It may not cross your mind that you’ll get hurt when you visit someone else’s property. Going to the grocery store or visiting a neighbor feels safe. You assume the property owner or manager keeps it safe for themselves and visitors alike.
Unfortunately, many Charlotte residents find that preventable accidents happen. If you were injured on someone else’s property, you may be eligible for significant compensation for the cost of your medical treatment, missed work, and pain and suffering. At DeMayo Law Offices, our injury attorneys have the experience necessary to take on your premises liability case and help you recover maximum compensation from the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Our Charlotte premises liability attorneys understand North Carolina’s laws and how to make them work for you. When you hire us, we’ll investigate thoroughly and determine who caused your injury. If we find out the property owner was to blame, we’ll demand that their property liability insurer pays you full, fair damages.
Call us at (704) 850-6832 if you sustained an injury on someone else’s property to begin pursuing compensation. We’ll review your case in a free consultation and determine what you’re owed.
What is a Premises Liability?
Premises liability is a subcategory of personal injury law. A property owner or manager can be held liable when they fail to maintain a safe property for their guests. If their negligence causes someone to be injured, they could be financially responsible for the damages they cause.
Common examples of premises liability cases include:
- Slips and falls
- Inadequate security resulting in an injury or assault
- Dog bites
- Improperly secured toxic chemicals causing injury
- Defective conditions, like unsecured railings
- Poor maintenance
- Swimming pool accidents
- Cracked or uneven sidewalk trips and falls
- Parking lot pothole trips and falls
- Minimal or lack of lighting injuries
Elements of a Premises Liability Case
Just because you get injured on another person’s property, doesn’t mean you can automatically make a premises liability claim. Three elements must exist at the time of the accident to pursue compensation from the property owner. They are:
- The owner controlled the property when the injury happened;
- The owner didn’t take reasonable care to maintain a safe property; and
- The owner’s negligence was the direct cause of the injury.
The property owner, must also, had been aware of the hazard and failed to take the proper action to remove or repair it. It’s their responsibility to inspect the interior and exterior area regularly and perform routine maintenance. If an owner or manager finds damage or another hazard that could cause someone physical harm, they have the responsibility to fix it promptly.
Why Hiring a Charlotte Premises Liability Attorney is Necessary
There are several reasons why hiring a lawyer for your premises liability case is a good idea, and not all of them are immediately apparent. You’re certainly able to file an injury claim with the responsible party’s insurance company on your own. Why is it necessary to hire an attorney?
The truth is that hiring an attorney to assist with your claim can help you in ways you may not realize. There’s more to the process than just submitting a well-written demand letter and waiting for a check.
Here are a few ways an attorney can help you with your premises liability claim:
- We’ve made a name for ourselves. A demand letter from an individual, no matter how well-written, carries less weight than a demand letter from a reputable personal injury firm. Reputation is important. Our good reputation can mean the difference between walking away with a fair settlement for your injuries or walking away with nothing at all. When insurance adjusters see our letterhead atop a demand letter, they understand that you’re serious about your injury claim and you intend to pursue it, as far as the law allows. They realize you won’t be satisfied with anything less than the full compensation you deserve.
- Knowledge of applicable law. Most people have never filed an injury claim or lawsuit. It’s not a common occurrence, nor one any person would go through willingly, as it requires suffering substantial injuries and losses. Preparing a claim requires time and effort, an intimate understanding of North Carolina law, and how to make it work for your claim. Having an attorney assist with the preparation of your claim can make the entire process smoother and easier. We will use all our knowledge and skills to help you get the compensation you deserve. We will help you avoid mistakes that an insurance company may use against you to delay your claim or deny it completely.
- Dishonest insurance companies. Insurance adjusters worry about two things and two things only: protecting their customers from liability and protecting their company’s bottom line. They have a myriad of tactics and methods to accomplish these goals, and many of them are underhanded or downright dishonest. They will seek to minimize your premises liability claim and convince you that your injuries are not severe enough to warrant compensation. They may try to wait out the statute of limitations on your claim to prevent you from filing a lawsuit or try to take advantage of the financial strain caused by your accident and offer you a quick settlement to cover surprise medical bills, hoping you’ll fail to notice that the amount is far below what you’ve requested. An experienced attorney can help you fight these tactics and make sure your claim is given the attention it deserves.
