Personal injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “What should I do if I have been injured by another party but I can’t afford a lawyer?”
If you suffer injuries in a slip and fall incident on someone else’s property in North Carolina, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages and financial losses.
However, it is important to work with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in North Carolina to help you prove the property owner’s liability and recover damages on your behalf. Schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to discuss liability in your slip and fall accident.
How Does North Carolina’s Premises Liability Law Work?
In order to seek compensation for your slip and fall accident injury in North Carolina, you must be able to prove the four elements of negligence:
- The property owner or occupier owed you a duty of care;
- The owner or occupier breached the duty due to negligence;
- The defendant’s negligence resulted in the slip and fall accident; and
- You suffered injuries, quantifiable damages, and financial losses because of the defendant’s negligence.
As long as you were lawfully present on the premises, proving the first element is not challenging. However, establishing the second element may require your personal injury lawyer to collect sufficient evidence to prove that:
- A dangerous condition or hazard existed on the premises;
- The defendant knew or should have known about the condition;
- The defendant failed to take all reasonable steps to remedy the condition or warn you and other visitors of the hazard; and
- The hazardous condition caused your slip and fall accident and injury.
Premises liability cases are difficult to win in North Carolina due to the state’s contributory negligence statute. Many property owners use the contributory negligence rule as a defense to avoid liability.
What is Contributory Negligence in Slip and Fall Accident Cases?
Under N.C.G.S. § 1-139, North Carolina uses the doctrine of pure contributory negligence in the vast majority of personal injury cases, including slip and fall accidents. The rule of contributory negligence prevents an injured person from recovering damages if their own negligence contributes to the accident.
Thus, the property owner may use the contributory negligence rule in an attempt to avoid liability for your slip and fall accident by proving that:
- You ignored signs that warned of the dangerous condition;
- You were distracted or not paying attention when the accident occurred; or
- You were wearing inappropriate or defective shoes.
If the property owner can prove that you were partially at fault for the slip and fall accident, you may not be eligible to recover any damages. For this reason, it is not advised to handle your case alone. You should not take that risk.
Hire a knowledgeable personal injury attorney in North Carolina to build a strong legal case and fight back against the defendant’s attempts to use your negligence as an excuse to avoid liability.
Also, keep in mind that North Carolina allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit within three years of the date of the accident. If you fail to bring a claim within the time limit, you will be barred from seeking compensation for your injury.
Consult with our personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to establish fault in your slip and fall accident and help you receive maximum compensation. Call (704) 370-2828 to receive a video or phone consultation with our lawyers to explore your legal options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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