Proving Slip and Fall Cases in North Carolina and Virginia
Falls are one of the most common type of non-fatal accident, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Owners of premises are required, in both North Carolina and Virginia, to keep their premises reasonably safe. If they know of a specific hazard they’re supposed to notify visitors to the premises.
If you slip and fall on someone else’s property you need to show:
That the property owner owed you a duty of care. This duty depends on the reason you were on the property. Customers (invitees) are owed the highest duty of care. People legally passing through (licensees), such as when you walk on a neighbor’s sidewalk are also owed a duty of care. People who are on the property wrongfully (they’re trespassing) are normally not owed a duty of care. Recently, North Carolina has decided that licensees are owed the same duty of care as invitees.
That the property owner failed in his duty of care. This generally means that the landowner negligently created the bad condition or had actual or constructive knowledge of the bad condition and failed to correct it. Constructive knowledge means they reasonably should have known about the bad condition. To prove this, you must usually find a way to show that the hazardous condition was present for a sufficient length of time such that a reasonable owner would have been aware of it.
The bad condition must be the cause of the injury. To recover damages you must be physically injured and the injury must be the logical consequence of the bad condition. For example, you fall because the floor was slick because it was recently polished.
You must suffer damages because of the injury. Normal damages in a slip and fall case are medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
The condition must not be one that was “open and obvious” to you. You, as the injured party and potential plaintiff, are also charged with the duty to be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for your own safety. If you failed to notice a hazardous condition that a reasonable person should have seen, such as a hose on the floor or a shopping cart in the middle of the aisle, or some other clearly visible item in your path of travel, you will not be able to recover. You will be considered contributorily negligent, and therefore barred from any recovery.
There are many exceptions and special conditions such as when the landowner contracts a maintenance crew to clean and maintain the land and the maintenance crew fails to do a proper job. Or when the landowner knows minors might be attracted to something dangerous on the property.
How our firm can help
If you were injured in or around any business establishment, and want to know if you may have a case, please call us toll free at 877-694-1671, or click here to submit your case and get a prompt response within 24 hours. You want Strong Justice℠ on your side when you slip and fall.
We represent seriously injured victims of slip and fall accidents throughout Hampton Roads and North Carolina, but primarily in Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina in the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Hampton, Newport News, Isle of Wight, Williamsburg, Northhampton County and elsewhere on the Eastern Shore, and in Elizabeth City, Manteo, Hertford, Edenton, Greenville, Moyock, South Mills, Currituck, Maple, Camden, Windsor, Williamston, Roanoke Rapids, Scotland Neck, Rocky Mount, as well as the Outer Banks in the cities of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, and Duck. We cover cases in the counties of Dare County, Pasquotank County, Pitt County, Perquimans County, Chowan County, Hertford County, Halifax County, Washington County, Gates County, Camden County, and Tyrell County.