Navigating Your Premises Liability Personal Injury Action
When we visit other people’s properties, whether they be homes, stores, restaurants, or businesses, we have a reasonable expectation that we are safe on their property. Businesses, in particular, are held open for public service and, accordingly, have high standards for protecting their customers from possible dangers. A business owner has certain responsibilities in maintaining the safety of their property. In most cases, they have a duty to warn patrons of potential dangers and must actively investigate whether any new dangers have arisen. Because of the high standards landowners and occupiers are held to, if you have been injured at another’s home or business, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Premises Liability Laws
If someone comes over to your house, they are considered a social guest. You owe them a lesser duty than you would if you were holding your home just open to the public because a social guest is present for their own interests. In a business situation, the patron is there conferring a benefit on the landowner (going to a restaurant, purchasing goods at a store).
Even though the standards are not as high as if you had a business open to the public, you still have some responsibility for guests at your home. If, for example, you know the third step of your stairwell is broken, or the kitchen sink creates especially hot water, you must warn your guest of these issues. Alternatively, you must repair the problems so as to keep your visitors safe from harm. You may also be liable for injuries your pets cause, if you knew the pet had a dangerous disposition and failed to warn the guests.
Business owners must not only warn of dangers, but they must actively investigate and search for possible dangers throughout the day. Consider a grocery store where there are spills, broken glass, or an array of other things that could cause injury to passersby. The manager has a legal duty to ensure that the floor is free of these hazards so the customers can have a safe shopping experience.
When landowners and business owners fail to warn people of possible dangers, fail to repair known problems, and fail to be reasonably diligent in keeping up with the status of their property, accidents can happen. The victims of these accidents are ordinary people that wanted to go to the grocery store, the mall, or the movie theater and wound up injured due to negligence. In these circumstances, it may be appropriate to consider filing a personal injury action against the individual, business/entity, or otherwise responsible party for your injuries. Premises liability actions often involve multiple parties pointing fingers at one another claiming others were responsible for the care and maintenance of the property. With multiple parties in a lawsuit, there are also multiple insurance companies, who are often the ones actually paying the injured parties. Understanding all of the important and possible players in a premises liability personal injury action requires the assistance of experienced legal counsel.
North and South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
At Wallace Childers PLLC, we are a team of knowledgeable premises liability attorneys that can help you with your case from start to finish. If you have been injured on another’s property, contact our Charlotte, North Carolina office to learn more. Our attorneys are licensed in both North and South Carolina for your convenience and are always available to consult with new and potential clients.