Does it Matter if They Fixed the Problem After I got Injured?

This article addresses an evidentiary principle familiar to seasoned personal injury lawyers in Baltimore.

When repairs are made to an instrumentality that has caused an injury, that fact typically never comes out at trial.

Maryland law provides that "subsequent remedial measures" are not relevant [and therefore not admissible] to prove fault or liability. There are exceptions to this rule; evidence of subsequent repairs is admissible to show the defendant had notice; or control of the instrumentality; or to show what the applicable standard of care owed to the plaintiff [e.g. were reasonable precautions, later taken, something that reasonably should have been in place prior to the accident]. It seems like common sense that if someone wiped up a spill, or repaired a stair or railing, right after an individual was hurt, that should be evidence there was a problem. The law does not recognize this, and is perhaps counter-intuitive here. The opposite in fact is true. Evidence of a repair, offered to show there was a problem, is inadmissible. Some commentators have suggested the rationale is that allowing evidence of repair would discourage repair. The law of evidence is often complex. Premise liability cases are typically difficult to prove, and a crucial piece of evidence can often make a huge difference. If you have a premises liability claim, I'd suggest you consult with an experienced attorney.

I offer my Maryland clients a reduced attorney fee program for their personal injury claim. I offer a free case analysis, evaluation and strategy planning meeting to my clients. Contact me today to schedule a session. 410 591 2835.  I'd be happy to meet with you. 

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