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Out-of-state accident victims may have choice between courts

Residents of Maryland can be injured in an accident anywhere in the country, as people frequently travel across state lines. When a Marylander suffers an injury in another state, he or she may have the choice to bring suit in the local state court or the federal court system- depending on the amount of damages the injured person is claiming and the location of the defendant. For example, a Maryland citizen injured in another state may sometimes choose to bring a claim in that state's court or a federal court located in that state.

As an example, after a woman was seriously injured at an Arby's franchise, she and her husband recently sued the franchise owner. In August 2011, while the couple was at the Arby's, the woman slipped and fell on a clear substance, believed to be a pool of water, on her way to the bathroom.

The couple argues that the Arby's did not take the proper measures to warn customers of the dangerous condition on the floor. They claim that as a result of the fast-food restaurant's negligence, the woman suffered serious injuries. Additionally, the couple argues that the restaurant knew or should have known about the dangerous wet floor condition.

The couple is seeking damages in an amount greater than $75,000 with pre-judgment interest, arguing that the restaurant's negligence caused them to incur "medical expenses; loss of wages; loss of earning capacity; disfigurement and scarring; physical pain and suffering; mental pain and suffering; and loss of capacity to enjoy life".

The result of most lawsuits pertaining to slip-and-fall accidents will turn on whether a property owner acted with reasonable in protecting its premises to ensure that a fall was not likely to happen. The question of whether or not the individual took the proper precautions to protect himself or herself may also factor in to the result.

Source: West Virginia Record, "Ohio couple sue over slip-and-fall at Arby's," Kyla Asbury, Feb. 18, 2013

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