- Damages and how to estimate them. Compensation in a claim or lawsuit is meant to make up for certain economic and non-economic losses you’ve suffered as a result of your premises liability accident. Unless you’ve worked in personal injury law or filed a claim before, you may not fully understand what losses count as damages. The economic damages are easy to add up; you need the total dollar amount spent on medical bills plus wages lost due to time spent recovering from an injury. The non-economic damages, however, can be more challenging to estimate. Losses like emotional anguish or loss of consortium are intangible and finding a good starting point can be difficult without experience in these kinds of cases. We can use our experience to help you arrive at a value for your claim that fully repays all the losses you’ve experienced, material or immaterial. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and your compensation should reflect this.
- We handle the hard parts. Recovering from an injury after a premises liability accident can be difficult and time-consuming for you and your family. Depending on the circumstances, even a minor oversight on the part of a property owner, such as not repairing a soft spot in a floor or forgetting to secure a handrail, can result in severe injury. Without the help of an attorney, trying to build an injury claim and deal with insurance companies can make the ordeal even more arduous. When you have a lawyer to assist you, we take on the hard work for you. We become the main point of contact and shield you from aggressive insurance adjusters. We take the time to investigate your premises liability accident, and take the lead in negotiating a fair settlement for your injuries so that you can get back to the important task, recovering from them.
- We don’t stop at a denial letter. Insurance companies have huge legal teams and resources at their disposal. When they deny a claim for compensation, they’re betting that you won’t take the issue any further because you know what you’re up against. Hiring an attorney changes this equation; it tells them that you don’t plan on stopping your pursuit for compensation at a denial letter, and that you’re willing to take your case to court, and let a judge or jury decide who is in the right. They then have to spend money and resources on litigation, court fees, and expert witnesses to refute your claim. This process is expensive, both in terms of money and time. Even if they can defend their insured against your claim for damages, they’ll have to spend money to do so, and it may end up costing more than a fair settlement for your injuries would have.
Why Should I Hire DeMayo Law Offices for My Premises Liability Case?
With over 92,000 happy clients and 150 years of combined legal experience among our attorneys, DeMayo Law Offices has the record and experience to make sure your claim is handled right. We treat our clients with dignity and compassion and will listen to your side of the story to make sure all your needs are met.
Part of our mission is to give back to our communities through charitable donations, food drives, and scholarship programs. See our Community Service page for more information about how we do more than just help our clients.
The most important reason you should choose DeMayo Law Offices is that we get results. We can’t guarantee a positive outcome for your case, but record shows that we’ve helped our clients obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and awards and we can put that experience to work for you.
Premises Liability Claims Process
It’s sometimes hard to prove liability in a premises liability case. The owner and their insurance company may deny any responsibility for your accident and injury. That’s why you need to hire a Charlotte premises liability lawyer immediately after getting hurt.
DeMayo Law Offices has decades of experience working on cases like yours and knows how to prove liability. When you hire us, we’ll handle each step of the process on your behalf. You won’t have to worry about anything, except healing from your accident.
Our premises liability lawyers will:
Investigate the claim. We’ll thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your accident and obtain sufficient evidence to prove the property owner’s negligence. We may obtain a copy of the incident report, pictures of the scene where you got hurt, your medical records, and surveillance videos.
Interview eyewitnesses. We’ll find the people who witnessed your accident and take their statements. Supporting statements from uninvolved parties can serve as important evidence for your claim.
Put responsible parties on notice. We’ll determine who was at fault for your injuries, whether it was the property owner, business owner, maintenance department, or staff member, and notify them and their insurance company of our intent to pursue compensation.
Calculate your damages. We’ll review all of your records to figure out how much you spent, what kind of emotional and physical trauma you suffered, and the financial settlement you deserve.
