The biggest challenge you will likely face if you’ve been injured by a fall is to prove that the property owner was liable for your injury and that you had no fault in the accident. This can be difficult because North Carolina is one of only a few “contributory negligence” states. This law means that if you were even one percent at fault for your accident, you will not be able to recover any damages (monetary compensation). Fortunately, the slip and fall attorneys at Kreger Brodish LLP have many years of experience with slip and fall cases and will fight aggressively to prove that you were not at fault for the accident.
Proving the Property Owner’s Negligence
So, when is a property owner liable for a slip and fall injury? Proving liability rests on proving negligence. A property owner has a duty of reasonable care to remove hazards from the property or to warn lawful visitors of a known hazard by placing a sign or cordoning off the dangerous area. This duty of care does not apply to trespassers.
If the property owner knew or reasonably should have known of the hazard and did not do anything about it, the property owner may be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of the hazard. For example, if there is ice on the sidewalk in front of a store and the property owner has made no effort to remove the ice or warn visitors of it, then the property owner could be held liable for any falls that occur as a result of that ice.
Proving You Are Not At Fault
If you choose to file a claim against the property owner’s liability insurance or a lawsuit against the property owner, be prepared for defenses that will try to pin some of the blame for the fall on you. To continue with the ice example, the property owner may claim that you were wearing unsafe shoes for icy weather or that you were looking at your phone and not paying attention to where you were walking. If the property owner has evidence for either of those claims, you may be barred from recovering any damages. That’s why it’s important to gather as much evidence as possible at the time of the fall.
If possible, take photos not only of the place where you fell but also of your clothing and shoes. This can help prove that you did not contribute to the accident. Surveillance footage may also help, as well as statements from witnesses. It’s best to file a claim as quickly as possible so that evidence will be preserved and witnesses can be contacted. The experienced slip and fall attorneys at Kreger Brodish LLP will act quickly to gather evidence and investigate the fall. We can then file a claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Reach Out to a Slip and Fall Lawyer in North Carolina
If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation and find out how the Durham personal injury lawyer at Kreger Brodish LLP can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries.