Businesses and property owners generally have a legal responsibility to the people whom they allow onto their property. If you have been hurt due to an unsafe condition on the property of another person or business, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses and other losses. At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, our North Carolina and South Carolina premises liability lawyers have the dedication and skill to pursue your injury claim and take your case to trial if necessary. From slip and fall accidents to dog bite incidents, our attorneys are experienced in a wide range of negligence claims.Bringing a Premises Liability Case After an Accident
Premises liability is a legal concept that holds owners and possessors of property accountable for injuries suffered by people who are lawfully on their property. In many cases, there are multiple defendants that may be sued for a defective condition on the property. In addition to the owner, someone in possession, occupancy, or control of the property, such as a residential or commercial building tenant, may be held liable if that party exercised sufficient control over the property. After a slip and fall accident inside a retail store, for example, the plaintiff could bring suit against the retail business, even if it does not own the building but leases the property from a real estate company.
Ultimately, the overarching issue to be decided in a premises liability case is whether the defendant breached the duty to exercise reasonable care and avoid unnecessarily exposing visitors to danger. Property owners need to warn visitors of hidden hazards of which they have actual or constructive knowledge. In practice, to establish a case, a premises liability attorney in North Carolina or South Carolina generally must show that the defendant either:
- Negligently created the condition causing the injury; or
- Negligently failed to correct the condition after having actual or constructive notice of its existence.
To illustrate, a retail store that just mopped its tile floors has actual knowledge that the wet floor is extremely slippery and that customers may not notice the slick condition before walking onto it. If the store fails to dry or otherwise fix the slick floor, or if it fails to warn customers, such as by putting up signs, it may be liable for injuries suffered by a customer who slips and falls on the wet floor.
A plaintiff who prevails in a premises liability claim may be able to recover compensation for past and future medical expenses, permanent disability or disfigurement, lost income, pain and suffering, and possibly other economic and non-economic losses. In South Carolina, a plaintiff may be able to recover damages in a premises liability claim as long as the plaintiff’s negligence is not greater than the negligence of all other parties. However, North Carolina law bars compensation if the plaintiff is found at all negligent in causing the accident.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those based on premises liability, is three years from the date of the injury. If the lawsuit is not filed within three years of the injury, therefore, it probably will be dismissed by the courts. However, there are exceptions to the three-year limitations period. A knowledgeable attorney who understands the details of your case can inform you about any exceptions that may apply in your situation.Consult a Premises Liability Lawyer in North Carolina or South Carolina
After learning the facts surrounding your accident, a personal injury lawyer can offer a detailed explanation of any viable legal claims that you may have. The North Carolina and South Carolina premises liability attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP can advise victims in a range of negligence claims. We represent people in many North Carolina cities, including Asheville, Franklin, and Spruce Pine, as well as Spartanburg, Gaffney, and other communities in South Carolina. Schedule a free consultation with an inadequate security lawyer or seek guidance in another premises liability claim by calling (800) 533-6845 or completing our contact form online.