly recommend her to my friends and family. Thank you Christina!!!
Richard Hose
Richard Hose
02:26 27 Jun 18
On Feb 23, 2017 I was in a bad accident on the JFX. I had been rear end by another driver. Almost immediately I felt pressured by the other drivers insurance. Everything from wanting a recorded statement; to failing to acknowledge responsibility. No one would answer my questions, nor would anyone take responsibility. I was frustrated and overwhelmed with everyone from the towing company, to the repair shop, to the insurance company nightmare I just entered. I reached out to Attorney Robert Katz and I was assured they were here to help. He provided with some much needed information, and told me not to worry, Sarah his Paralegal would be in touch to help get things moving. Sarah reached out as expected and explained their process and walked me through what my expectations would be. She as well assured me they were here to help me navigate the obstacles. What Sarah really did was so much more than help. She took the stress and burden off my shoulders and assumed ownership for handling everything on my behalf. I knew what to expect, and I received regular updates throughout the entire process. Honestly, I received so much more than I anticipated. Some of the most frustrating items to chase after are medical records and hospital charges. While I was trying to recall events and timelines, she had already obtained my records and information. She made this process so painless. I truly cannot say enough about the exceptional service she provided. Many thanks for all your help. Sincerely, Richard Hose
Andrea Barajas
Andrea Barajas
15:13 16 May 18
My husband and I were in a car accident in August 2017. We contacted Bob Katz team for legal representation in our case. Kristen A. Turner was our paralegal and she was excellent. It took 9 months for us to receive our settlement and Kristen kept us updated throughout this entire process. She was very kind and patient as I happened to have several questions. She always answered my questions promptly and thoroughly. I would highly recommend this firm and Kristen if you are in need of legal assistance.
TheOfficalCeeandDee
TheOfficalCeeandDee
15:24 09 Feb 18
My experience here was great. My lawyer Rebecca was so professional and I love her personality. She handled my case well and kept me updated and made the process easy and always made me feel comfortable to call whenever I needed to know anything.
Next Reviews