What Happens if I Am Injured on a Vacation Rental Property In North Carolina?

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An injury can happen anywhere and anytime, even while you are on someone else’s property. For example, you may experience a personal injury while vacationing on a North Carolina rental property and suffer damages due to the owner’s poor maintenance of the premises, such as slippery floors, hazardous construction, or even fire due to improperly maintained or non-existent smoke detectors.

If you are personally injured in a North Carolina rental due to the owner’s failure to keep the premises safe, you can expect the following:

1. You May Have a Case Against the Rental Owner’s Insurance Company

If you have been personally injured due to the property owner’s failure to keep the premises safe, then you may have a claim against the owner and be eligible for personal injury compensation to cover your damages.

North Carolina regulates short-term vacation rentals. The North Carolina Vacation Rental Act (the “Act”) serves to protect tenants renting the property for less than 90 days. Under the Act, owners of vacation rental properties are required to ensure their property is maintained in safe conditions for visitors. If not, the owner may be held strictly liable for any damages.

Specifically, owners must outline in the rental agreement:

  • the duties and obligations of the owner and tenant. For example, the North Carolina vacation rental owner’s duties and obligations include ensuring that there is at least one functioning carbon monoxide alarm on every floor
  • what you will pay under the agreement 
  • security deposit and fees

2. You Should Seek Immediate Medical Attention

It is critical to both your case and your health to seek medical attention immediately following an injury that occurs on a vacation rental premises. By seeking immediate care, you create the paper trail and documentation critical to proving your injuries. 

Further, the medical records are helpful to provide insight into the severity of your injury, which is critical to determining the long-term cost of care and possible wages you will not be earning. Additionally, by prioritizing your health, you will have a treatment plan for upcoming treatment, appointments, and procedures. All of these can be covered if you are awarded financial compensation for medical expenses. This includes ongoing treatment and future care because of the injury, such as regular physical therapy and/or an upcoming surgery. 

3. You Should Comply with the Statute of Limitations Period

Ensure that you file a claim sooner rather than later and before the limitations period is over. The thought of starting a claim may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have to deal with the aftermath of your injuries, including paying growing medical bills.

However, it is critical for you to be aware of the deadlines. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years from the accident/incident in most injury cases. Speak to a North Carolina Attorney focused on injury law, as they will be familiar with the North Carolina limitations period. 

Potential Compensation

It is critical to know that compensation is not a guarantee, especially if you contributed to the injury. North Carolina follows the contributory negligence doctrine, which effectively bars or prevents you from recovering on damages if determined to have contributed to the injury in some degree. An attorney can assess whether contributory negligence applies to your case and inform you of your defenses, such as the last clear chance doctrine, which would shift the blame back to the other party if they failed to take the last opportunity to prevent the accident. 

Meet with a North Carolina Attorney 

If you and/or a loved one is seriously injured or, in the most tragic cases—you lose a loved one, then you need an experienced and committed North Carolina attorney by your side to help you navigate the complex legal aspects, including liability and damages to obtain the fair financial compensation to which you and your family are entitled.

A North Carolina attorney experienced in injury cases can best assist you with:

  • gathering and analyzing the evidence such as the terms of the rental agreement and important facts of your case
  • guiding you on most effective documentation to best demonstrate your injuries 
  • assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your case
  • discussing your legal options, including filing a legal claim against the vacation rental owner

Based on an examination of the facts and evidence of your case, your attorney will be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, including whether they can establish the vacation rental owner’s failures to maintain a safe and/or livable rental home. 

Knowledge of North Carolina Law:

A North Carolina licensed attorney with a background defending injured renters of vacation rentals will know the state-specific rules, including the Vacation Rental Act, Premises Liability law, and the applicable provisions of the rental agreement, and be able to assess liability and recovery.

If the owner did not properly maintain the premises to ensure it is safe from the risk of injury and even death, then you may have a case against the vacation rental owner, who may be held liable to cover your damages. 

For example, in a residential elevator with a hidden risk of death and injury, such as a gap that caused you to become seriously injured, you could potentially sue the owner to be compensated for your losses, such as money expended on medical treatment and the lost wages from inability to work. In coastal environments, deck and railing collapses are also more common than you may think. Our attorneys have experience handling these claims and can help assess the merits of your case.

Contact a Wilmington Injury Attorney Today!

If you or anyone you know have been personally injured on someone else’s rental property, the Horton & Mendez injury Attorneys have the knowledge and skills to effectively represent you in your injury case. We are ready to stand by your side to help you navigate the complex legal issues, including liability and damages involved in your injury case. Don’t delay! You can get started by contacting us at (910) 490-4303 to schedule a free evaluation of your case. While you focus on healing from your injury, we are committed to ensuring you obtain the financial compensation you may deserve.

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