The Basics of North Carolina Premises Liability Law
Have you been injured while on someone else's property in North Carolina? If so, you may wonder whether you have grounds for a lawsuit. Before you decide whether to pursue a legal case, you should know the basics of North Carolina premises liability law.
Premises liability law is a type of personal injury law. Under premises liability law, property owners have an obligation to keep their property safe. If there are parts of the property that may be potentially dangerous, they must warn visitors. When property owners fail to keep their property safe or offer enough warnings about potential hazards, they may be liable when visitors have accidents and injure themselves.
Falls are among the most common types of accidents that can lead to injuries. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that in the United States, falls are the leading cause of injuries. Other types of premises liability incidents can include animal attacks and assaults that occur on someone else's property.
North Carolina Premises Liability Laws
In North Carolina slip-and-fall accident cases, there are several things you must be able to prove in order to win a lawsuit. Usually, you must prove that the person who caused the injury was negligent. Under North Carolina law, someone filing a claim must prove:
- That the person who caused your injury owed you a duty
- That person failed to carry out that duty
- You suffered the injury because of the other person's failure
- You suffered damages as a result of the injury
Under North Carolina premises liability law, the person who injured you is responsible for past, current, and future estimated medical expenses; time you have lost from work; property damage; the cost involved in hiring a person to do household chores which you are not able to; any permanent disfigurement or disability; emotional distress, which can include anxiety, depression, and interference with your family relationships; a change in your ability to earn money in the future because of your injury; and any other costs that are related to your injury.
However, it can often be difficult to win damages in North Carolina premises liability cases because of the state's contributory negligence statute. Contributory negligence means if you were partially responsible for your injuries, any damages you recover will be reduced accordingly.
For personal injury cases, North Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations. If you don't file a lawsuit within three years of the accident, you lose your chance to take the other person to court.
If you had an accident on someone else's property and think you may have a North Carolina premises liability lawsuit, you should reach out to a lawyer with experience in these types of cases as soon as possible. A North Carolina premises liability attorney can help you determine whether the other party bears responsibility for your injuries and whether you may be able to get compensation for those injuries.