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Property owners have a legal duty and obligation to ensure that their property is safe for visitors. When a person suffers an injury on another person’s property they may be able to file a premises liability claim against the owner of the property, the property manager, or even a tenant who was legally obligated to maintain the property. Unfortunately, property owners often forget their duty to maintain their property and to warn of dangerous conditions on their property, resulting in people like you suffering an injury and incurring undue expenses.

A Southern Pines premises liability lawyer could review the factors surrounding your case and work to establish the property owner’s negligence. Call and schedule an appointment with a dedicated personal injury lawyer to begin learning about your potential legal options.

Premises Liability Actions

Premises liability cases rest on a theory of negligence. Specifically, a person in a premises liability action will need to demonstrate that not only did they suffer an injury on another person’s property but that the property owner either knew about the condition and did not repair it or that the property owner knew of the condition and did not warn others about the condition.

Some of the most common conditions that cause injuries include:

  • Liquids
  • Loose or unsecured handrails and guardrails
  • Debris
  • Poorly lit walkways

However, it is important to understand that a person may be considered an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser when they are on another person’s property and these legal distinctions can have an impact on a premises liability case. For more information about visitor classifications, consult with a knowledgeable premises liability attorney in Southern Pines.

Understanding Classifications in Premises Liability Actions

Traditionally, a person could fall into one of three categories when they were on another person’s property and could be considered a:

  • Invitee – A person is considered an invitee when they are expressly or impliedly invited on to another person’s property for mutual benefit
  • Licensee – A person is considered a licensee if they go on to another person’s property with either expressed or implied permission for their own benefit
  • Trespasser – A person is considered a trespasser if they enter another’s property without permission

In many states, there are different legal standards depending on whether a person is considered either a licensee or an invitee. However, the North Carolina Supreme Court removed these differing legal standards in 1998 in the case of Nelson v. Freeland.

In Nelson v. Freeland, the North Carolina Supreme Court established that landowners must exercise reasonable care not to unnecessarily expose lawful visitors to a dangerous situation, and further to warn lawful visitors of any hidden dangers on the property. Reasonable care can be understood as the care needed to avoid injuries to others. This is a flexible standard and requires showing that a reasonable property owner would have engaged in some action to avoid injury. A seasoned lawyer could fight for an injured victim’s right to compensation.

A Southern Pines Premises Liability Attorney Could Help

If you have suffered an injury because of a property owner’s carelessness, recklessness, or outright negligence, contact a Southern Pines premises liability lawyer today to discuss your options. An attorney could fight for compensation for your injuries.

Like other personal injury cases, proving negligence means conducting a thorough investigation of the surrounding facts and circumstances of an injury, and it is important to have a dedicated and experienced premises liability attorney to guide you through this process to help you receive the compensation you deserve.