If you are injured on someone else’s property, are you responsible for paying for your injuries, or is the landowner responsible? Speaking with a NC Premises Liability Lawyer can help you determine if you have a NC personal injury case. The Bishop Law Firm does not get paid unless you win and we offer free case reviews by phone, (919) 615-3095.
NC Premises Liability Law
NC is a contributory negligence state, which means that for a accident victim to recover, they must not be at fault for their personal injury. Contributory negligence can create unfair outcomes for victims, but unfortunately, it is the law in NC.
As with other NC personal injury claims, you have three years to file a claim for an injury you sustained on the property of another due to their negligence. A victim with a premises liability claim can recover medical expenses, pain & suffering as well as lost wages. Punitive damages are rarely awarded.
Do you have a NC Premises Liability Claim?
The answer to this question depends on who you are and where you are:
Are you a lawful visitor or a trespasser?
In order for an injured person to recover, they need to be a lawful visitor. NC landowners owe no duty to trespassers onto their property, but there are a few exceptions. For example, swimming pools are considered by NC law as attractive nuisances which means children are likely to come onto your property and try to swim. Because of this, if you own a swimming pool, you are required to keep a fence around it to protect people (even a trespasser) from drowning, even though it is on your private property.
At someone else’s NC home
If you are a lawful visitor onto someone else’s property, the property owner owes you a duty of reasonable care not to unnecessarily expose you to hazardous conditions and to warn you of any hidden dangers. The determination of what reasonable care means and unnecessary exposure to risk and whether a landowner has breached this duty is often a matter for the jury to decide.
In terms of hidden dangers, for example, if there is a hole in the grass that is not readily apparent, a landowner, must warn lawful visitors of the hole. If there is an obvious hole, the landowner has no duty to warn the guest, because a reasonable person should have seen the hole. in failing to see the obvious hole, the victim was contributorily negligent.
Similarly, home owners have a duty to keep their guests safe from unreasonable dangers. If your friend’s dog attacks you, typically their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will cover your injuries. But, if you approach a dog in a fenced area that has a “beware of dog” sign and stick your hand in the fence and get a dog bite, you may be found contributorily negligent for your injury. Read our post NC Dog Bite Personal Injury Lawyer for more information.
At a NC Business
Businesses have a duty to keep their stores safe, to protect their customers from unsafe conditions. For example, if water or a clear slippery liquid is spilled on the floor at the grocery store, it can be difficult for a customer to see it, and they could easily slip and fall on it without knowing it is there. This is why places like grocery stores typically clean spills quickly and put up wet floor signs after mopping.
However, if there is a bright yellow wet floor sign and you see the employee mopping and you still slip & fall, you can not recover because a reasonable person would have seen and avoided the slippery floor. You can also read NC Slip and Fall Cases.
At your rented residence
An apartment complex has a duty to provide adequate security to its tenants. If the apartment complex is aware of muggings and break-ins on their premises and does nothing to improve safety, they can be liable to someone who is a victim of crime on the apartment’s property. In the alternative, if the apartment complex has increased security, added additional lighting and a security fence, they likely will not be held responsible for a victim’s injury by a third party.
Do you need a NC Premises Liability Lawyer?
A NC Premises Liability Attorney can determine whether the landowner/business is responsible and if they have insurance coverage for your injuries. Sometimes even when the landowner is not at fault, their insurance company might pay for medical bills only.
If you are injured on someone else’s property and are unsure whether you have a case, you can call The Bishop Law Firm at (919) 615-3095 for a free case review. NC Premises Liability cases are very fact specific in that you must be owed a duty and there must be a breach of that duty which results in a injury to you that was not your fault.
We represent injury victims in Raleigh , Durham , Rocky Mount , Wilson , Smithfield , Louisburg , Chapel Hill , Roanoke Rapids, Cary, Fayetteville, and beyond in North Carolina. Call us at (919) 615-3095 for a free case review.