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People who have suffered a slip and fall while visiting the property of another person have rights. This includes the right to demand compensation for all their losses. These can include the payment of medical bills, reimbursement for lost wages, and compensation for emotional trauma.

Even so, the laws that protect landowners are powerful, and plaintiffs need to demonstrate that they had permission to be on the land and that their own actions did not contribute in any way to the accident. A failure to meet any of these elements could see a case fail, and a person is left to pay for their own losses.

A Rocky Mount slip and fall lawyer is dedicated to preventing this from happening. They may be able to help injured individuals to investigate the cause of the fall, to evaluate the landowner’s actions leading up the incident, and to pursue claims for their proper value. Speak with an experienced injury attorney to learn more about your eligibility to receive compensation for damages during your free initial consultation.

How Might a Slip and Fall Occur?

Slips and falls that are the fault of a landowner typically are the result of one of two scenarios. The most obvious is the failure to clear a temporary hazard that threatens the integrity of the walking surface. The classic example is the grocery store that fails to clear water or other liquid spills in the aisles. These stores have a duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of their guests, and failing to clear a temporary hazard in a common walking area is certainly a prominent example.

The other major source of slips and falls is structural defects. Just like the grocery store in the above example must take reasonable steps to prevent injury due to spills, they must also ensure that their common areas are structurally sound. If that store has steps in the main entranceway, those steps must be in good condition with solid hand railings.

Proving that a Slip and Fall was the Landowner’s Fault

Unlike other locations around the country, the laws in Rocky Mount and the rest of the state are comparatively simple when evaluating the rights of visitors on land. According to Nelson v. Freeland, 349 N.C. 615, 507 S.E.2d 882 (1998), landowners must take reasonable care to prevent injury to invited guests on their land. Whether or not a landowner took reasonable care is a matter for a jury to decide.

The first step in these slip and fall cases is for a plaintiff to establish their right to be on the land. This can include providing evidence of an invitation in the form of a text message or email. In the case of claims against businesses, this can include the company’s operating hours where they invite the general public.

What is Contributory Negligence?

When considering the question of whether a landowner took proper care, it is important to remember the state’s law concerning contributory negligence. Under North Carolina Statute §1-139, juries must evaluate the actions of all people involved in a slip and fall case and assign blame accordingly. Unfortunately for injured plaintiffs, this law says that if a jury believes that a plaintiff was in any way responsible for the incident, that jury cannot award any compensation. A Rocky Mount slip and fall lawyer could work to prove a person’s right to be on the land and that the owner’s negligence was the sole cause of the injury.

A Rocky Mount Slip and Fall Attorney Could Hold Negligent Landowners Responsible

A core principle of owning land is protecting invited guests from foreseeable harm. A common way that landowners fail in this duty is by allowing temporary hazards or structural defects to persist that cause slips and falls. Any invited guest who suffers this type of injury deserves compensation. This includes payments for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional harm. Even so, landowners enjoy the right to argue that the plaintiff’s own carelessness contributed to the accident. It is essential that you be able to prove not just that the landowner was negligent, but that your own actions were reasonable.

A Rocky Mount slip and fall lawyer could help you to pursue your case. They can handle every detail of the claim. They work diligently to gather evidence, to explain your legal rights, and to demand that negligent landowners provide appropriate compensation. To get started on a case, schedule a consultation today.