When you enter a property, be it a shopping mall, a supermarket, or a neighbor’s home, you anticipate a safe environment.
Yet slips and falls are all too common.
Property owners can be legally liable for your injuries because they have a duty to keep their premises safe for visitors.
Occupants, renters, municipalities, and others might also bear some responsibility for your injuries.
Fighting for maximum compensation in North Carolina slip and fall settlements is challenging.
We recommend hiring a skilled premises liability lawyer to help you navigate these complex claims.
Read on to learn more about different types of slip and fall cases and how to proceed with a legal claim for damages.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents often occur when properties are not adequately maintained or when there are hidden dangers. Some of the most common causes include:
- Wet or slippery floors from a spill that has not been cleaned up, rain that’s tracked in, or ice on the sidewalk;
- Uneven surfaces, such as cracked sidewalks, potholes in parking lots, or uneven floor tiles;
- Cluttered walkways and items left in walkways, like boxes in store aisles; and
- Poor or insufficient lighting in stairwells or hallways.
While many hazardous conditions can contribute to slip or trip and fall lawsuits, these are the most common ones we see in the cases we handle.
Where Do These Accidents Typically Occur?
While a slip and fall can happen anywhere, some locations experience higher rates of these incidents, including:
- Grocery stores,
- Parking lots,
- Public sidewalks,
- Staircases and escalators,
- Apartment buildings, and
- Private residences.
These are only a few places where slip and fall accidents occur. Anywhere from a retail store, to a hotel, to a doctor’s office can present dangers.
How to Sue for a Slip and Fall in North Carolina
You may consider pursuing a compensation claim if you suffered injuries in a fall. Knowing what to expect with a lawsuit is essential. North Carolina civil courts typically hear these cases. The proper venue depends on where the accident occurred and how much money you demand.
In most cases, you have three years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations. Failure to file before the deadline could result in the court dismissing your case.
Understanding where and when to file can be confusing. Fortunately, your attorney knows how to identify the proper court and will help you file a lawsuit and serve the at-fault parties.
Proving Negligence in Slip and Fall Injury Lawsuits
Before you receive any compensation, you must prove the property owner’s negligence. That means showing they failed to maintain their property or knew of a hazard that they did not correct or warn visitors about. You also have to show that you suffered an injury as a result of the property owner’s failure.
You need a skilled North Carolina premises liability lawyer to help you navigate the legal nuances of a slip and fall injury lawsuit.
Preserving evidence is crucial in premises liability accidents, and an experienced lawyer knows how best to build a strong case. Examples of possible evidence include:
- Witness statements,
- Incident reports,
- Scene photos,
- Injury photos,
- Medical reports and bills, and
- Communication with the property owner.
Seeking medical attention following a slip and fall is crucial. You could have internal injuries that are not immediately visible. Any delay in medical treatment can work against you in a slip and fall claim.
Recovering Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident
In a successful slip and fall injury lawsuit, you can receive reimbursement for your damages. Typical damages in North Carolina slip and fall accidents include the following:
- Medical expenses to date for hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, etc.;
- Future medical costs for expected ongoing treatment or additional treatment expected;
- Compensation for the time you’ve missed from work because of your injuries or medical appointments;
- Future loss of earning capacity should you be unable to return to work in your former capacity or at all;
- Permanent disability and disfigurement; and
- Pain and suffering, which takes into account the physical pain and emotional trauma you’ve endured.
In North Carolina, liability laws are strict and can extinguish your right of recovery should you have any fault for the accident. That’s one reason North Carolina slip and fall settlements vary greatly—even between two similar injury cases.
Contact a North Carolina Premises Liability Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents can be traumatic, and the legal aftermath can bring additional stress. As a victim, you should concentrate on your recovery, not fight with the property owner or insurance company. We know how to build a strong case at the Law Offices of Naomi Ellis, PLLC. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a Raleigh, North Carolina slip and fall, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Please schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.