Defective Property Conditions
Businesses that are open to the public, such as restaurants or supermarkets, have certain duties under the law to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe manner. When a business owner breaches this duty, and a customer suffers a slip and fall accident as a result, the business owner may be held liable for the injured person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been hurt on someone else’s property and need legal advice about pursuing a claim against the business or landowner, the experienced Raleigh premises liability lawyers at Maurer Law can help.Defective Property Conditions May Result in Serious Injuries
When an injured person seeks compensation for an accident that occurred on the property of a business or another commercial entity, the claim is usually filed under an area of the law known as premises liability law. Everyone who owns or controls real estate, even private landowners and homeowners, has at least some duty of care toward people who venture onto their land. However, the degree of care that is owed to a particular person varies considerably, depending upon the reason for which the person came onto the property. Trespassers, who have no legal right to be on the property, are owed the lowest duty, while people who come onto the property for a business purpose, such as shopping in a store, are owed the highest duty.
Included in the duty owed to business patrons is an obligation to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition. This includes making repairs to defective property conditions, such as broken railings or faulty stairs. It may also mean that a business owner that fails to make reasonable, regular inspections of its property to make sure that no defective conditions exist may be held liable if a customer is hurt. In some cases, the owner’s duty may be in the nature of a warning (such as “Caution - Wet Floor!”) so that the customer may avoid a defective property condition.
Under North Carolina’s contributory negligence law, a defendant in a premises liability case may avoid paying compensation to the plaintiff if it can prove that the plaintiff was partially at fault for the accident. For example, if the plaintiff was hurt because they failed to heed a reasonable warning posted by the defendant or if the defective property condition that hurt the plaintiff was open and obvious but ignored by the plaintiff, they may be barred from recovering damages, even if the defendant failed to address the defective condition.
A failure to promptly file a claim in court against the defendant may also result in the plaintiff’s case being dismissed, so it is important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident. This also helps ensure that a proper investigation is made and that valuable evidence, such as potential video footage of the defective condition, is retained.Seek Legal Advice from a Raleigh Lawyer Skilled in Premises Liability Claims
To talk to an experienced injury lawyer about pursuing maximum compensation for your or a loved one’s slip and fall accident, call Maurer Law at (919) 229-8359 or contact us online. Our Raleigh premises liability attorneys represent victims in many areas of North Carolina, including people in Durham, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Rocky Mount, Greensboro, Wilmington, Chapel Hill, Asheboro, and Wake Forest, as well as other communities in Cumberland, Durham, Mecklenburg, Edgecombe, Guilford, New Hanover, Orange, Randolph, and Wake Counties.