Have you been hurt in a slip and fall at a business in Greensboro, North Carolina? Been bit by a dog on someone’s property? Fell off the porch at a rental home when the railing broke? Injuries like these all relate to North Carolina’s premises liability laws, which help injury victims obtain compensation from negligent property owners.
If you or a loved one has been hurt on someone else’s property, Auger & Auger can provide a premises liability lawyer in Greensboro to represent your case. We help injured clients pursue compensation for their hospital bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering, and other losses they have experienced.
Learn about your legal options for filing a claim and seeking compensation during a free, no-obligation case review. Call (336) 346-1963 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation today.
Premises liability refers to a group of laws that hold property owners responsible for injuries that their negligence causes.
Common types of premises liability cases include:
A premises liability case can involve any type of property, such as:
At one point, North Carolina law mirrored other states in that injury victims had to establish what type of visitor they were to a piece of property: an invitee, a licensee, or a trespasser. The different types of permissions were confusing and had serious consequences for both the property owner defendant and the injured plaintiff.
In 1998, the North Carolina Supreme Court removed these distinctions. Now, all a plaintiff has to do is establish that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence led to an injury.
Negligence cases have four main parts:
Parts 1 and 2 involve researching the specific laws or property owner expectations that the defendant violated. Sometimes, the plaintiff can point to an exact law or piece of code that the property owner ignored. Other times, the plaintiff has to refer to the opinions of experts, who can argue that the owner should have been more cautious about inspecting and maintaining their property to keep it safe.
Parts 3 and 4 involve documenting the plaintiff’s injury and calculating its full costs. Common damages discussed during a premises liability case include:
In the event that the injury victim passed on as a result of their injuries, a representative of the estate can file a survival action to claim the above damages as losses to the deceased’s estate. The surviving family members can also file a wrongful death claim to seek money for:
The four parts of negligence are the backbone of a premises liability claim, but the way each plays out can differ from case to case. Depending on the situation, the dangerous condition that led to an accident on the property could have been the fault of a property owner, their tenant, a maintenance company, or another negligent party.
Foremost, there’s the question of who was responsible for discovering the dangerous condition and making it so the danger could not reasonably hurt a visitor. A commercial property owner is usually not responsible for a recently mopped wet floor at a restaurant where there was no warning sign, for instance. By the same token, a restaurant owner tenant is generally not responsible for the floor collapsing or a ceiling leak causing a slip and fall.
That said, property owners have a duty to discover dangerous conditions, remove the condition if possible, or warn visitors about the condition if it cannot reasonably be removed. The property owner should ideally lay out the responsibilities of tenants to perform the same duties to protect visitors.
The plaintiffs have to prove that the dangerous condition was “foreseeable,” too. This means that someone either knew about the condition, knew that the condition was likely to occur, or would have discovered the condition if they exercised proper due diligence.
Returning to the restaurant example, a fast-food restaurant with self-serve soft drinks would reasonably know that patrons tend to spill ice, creating a slippery puddle in front of the service area. However, they usually cannot know that a baby spilled water at a table in a particular spot near the restroom. If someone slips and falls in a puddle in this restaurant, they must be prepared to explain how the restaurant did know or should have known about the hazard.
Some defendants will even try to blame the plaintiff for their own injuries. North Carolina follows a contributory negligence rule where injury victims who are only 1% at-fault for their own injuries will be barred from recovery (subject to certain exceptions).
Because of this rule, it is critically important for injury victims who have their own fault disputed to seek the help of an experienced premises liability lawyer in Greensboro. Their attorney can investigate the accident, research applicable laws, and past case rulings, and argue on their behalf to assert that they were not at fault.
You can examine your legal options and find out what strategies are available after your personal injury by speaking with an experienced Greensboro premises liability attorney.
Whether you’ve been in a slip-and-fall, had a neglectful landlord, or hurt yourself in some other way, Auger & Auger wants to help you find the legal resources and advice you need to build a strong case.
Call us today at (336) 346-1963 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a premises liability lawyer in Greensboro.