Under North Carolina law, property owners have an obligation to keep their property safe. Someone entering the property naturally has a reasonable expectation of not getting hurt.
If you’re injured on someone else’s property in North Carolina, you may have grounds for a lawsuit if the cause of your injury was due to the property owner’s failure to keep the property safe or to provide sufficient warning of possible hazards.
Falls are among the most common types of accidents that can lead to injuries; in fact, falls are the leading causes of injuries in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The classic example is a slip-and-fall injury caused by a very slippery or icy surface, or by tripping on some debris in a walkway.
The law code governing injuries on another’s property is called premises liability. If you have suffered an injury that falls under premises liability, your best option is to talk to an experienced premises liability attorney to determine whether you have a valid claim. Under premises liability law, according to attorneys.com, the property owner is responsible for past, current, and future estimated medical expenses; time you have lost from work; property damage; the cost involved in hiring a person to do household chores which you are not able to; any permanent disfigurement or disability; emotional distress, which can include anxiety, depression, and interference with your family relationships; a change in your ability to earn money in the future because of your injury; and any other costs that are related to your injury.
One important caveat: North Carolina is one of only four jurisdictions (along with Alabama, Virginia, and the District of Columbia) that apply the contributory negligence rule in a civil case. Under the contributory negligence rule, you cannot recover any damages if you were even partially at fault for the accident. Even if you are only ten percent responsible and the other driver is 90 percent responsible, you are not eligible for any compensation for your injuries. The property owner defendant in your lawsuit may raise the issue of contributory negligence: were you looking at where you were going when you tripped?
Be sure you have an experienced attorney who will steer your case to obtain the best possible settlement for you.
Richard Manger, principal of Manger Law Firm, has extensive experience in litigation and settlements, with a focus on personal injury and workers’ compensation law. We are proud of the strong relationships of loyalty and trust we develop with our clients. We go above and beyond to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact Richard Manger via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (336) 882-2000.