You likely happened upon this blog post because you, or a loved one, suffered an injury while visiting someone else’s property and have questions about your legal rights. It is important to understand basic premises liability law in North Carolina so you can determine whether it makes sense to bring a personal injury claim against the property owner.
Generally speaking, the term “premises liability” refers to any accident that occurs due to the negligent maintenance or unsafe or dangerous conditions upon property that is owned by someone other than you.
Falls are the second leading cause of accidental death, nationally, and a major cause of debilitating injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Other types of premises liability claims can involve animal attacks or assaults that occur while on someone else’s property.
First and foremost, under premises liability law, property owners have an obligation to keep their property safe. If there are areas of the property that pose potential safety hazards, it is the job of property owner to warn visitors. When owners fail to keep their property safe or to provide warnings to visitors, they may be liable for any accidents and injuries that may occur.
Premises Liability Laws in North Carolina
In a North Carolina slip-and-fall accident case, there are several things that need to be proved, to win your claim. Typically, you must prove that the person who caused the injury was negligent. Under North Carolina law, the person filing the claim must meet the criteria listed below:
- 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 these premises liability laws in North Carolina, the person who injured you can hold the responsibility for past, current and future estimated medical expenses; lost time from work; property damage; costs to hire a person to help you perform chores and functions you are unable to carry-out on your own; any disability or disfigurement; emotional distress including but not limited to depression and anxiety that can interfere with family relationships; and any other costs that are associated with your injury.
However, it can be difficult to be awarded damages in North Carolina premises liability cases because of the state’s contributory negligence statute. Contributory negligence is an archaic legal doctrine which states that if you, the injured party, were partially responsible for your own injuries, you could be barred from filing a personal injury claim.
Statute of Limitations in North Carolina
You do not get an infinite amount of time to file a lawsuit in North Carolina. You need to take legal action sooner rather than later. Why? Because of the statute of limitations. For personal injury cases, in North Carolina, there is a three-year statute of limitations, meaning you have to file your claim within three years of the accident occurring or you lose the chance to do so.
If you or a loved one suffered an accident on someone else’s property and think you may have a North Carolina premises liability suit, you should contact an experienced North Carolina personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to help determine responsibility for your injuries and whether you are entitled to compensation for those injuries.