Slip and falls happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are caused by our own clumsiness, but in other instances, they are caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent behavior.
It is not uncommon for slip and falls to occur on someone else’s property because the owner or another party failed to maintain the premises. A lack of maintenance can lead to dangerous situations that make slip and falls more likely.
If your slip and fall was caused by someone else’s carelessness, you deserve compensation. The attorneys of Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys are former insurance defense lawyers who know how to get injured victims the compensation they deserve. Because we know how insurance companies operate, we can sidestep their lowball offers and get our clients the compensation to which they are entitled under the law.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are many reasons why a slip and fall can happen on a property. Here are some examples of dangerous situations that can lead to accidents:
Wet or slippery falls
Loose or torn carpeting
Loose or missing handrails
Dangerous building code violations
…and the list goes on.
Common Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and falls can result in serious injuries including the following:
Traumatic brain injuries
Strains and sprains
Spinal cord injuries
Proving Negligence in a Slip and Fall
One of the most challenging parts of a slip and fall case will be proving that the at-fault party was negligent in causing the accident. To prove your case, you must establish that the defendant had a duty of care to keep you safe and did not uphold their responsibility.
Here are some examples of actions that can be considered negligence:
Failing to have the property regularly inspected.
Failure to act on reports of dangerous conditions.
Failure to post warnings of hazardous conditions. (such as wet floor signs, etc.)
Failure to adequately manage and supervise the property.
North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. This means that your compensation will be barred if the jury determines you were partially to blame for the accident.
Here are some examples of situations where you could be considered partly to blame:
If you were on a part of the property where visitors aren’t allowed or aren’t expected to be.
If you were on a part of the property cordoned off by cones and signage due to dangerous conditions.
If the dangerous condition should have been obvious to you.
It is also important to note that in North Carolina if the jury finds the plaintiff even slightly at fault then there is no recovery.
Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall?
It’s not always easy to determine who is responsible for a slip and fall, especially if the property is a rental.
If you slip and fall inside a business, it’s likely the business owners are renting the property from an owner. So who is responsible, the business owner or the building owner?
If you slip and fall inside an apartment building, a similar situation applies. Would the tenant, landlord, or owner be responsible?
It comes down to who oversees the upkeep of the part of the building where the slip and fall occurred. For instance, with a business, if the fall happened within a store, the business owner is likely to be liable for damages.
If the fall happened in the parking lot or an exterior part of the building that is cared for by the property owner, he or she may be liable.
Similar circumstances apply to apartment buildings. If you slip and fall in a common area of the building, the maintenance team, landlord, or owner may be responsible.
If you slip and fall inside someone’s apartment, the tenant may be responsible. Exceptions will come into play if there is a dangerous situation inside the building that the tenant told the landlord about and the landlord refused to repair it.
If you fall on a sidewalk, the owner of the property nearest to the sidewalk or the city may owe you compensation. Also, the North Carolina vacation rental act allows owners of vacation rentals to be held strictly liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on their property.
Statute of Limitations for Slip and Falls
Every legal claim is subject to a statute of limitations. That means that the plaintiff has a set amount of time to file a claim to be compensated.
In the state of North Carolina, the statute of limitations for slip and falls is three years and the clock starts ticking the day the accident occurs.
Three years may seem like a long time, but the longer you wait to file, the more likely it is for details to get fuzzy. It will also be harder to establish that your injuries were caused by the accident. That’s why it’s advisable to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Horton & Mendez Injury Can Help With Your Wilmington, NC Slip and Fall Claim
Slip and fall cases can get complex. It can be difficult to prove negligence and determine at-fault parties. You need a reliable lawyer on your side, especially ones who are familiar with the way insurance companies and insurance defense lawyers operate. This is why Horton & Mendez Injury attorneys are suited to handle your case. With a background as previous insurance defense lawyers, Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys know how to deal with the tactics that insurance companies employ.
Horton & Mendez Accident & Injury Attorneys have years of experience representing slip and fall victims in the Wilmington, NC area. When it comes to dealing with insurance companies, we know their tactics. We will help make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t let property owners get away with negligent behavior. Call Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation and look forward to getting the closure you need to move forward with your life.