In a scenario that is not uncommon, you slip on a spill at your local supermarket and fall, spraining your back and cracking your head. Your recovery has resulted in time off work and significant medical bills. You may think that receiving compensation for the accident is as simple as filing a personal injury claim, but at the law office of Jay Gervasi, P.A., we know that the opposite is true. When dealing with personal injury claims in North Carolina, the other party is likely to attempt to prove they were not responsible for the accident and try to avoid liability.
According to FindLaw, you will need to prove that the grocery store was negligent in providing a safe place for customers by knowing about an existing dangerous condition (or if they should have known, which often requires the injured person to prove how long the dangerous condition was present) and failing to correct it, by creating the hazard or by failing to inform others that a risk was present. You stand a better chance of success if store personnel knew about the spill but did not clean and dry the area or did not put up wet floor signs.
Importantly, under North Carolina law, the duty of a premises owner to warn or make safe a condition generally arises when the hazard is not obvious. Except under unusual circumstances, the premises owner is not liable, if the injured person could have seen the hazardous condition, if he or she had been looking.
However, the opposing insurer and legal counsel may look for evidence to avoid responsibility, such as the state of your shoes’ repair when you slipped or whether you knowingly disregarded caution signs.
Our premises liability page further describes the responsibilities of property owners in maintaining safe conditions for visitors. While it may be a complex matter to seek compensation after an injury, you have the right to pursue action if you believe an accident was not your fault and could have been prevented.