Premises Liability Lawyers
In North Carolina, property owners have the legal duty to maintain their property and keep it safe from hazards. This includes all property owners, public and private. While there are certainly exceptions that may be available to some property owners, if they do not obtain those legal exemptions, they could be in trouble if they breach that duty. Premises liability entitles an innocent person to compensation for injury and damages if they are injured on someone else’s property that was not maintained. This compensation includes medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.
If you have suffered an injury while on someone else’s property and believe you are entitled to recover damages, you should contact our experienced premises liability lawyers quickly.
Understanding Contributory Negligence
One important thing you must understand in all liability and personal injury cases is that North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This means that if an injured person is responsible or contributed in any way to their accident, they will be barred from recovery of damages. Essentially, it does not matter if the property was not maintained properly and the owner is mostly at fault if you also acted negligently. For example, if the hazard was made obvious and detectable, you will likely face difficulties recovering damages.
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability is often called a “slip and fall” lawsuit, sometimes in a derogatory fashion to suggest they are non-serious lawsuits. In reality, there are many injuries and events that fall under premises liability, and all of them, including slip and falls, can be serious injuries. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Dog Bites and Animal Injuries: People who own animals have the duty to control them within their care. If somebody’s animal has injured you while on their property, you can seek compensation for damages.
- Inadequate Security and Assault Prevention: Many places, such as shopping centers, hotels, parking decks, and banks, can attract dangerous people trying to take advantage of low-budget security to harm others. In such cases, the property owner could be held liable for any resulting injuries that occurred on their property, even if they did not commit the assault.
- Unsafe Conditions and Slip/Fall: People can slip and fall for many reasons, and sometimes this can cause serious injuries from concussions to spinal injuries. Generally, if the property owner failed to make dangers clear and somebody gets injured in their property, the injured person may seek damages.
Quantifying Damages and Understanding Your Rights
If the property owner is determined to be liable in a lawsuit, then it is time to determine the extent of damages they must compensate. This can include economic damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical care, as well as less tangible ones like pain and suffering endured.
You won’t be able to recover much damages if you are not careful to understand your rights and what duty the property owner violated. Some steps you can take (with the help of your lawyer), to get the best results include:
- Documenting all injuries caused by the accdent and filing a police report or asking the property management for an incident report.
- Identify witnesses and collect their contact information.
- Take photos of the premises where the accident occurs, including all hazards and places leading up to it to demonstrate that the hazardous conditions were not made clear. If the impact of the injury made things more obvious, make sure to document what things looked like prior as soon as you can.
The more information you can collect in a timely manner, the better your chances are of securing compensation. This is also why we recommend not waiting too long to contact an attorney, as evidence of wrongdoing can easily be cleared if you are not swift to document what happened with anybody.
Personal Injury FAQ's
If you’re not sure whether your situation is worth pursuing, or have some lingering questions about these kinds of lawsuits, the following questions and answers may help shed some light.
As personal injury law, also known as tort law, is handled in civil court, you will need to pursue a lawsuit to seek legal compensation for damages.
Personal injury law gives you the right to attend civil court and seek monetary reward for your pain and suffering, and any losses you might have incurred due to your unfortunate accident.
The law offices of Polk Law have experienced personal injury lawyers who know how to get you the results you deserve. Getting injured due to someone else’s negligence or behavior can be a traumatic experience and we want you to know that you have rights.
Generally speaking, if a person files a personal injury lawsuit against another person or business, then the other party can either decide to settle the matter out of court, or they can choose to take it to trial. In our experience, most people end up settling out of court. This is because a jury trial can sometimes be a lengthy and costly process, and the defendant could end up getting more than what he or she chose to settle for in the first place.
If the defendant chooses to take your civil matter to trial, then the jury selection process would begin before your case would be set for trial. The entire process of a civil jury trial is similar to a criminal jury trial, with the exception that there is no right to a speedy trial since civil cases are not considered criminal cases.
If the accused doesn’t admit fault or chooses not to settle out of court, then yes, evidence will be examined during the civil trial. Regardless of how you think your personal injury case might play out, it is always a good idea to hold on to any evidence you may have obtained, or give it to your attorney.
There are many different types of personal injury cases, some are more generalist while others are very specialized to certain circumstances or liable parties. Some categories are:
- Automobile Injury: Car accidents, due to negligence or otherwise, causing injury
- Defamation: Injury from damage to reputation, finances, and more resulting from false and harmful claims.
- Premise Liability: Injury on a premise due to inadequate safety
- Product Liability: Injury caused by products not meeting safety standards
- Malpractice and Professional Negligence: Any form of professional malpractice that causes injury. Most common are for medical and nursing malpractice, but damages from other professions can be worthy of filing a lawsuit.
If you suspect you have a valid personal injury case, but are not certain,
hen we suggest that you find legal representation immediately. Failing to hire a qualified personal injury attorney can end up causing you to lose any chance of monetary compensation that you deserve. We would also like to remind you that it is best if you do not speak to anyone about this matter besides your attorney, because anything you say or do could be brought back up in civil court.