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Whether it is a family home, a vacation destination, or business premises, real property often comprises much of a person’s wealth. In North Carolina, people have the same rights to enjoy their real property as they do with any other personal property.

Because of this, if another person’s careless or malicious behavior prevents the use or enjoyment of your estate, you have the right to seek compensation through a Raleigh real property damage claim. A dedicated property damage attorney could help you to gather evidence of another party’s fault and work to use this evidence to build a persuasive claim.

The Legal Basis for a Claim

All landowners in North Carolina have the right to use their land as they see fit. Any person or corporate entity that infringes upon this right may, therefore, carry civil liability when this infringement causes damage.

Many of these circumstances are the result of an accident or mistake. For example, a claimant’s neighbor might have a dying tree on their property, fails to maintain that tree, and thus causes damage to a plaintiff’s home in the event of it falling. In this instance, even if the tree fell onto the claimant’s roof following a wind storm, they may still be able to argue that the defendant was negligent by not removing the tree once it became a hazard. Other examples of accidental damage to a real property include:

  • Damage to driveways caused by contractors
  • Fence damage caused by playing children or by pets
  • A car accident where the defendant drives into a home, causing damage

While they are less frequent, damage to a property might be intentional damage. A disgruntled employee who smashes the windows of a business, a houseguest who lights a fire, or even a burglar that breaks a door or window are all examples of intentional real property damage. An experienced attorney could help a plaintiff assess the specifics of their case to file a real property damage claim in Raleigh.

Seeking Compensation for Real Property Damage in Raleigh

Real property claims often involve an intensive examination of insurance coverage and how it possibly interacts with the facts of the case. In many instances, for example, an insurance policy may cover some or even all the costs for repair following an incident. However, a claimant in these instances might still pursue a defendant for the cost of a deductible, or any costs not covered by a relevant policy.

On the other hand, insurance may not cover a claimant fully under certain circumstances. For example, if a defendant damages a claimant’s fence by running into it with their lawnmower, a plaintiff could only claim reasonable damages to repair the fence. The plaintiff cannot, however, use the incident as an opportunity to try and request compensation to completely replace the fence—unless it is not salvageable.

Here, the defendant would then carry the full burden of the costs in a claim, without any aid from an insurance provider because the damages in a real property case are limited to those costs needed to bring the property back to its previous value.

The Statute of Limitations for Real Property Damage Claims

A person looking to file a real property damage claim should be aware of the time limit placed on pursuing a case. As outlined in North Carolina Statute §1-52, if a plaintiff does not file a case in court within three years of the date of their loss, the court might refuse to hear the claim. This is known as the statute of limitations and, while there might be exceptions, a claimant seeking compensation might benefit from contacting an attorney to try and ensure their claim satisfies this timeline.

A Raleigh Real Property Damage Claim Attorney Could Help to Pursue Compensation

Incidents such as falling trees, negligent drivers, or even a loose animal might cause severe damage to your land. If this damage was the result of a person’s negligence or cruel intent, you might be able to hold them civilly liable. By filing a Raleigh real property damage claim, you could work to have them pay for the resulting damages.

However, filing a claim alone might prove difficult without experience and knowledge of the legal system. By working with a tenacious and seasoned lawyer, you could rest assured knowing your claim is being handled by a legal professional. To start working on a claim, seek the services of an attorney today.