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Understanding North Carolina slip-and-fall liability

Are you injured and out of work after suffering a slip-and-fall accident in North Carolina? If the incident occurred in public or at a place of business, you may be eligible for insurance coverage and/or legal damages for your medical bills, lost wages and other associated costs.

Learn more about state slip-and-fall laws and next steps to take after this type of injury.

How does the court determine negligence?

While most states practice comparative negligence, in which the court may decrease damages based on a percentage of fault, North Carolina adheres to contributory negligence. If the court finds you share any amount of fault for the accident, you will recover no damages.

You must prove that the owner of the property where the injury occurred had a duty to provide safe conditions and that he or she did not uphold this duty. You must also show the court that your injury resulted in financial damages, such as inability to work.

The court could find you at partial fault and ineligible for damages if any of the factors come into play:

  • You were wearing headphones, texting or otherwise distracted when the accident occurred.
  • You should have noticed the obvious danger.
  • Cones, signs or caution tape marked the dangerous area.
  • You were wearing unsafe footwear for the conditions, such as flip-flops in a slippery parking lot.
  • You were in an area that was not open to the public.

What damages can the court award?

If the court finds the premises owner completely at fault for the accident, you may receive financial compensation for the following:

  • Current, past and projected future medical costs associated with the injury
  • Decrease in future projected income
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional distress, including loss of enjoyment, depression and anxiety
  • Cost of household services you can no longer complete
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement

When should I file a slip-and-fall claim?

The North Carolina statute of limitations for a fall injury is three years. The clock starts ticking on the date the injury occurs. After three years, the court will dismiss your case.

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience a slip-and-fall accident. Document the incident so you can seek compensation if you are seriously injured.

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