A slip and fall is a type of North Carolina premises liability claim. It involves suing the owner or possessor of property if you are hurt in a slip, trip and fall caused by a dangerous condition on the premises.
Owners and possessors can be persons, companies or government agencies. A dangerous condition can be a puddle in a store aisle, a hole in the yard or a poorly lit walkway.
At Strickland Agner Pittman, our lawyers understand the life-changing injuries a person can suffer in a slip and fall accident. We can help you to seek just compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other harm.
We have decades of combined experience with helping Goldsboro slip-and-fall accident victims and their families. We are truly passionate about protecting the rights of the injured.
Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation.
What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall Accident in North Carolina?
When you are hurt in a slip and fall, take these five initial steps to protect your health and your right to recover full compensation:
- Go to the doctor. If you have not done so yet, please go to the emergency room or see your family doctor. You may have symptoms of serious neck and back injuries, soft tissue injuries, brain injuries and other harm.
- Report the accident. Contact the private, corporate or public owner of the property where your slip-and-fall accident occurred. Fill out a written report and ask for a copy.
- Collect everything. Gather photos, medical bills and receipts of other accident-related expenses. Keep insurance company correspondence. Store it all in a folder or box.
- Write it down. While the slip-and-fall accident is still fresh in your memory, write down the details of what happened. Note witness names. Describe how your injuries have impacted your life.
- Contact a lawyer. Don’t worry about paying for an attorney. At Strickland Agner Pittman, we won’t charge fees or costs unless we recover for you. Allow us to learn more about your case and answer your questions in a free consultation.
What Is a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
North Carolina law imposes a duty on owners and possessors of property. The duty is to take reasonable steps to prevent injuries to visitors on their premises which are caused by a dangerous or defective condition. The owner must make a reasonable inspection of the property and:
- Repair the dangerous condition, or
- Warn visitors about the hazard.
Whether an owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition, “notice,” often is an issue in a slip-and-fall case. Whether you, the victim, should have seen and avoided the hazard can be an issue as well.
How Do You Prove a North Carolina Slip and Fall Claim?
A slip-and-fall is similar to other types of premises liability claims in North Carolina. You must prove four elements to be eligible for compensation:
- Duty – The owner or possessor (“owner”) of the property owed a duty of care to you because you were a lawful visitor to the premises. If you were a trespasser, the owner would not owe the same duty to you.
- Breach – The owner failed to fulfill his or her duty. In other words, the owner failed to fix or warn about the slip-and-fall hazard.
- Causation – But for the owner’s breach, your slip-and-fall accident would not have occurred. In other words, your accident was a foreseeable risk.
- Damages – As a result of the slip-and-fall, you have suffered actual harm.
You must show that the owner had actual or “constructive” notice, or notice that can be inferred based on the circumstances. How long a hazard existed is a factor. For instance, if liquid had sat in a store aisle for several hours, a store owner would likely be deemed to have had notice of the dangerous condition.
Dangerous conditions that commonly cause slip and fall accidents in Goldsboro are:
- Slippery surfaces in the aisles of a store like a Wal-Mart
- Recently mopped floors
- Holes or objects sticking out of the ground
- Cracked pavement on sidewalks and in parking lots
- Poorly lit areas
- Broken stairs or defective railings
- Defective elevators or escalators
- Icy areas.
If you should have seen an “open and obvious hazard,” your own contributory negligence could keep you from recovering compensation. In fact, this argument often is made by property owners (and their insurers). An attorney can protect you against those claims.
What Can You Recover in a Slip and Fall Accident Claim?
A slip and fall can lead to serious injuries. These injuries include:
- Broken bones (hand, arm, wrist and hip fractures in particular)
- Soft tissue injuries in the neck, back, knee and wrist
- Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions
- Spinal cord injuries.
If an owner’s negligence is established, you can seek a recovery of all past and future medical expenses you incur to treat your slip and fall injuries. You can also seek lost past and future income, pain and suffering and other damages.
A private property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy or a company’s commercial liability policy typically will cover your damages. Special steps will need to be taken if the property owner was a government entity.
How Can a Lawyer Help After Your Slip and Fall Accident?
After your initial consultation, an attorney from Strickland Agner Pittman can get to work right away on your case. We can:
- Make sure you get medical treatment for your injuries
- Investigate your case through analyzing the accident scene, photos, witness statements and, in some cases, surveillance camera footage
- File a lawsuit on your behalf (usually in the county where the slip-and-fall occurred)
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a proper settlement
- If needed, use our litigation skills to present your case in court
- Resolve any claims on your recovery and disburse your funds to you.
We can bring many years of personal injury, settlement negotiation and litigation experience to your case. We will work hard for you.
Contact a Goldsboro Slip and Fall Accident Attorney Today
We truly care about your health and well-being after a slip and fall accident. Our goal is to seek funds that will allow you to move past a slip-and-fall injury and head towards a brighter future.
You typically must bring a slip and fall claim in North Carolina within three years after your accident happened. So, you should contact Strickland Agner Pittman in Goldsboro as soon as you are ready to take action.
Call or connect with us online today for your free consultation.