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What is Premises Liability?

In North Carolina, premises liability laws establish rules for when property owners will be held accountable for injuries to visitors on property. North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 38A addresses landowner liability.

Under North Carolina’s landowner liability laws, property owners owe a certain duty of care to people who visit a property. The specific obligation that a property owner has will vary depending upon whether someone is visiting a property for commercial purposes; is a trespasser; or is an invited guest for non-commercial reasons.

For most landowners, the rule is that they must correct dangerous conditions they are aware of, or warn guests about hazards that are not corrected. Commercial property owners can have a higher duty of care, and property owners have a lower duty of care to trespassers.

If a property owner fails to live up to the obligations imposed under premises liability law (i.e. if he falls below the duty of care), then the property owner can be held accountable for losses.  An example might be a property owner who is held responsible for a fall that occurs because the property owner failed to alert guests to a broken stair railing. If a property owner leaves a swimming pool unsecured and a child drowns, the property owner could potentially also be held liable.

A victim of an injury on someone’s property will need to make a premises liability claim in order to obtain compensation. A victim can file a civil lawsuit and seek compensation in court. Many premises liability claims also settle outside of court. A Charlotte personal injury lawyer can provide assistance with premises liability claims to victims injured on property.

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