Elements of a Raleigh Premises Liability Claim
The early case information that a Raleigh premises liability attorney will want to know is exactly how the event happened and when it happened. An attorney will likely also want to see photographs, if possible, and obtain information about what caused the injury, who owns the land, and any applicable home owner’s insurance. There are many elements to a Raleigh premises liability claim that an experienced attorney can help to explain to their client early on.
A person can recover damages for medical expenses if there are future medical expenses, past pain and suffering, and any permanent pain and suffering or permanent injuries that may last in the future. A person can also recover for lost wages or lost income from time missed out of work because of the injuries. If someone dies in a premises liability case, they can recover wrongful death damages.
If it is a private land owner where a person goes to a friend’s house and they are injured there, they are going to be dealing with their individual home owner policy. If a person falls at a big box retailer or chain restaurant, they are going to be dealing with possibly a self-insured company or a larger corporate entity. There may be an incident report that is filled out and more investigated materials that are accessible to them as opposed to if it happened in a normal citizen’s home.
The severity of the injuries or a wrongful death claim where the stakes are higher, a person needs to have an attorney look at the case. If it is just a few bumps and bruises, it is probably not worth the injured person’s time or the attorney’s time. With serious, life-altering injuries or death of a person, it is worth having an attorney involved as soon as possible to conduct an investigation to find out exactly what happened.
Insurance companies are almost always going to argue contributory negligence which means that if a plaintiff is any degree at fault, even as little as one percent, it can be a complete bar to recovery. In premises liability cases, there is generally a duty for individuals to keep a reasonable lookout when they are moving about property or coming down steps. The defense almost always believes that the person injured failed to keep a reasonable lookout and that caused or contributed to the person’s falling or being injured.
Another angle they may argue would be that the landowner did not know or did not have reason to know about the defect. For example, if a couple of blueberries spilled in a grocery store and the store can show they were only on the ground for 30 seconds when the person fell, they did not have time to become aware of the defect and correct it. These are a few instances that defense attorneys would argue against the plaintiff for recovering for injuries from a premises liability case.
Working with an Attorney
Individuals should hire a premises liability lawyer if they have been injured severely or if they have had injuries that require ongoing medical treatment because they are probably going to have medical bills. In North Carolina premises liability cases are difficult, so it may be that the insurance company is not willing to work with them easily. It may be important to have an attorney involved as soon as possible.
If the contributory negligence aspects seem a little too strong or if there is no evidence that the landowner did anything wrong, an attorney may turn down a case. For example, accidents happen where someone may slip and fall and the land owner or the property owner did nothing wrong to have caused or concealed it. Because premises liability cases are difficult and always fight allegations of contributory negligence, oftentimes attorneys will not take premises liability cases unless there has been a serious injury requiring medical treatment, surgery, ongoing physical pain and suffering, or in worst case scenarios, the wrongful death of the person. There are usually serious injuries when an attorney is getting involved in a premises liability case.