As you were leaving your neighbor’s porch last month, you slipped and fell, badly injuring your hip and leg. This painful experience immediately changed your near future: first, an ambulance ride, followed by time in the ER getting surgery, followed by extensive rehabilitation. As if this hasn’t been challenging enough, you are also out of work while recovering, adding financial strain to your life. Naturally, you are worried about the costs of this painful incident. Who pays for your medical treatment? Is there a way to get reimbursed for your inability to work? What if you’re no longer able to work? Here’s more on how you can obtain compensation and justice if you were injured at someone’s home or business in North Carolina.

What Does The Law Say?

Because you’ve been injured by a fall on someone else’s property, the legal principles you have to understand are North Carolina’s tort laws—laws that control how people injured by other people’s negligence are made whole again, at least financially.

There are some very important things you need to examine if injured on someone’s property. First, determine whether they might be responsible or liable for your injury. Generally, in North Carolina, you may be able to recover financial compensation against a homeowner or business owner who failed to protect you or warn you against certain dangers on their property.

To prevail in your property injury lawsuit, you have to prove the following:

  • The property owner owed you a duty of reasonable care to maintain their property in a safe condition or to warn you against dangerous conditions that were not reasonably apparent to you;
  • The property owner breached or neglected this duty and acted unreasonably (e.g. they invite you onto an unfinished portion of their deck which then collapses);
  • The property owner’s actions or omissions caused you to slip, fall, etc.; and,
  • As a result, you suffer damages (e.g. a broken leg which requires extensive medical treatment).

If all of the above apply, and you were not even partially responsible for your fall, then the property owner may be required to compensate you for your injuries.

What If I Was Partially At Fault?

Unfortunately, North Carolina injury liability law differs from most states: North Carolina is one of four states, along with the District of Columbia, with a “pure contributory negligence doctrine,” a law that’s also referred to as an “all or nothing law.” This law means that if you are found partly responsible (just 1% responsible is all that is needed) for your fall and resulting injuries (e.g. you were drunk and unbalanced when you entered someone’s unsafe property), then you may not be able to recover any damages at all. The same rule applies in North Carolina if you tripped and fell in a restaurant: if your actions may have contributed to the fall (e.g. you had several shots of whiskey beforehand), then you may not be able to recover damages from the restaurant regardless of their possible negligence. The law is applied unfairly and prevents many injured and deserving plaintiffs from getting justice which is why only a few states still employ this outdated and draconian doctrine. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the obstacles posed by this doctrine.

What Kind Of Compensation Can I Get For Getting Injured On Someone’s Property?

There are two kinds of damages or compensation that may be awarded to you in a premises liability case: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are meant to compensate you for things like medical treatment and the wages you lose by being out of work in recovery. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for your losses because of the injury, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, or emotional distress.

Retaining An Attorney

If you have decided you wish to pursue your personal injury claim, it is time to consider your options for doing so. Find an attorney with experience in premises liability cases. Most attorneys have free initial consultations which can help you determine if you want to go forward with that attorney. Most personal injury attorneys also bill on a contingency basis: they only get paid attorneys’ fees if your case is successful, and their fee is an agreed-on percentage. Be aware, however, that there are likely to be initial costs for pursuing the case, such as filing fees, and you may be responsible for these.

North Carolina Slip And Fall Lawyer

The Law Office of Kevin J. Williams is focused on helping North Carolina property injury victims recover financially for the harm they suffered because of negligent property owners, property managers, tenants, or others who might be at fault. The Law Office of Kevin J. Williams knows how to hold bad property owners responsible and make them compensate you. We will take the time to carefully assess your situation and explain your options. We are also ready to aggressively pursue all legal remedies on your behalf, and will work tirelessly to help ensure that you get compensation and justice. So, if you have been injured on someone’s property, get in touch with the Law Office of Kevin J. Williams by calling (336) 793-8459 or by contacting us online for a free consultation.

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