An unexpected injury can occur anywhere, but perhaps the last place you’d foresee getting hurt is while stopping by a friend’s house or a place of business. If you’re visiting someone else’s property, you have a right to expect that you’ll be safe.
The landlord or property owner has a responsibility to make sure the area is safe, but also to warn you about any potential dangers.
Sometimes, landlords fail to uphold their duty, resulting in the injury of yourself or a family member. In these cases, you have a right to receive compensation for medical bills and other damages under the doctrine of premises liability.
Premises liability means that any person who owns or manages a property who negligently maintains the area can be responsible for an injury they cause. Unfortunately, just because you were hurt on someone else’s property, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can automatically claim premises liability damages.
You must prove that the property owner knew about the problem and failed to address it. Your claim must also show that you were lawfully on their property. These are difficult tasks if you try to do them yourself, but the NC injury lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices are ready to begin your premises liability with a free, no-obligation consultation.
The North Carolina premises liability lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices have years of experience working on premises liability cases. We are well versed in premises liability laws and have built a reputation for aggressive, effective representation for our injured clients.
Types of Premises Liability Accidents
There are a number of premises liability cases. Landlords who do not maintain their properties or lookout for the safety of their visitors/inhabitants are failing to comply with their legal duty to keep tenants safe. Injuries can be mild to severe, ranging from broken bones to spinal cord injuries.
Premises liability accidents can include:
- Swimming pool accidents: Loose pool tiles, improper signage display, or poorly cared for diving boards can cause swimmers to slip, trip, and fall. Swimming pools can be extremely hazardous if they are improperly cared for or poorly maintained by the property owner or manager.
- Slip and fall accidents: A slip and fall accident may occur if an owner fails to remove slippery substances from the ground, like ice or spilled oil.
- Trip and fall accidents: You may trip over a loose brick, a crack in the concrete, or an unmarked low display, leading to broken bones or other serious injuries like spinal cord injuries.
- Nursing home accidents: Accidents in nursing homes happen when facilities fail to maintain their property correctly or hire untrained staff.
- Injuries from assaults: Landlords are responsible for ensuring that renters can live in their building safely, both by renting responsibly and by preventing trespassing. If you are attacked by a neighbor or stranger at your multi-family dwelling, you may have grounds to sue.
- Dog bites and animal attacks: Dog owners have the responsibility to ensure their dogs are properly secured. If they aren’t and a dog attacks you, you may be able to recoup damages.
- Playground accidents: Playgrounds should be maintained and kept to the highest safety standards so that children can play safely.
- Workplace accidents: Employers can be held liable if they fail to maintain the property or equipment and heavy machinery. A lawyer will determine whether your injury constitutes a workers’ comp claim or a premises liability claim.
- Construction-related injuries: Construction companies need to keep their site secure and observe all safety protocols to prevent bystander injuries.
- Accidents and assaults at bars and nightclubs: Bars and nightclubs can be liable if you are injured on their premises, depending on how the injury happened.
- Elevator/escalator accidents: Escalators and elevators need routine service visits to ensure they operate correctly. If those visits don’t happen and you’re hurt, you could have a case against the property owner.
- Amusement park accidents: Theme parks must maintain their rides and observe safety rules. When they don’t, they can be held liable for ride-related injuries.
What You Need to Know About Slip & Fall Accidents
According to the National Floor Safety Institute, over eight million emergency room visits each year are linked to falls. Slips and falls represent fully 12 percent of ER visits. Slips and falls are also a leading cause of workers’ comp claims. Initiating a workers’ comp claim is a separate process from a premises liability claim.
Other statistics about falls include:
- Falls are the leading accidental cause of death for people 85 and older, and the second most common cause for people 65-84.
- Falls can cause spinal cord injuries, which can lead to lifelong disability.
- More than half of all residents in nursing homes fall each year.
- Falls cause 87% of fractures in people who are 65 and older.
Robberies and Security Breaches
Premises liability cases don’t just include accidents. If your residence was broken into, you might have a cause of action against the owner of the property. It is his/her responsibility to ensure the location is safe, but all too often, a lack of effective security results in housing situations that are prone to crime.
If you’ve been injured or assaulted by an intruder because of a negligent property owner or landlord, a thorough investigation may reveal evidence that is very important for your case. Evidence that the building or complex was ill-prepared to protect against an assailant can be vital to proving your case. Such evidence may include:
- Overgrown bushes
- Dim lighting in common areas
- Deserted, poorly lit parking lots
- Broken locks
- Breach of duty by security officers
- Lack of burglar alarms or other security measures
Frequently Asked Questions About Premises Liability
It can be tricky to prove premises liability on your own without a lawyer. But with a qualified attorney on your side, you may be able to hold the negligent property owner or manager responsible for their behavior. When we take on premises liability suits at DeMayo Law Offices, we often hear the same questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked ones.
What requirements are there to file a premises liability case?
To file a premises liability case, you will need to prove that the owner or manager failed to maintain their property properly, knew about the dangerous conditions, and posted no warnings of the issue. You’ll also need to show that you were legally on the property, injured there, and incurred medical expenses and other costs due to the injury.
What qualifies as a “dangerous condition”?
Dangerous conditions can include but are not limited to water or ice on the ground, food or drink spills that were not cleaned up, lack of handrails on stairs, poorly constructed stairs, poorly maintained swimming pools, and unsafe construction sites. Contact an attorney to find out if you were injured due to a dangerous condition.
Who can I hold liable for my premises liability injury?
If you were lawfully on a property and injured, you may be able to hold the property owner, landlord, or property manager responsible. This applies to both residential and commercial properties.
What should I do if I am injured on government property?
If you visit a city park or other government-owned property and trip and fall on a hazard or poorly maintained sidewalk, then the city can sometimes be held liable. They are responsible for keeping the park safe but are protected by certain rules. A lawyer can explain more.
What types of damage can I sue for in a premises liability case?
If you are injured in a premises liability case, you might be able to sue for lost wages, medical bills, future medical bills, estimated future earnings, pain and suffering, and more.
What does it mean to be lawfully on a property?
In order to be considered a lawful visitor or guest, you must either be invited to visit the property, be s a licensed visitor, or have legal reasons to be there. If you were trespassing, then you may not be able to recoup any damages. Under North Carolina’s negligence doctrine, you can’t recover damages if you are in any way responsible for the incident. Trespassing may make you responsible for your injury.
Serving Injured North Carolinians
Premises liability laws apply to all kinds of property: residential, business, and municipal. So, whether you were injured at an apartment complex or while walking down the aisle at the grocery store, know that you have rights. It’s not unreasonable to assume that these places are supposed to be safe, and the law is on your side. Have more questions about the law? Visit our premises liability FAQ page.
Our premises liability lawyers represent North Carolina residents statewide who have been injured due to the negligence or carelessness of a landlord or property owner. You don’t deserve to take the backlash of a catastrophic injury that should have never happened.
Contacting DeMayo Law Offices may take the weight of a premises liability case off your shoulders. We’ll fight for your right to compensation and confront those responsible. Call us today at (877) 333-1000 to schedule a free consultation with our team.
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