Slip and Fall Cases
In North Carolina, property and business owners have a duty to ensure their properties are maintained in a reasonably safe condition for lawful visitors. Despite this, thousands of people are injured on premises every year due to unsafe conditions. These types of injuries are often referred to as “slip and falls” but can include injuries from falling objects, inadequate lighting, improper maintenance or dangerous design or construction. Slip and fall cases in North Carolina are based on a theory of negligence. In order to make out a case of negligence against a property owner, the claimant must prove that the owner of a store or other property breached his or her duty of care that’s owed to the claimant as a visitor to provide the claimant with a safe environment or to warn visitors of any hidden dangers. The claimant must also prove that, as a result of the property owner’s negligence, the claimant slipped and was injured in the fall. These cases result from a variety of circumstances, including things like water or other slippery substance on a floor, poor lighting in a parking lot, or from stairs that aren’t properly maintained. In North Carolina, negligence liability of a property owner means that the plaintiff must show that the property owner owed a duty of care, and breached that duty by not fixing/removing the hazardous condition or properly warning of the hazardous condition that caused the slip and fall accident.
These cases also require proof that the property owner knew or should have known, of the dangerous condition and then failed to fix or remove it, or warn the lawful visitor. Thus it’s important to present complete evidence of the breach in your case. This can be accomplished in either of two ways: by showing that the owner of the property, or one of his employees or agents, created the hazard or problem that caused you to slip and fall; or by showing that the owner had knowledge of the hazardous condition or should have known of the hazard through a reasonable inspection
Adding to the complexity of these cases, keep in mind that visitors have a duty to take reasonable precautions to avoid hazardous conditions when on another’s property. North Carolina law says that you can be found to be contributorily negligent if you don’t recognize or avoid a hazardous condition in a slip and fall claim. This standard can make it more difficult to succeed in a North Carolina slip and fall injury case. We’ll discuss contributory negligence with you and determine how to address it, if applicable. It’s also important to understand that there’s a three-year deadline, or statute of limitations, for filing a slip and fall claim for injuries sustained on someone else’s property. That same deadline applies to claims for property damage arising from a slip and fall.
The Deuterman Law Group can help you by gathering information about the conduct of the property owner and researching the duty they owed to you. Our staff will work with you to ensure that your case is well-prepared and ready for litigation or settlement negotiations.
We invite you to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys about your accident, and find out what options you have to recover damages for your injuries.