File the claim and negotiate a settlement. We’ll file a claim with the appropriate insurance carrier on your behalf. After that, we’ll negotiate a full and fair settlement. If they deny the claim or won’t settle for an acceptable amount, we’re not afraid to pursue damages in a lawsuit.
You Have the Right to Receive Compensation for Your Damages
Victims of premises liability accidents caused by recklessness, negligence, or willful action have the right to seek compensation for the damages they suffered. Damages are monetary and intangible losses resulting from an accident or injury.
If another party’s carelessness led to your injuries, you could file a claim for the following damages:
- Medical bills and other expenses related to the injury or its treatment
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Emotional trauma or mental anguish
- Loss of quality of life or companionship
Some extreme accidents allow victims to seek punitive damages in a lawsuit against the party that caused your injury. Instead of compensating the victim’s damages, punitive damages punish the at-fault party; they’re supposed to deter similar behavior in the future.
Premises Liability Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is an official deadline, after which an injured person can no longer file a lawsuit in the civil court system, for a financial award. If you try to pursue a lawsuit after it’s passed, the court may dismiss your case and prevent you from recovering damages.
In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for premises liability is three years. You have three years from the date the accident happened to begin a lawsuit. Even though that seems like enough time to prepare, the claims process can make the deadline feel short.
Most people pursue insurance claims first to try to settle without a court case and then file suit if they can’t reach a settlement agreement with the insurer. Some claims take years to resolve. It’s crucial to contact an attorney as soon as possible to start working on your case and make sure you don’t miss any deadlines.
Statute of Limitations Exceptions in Premises Liability
There are a few circumstances in which the court will allow a person to file a lawsuit after the statute passed. These statute of limitations exceptions are:
- The victim suffers a hidden or unknown injury, such as mesothelioma from asbestos exposure, and discovers it when a reasonable person should. The clock begins on the date that they discover the injury.
- The injured party is under 18-years-old. The clock starts once they turn 18.
- The victim has a mental disability.
Your attorney can determine whether your injury falls into one of these exception categories.
What Should I Do If My Loved One Died on Someone’s Property?
If you lost a family member due to a property owner’s negligence or recklessness, you could pursue compensation from the at-fault party. DeMayo Law Offices can investigate to determine who’s to blame for your loved one passing away and what you may be owed.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina is two years. If you’re a surviving spouse, child, parent, or personal representative of the estate, you can sue the liable party for financial damages.
The damages available in a wrongful death case come in two categories: damages for the deceased and damages for the next of kin. Filing suit on behalf of your loved one means you can seek compensation for the expenses they incurred from the date of the accident until the date they died as a result of their injuries. You can also claim damages for your own emotional and financial losses.
Available damages include:
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Mental trauma
- Medical costs
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of consortium
You Can Afford to Hire an Attorney
Many people won’t contact an attorney because they don’t think they can afford it -that’s a mistake. You’re more likely to receive a settlement if you have legal representation rather than if you don’t.
DeMayo Law Offices doesn’t require upfront fees to take on premises liability cases. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t collect any fees until and unless we win your case. If we’re unable to secure a monetary award, you won’t have to pay us.
We also offer free consultations to prospective clients. We understand the stress you’re under and don’t want to add to your financial burden. We can discuss your injury and a potential premises liability claim in an initial consultation at no cost.
Our Charlotte Premises Liability Attorneys Are Here to Help
We have been helping victims of premises liability since 1992. Our dedicated attorneys have a combined experience in the legal field of over 150 years and we care about our clients and will fight hard to seek the compensation you deserve.
Our firm received the highest AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer-rated legal organization and belong to prestigious industry groups, including the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, and National Trial Lawyers.
At DeMayo Law Offices, we provide injured individuals with professional legal representation that’s dependable and affordable. We’ll update you on your case’s status regularly, so you never have to wonder what’s happening. Our Charlotte premises liability attorneys are always available when you need them most.
If you or your loved one suffered an injury on someone’s private or commercial property, they might owe you compensation for the damages they caused. DeMayo Law Offices are ready to help. Call (704) 850-6832 to schedule your free consultation.
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