In North Carolina, premises liability means that a property owner or designated representative is responsible for safe maintenance of his or her property. In instances where property is not safely maintained, and a person has suffered injury due to the unsafe conditions, the property owner may be liable. If, for example, a sidewalk or walkway directly in front of the property had significant cracks, was uneven, or had an unrepaired hole, and a person slipped and fell and suffered an injury as a result, premises liability law (a certain type, sometimes known as “slip and fall”) may cover it. According to the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control, falls cause the highest number of injuries in the U.S. annually.
Like many states, North Carolina has a statute of limitations to bring a premises liability case. In our state, it is 3 years.
Premises liability law provides that, if you are injured and the property owner is at fault, they may be liable for injuries in a number of categories, which include: 1) medical expenses (include past and future if related to the accident), 2) time the injured party was not able to work, 3) permanent disability or any disfigurement, and 4) emotional distress (anxiety, depression, and interference with family relationships).
North Carolina also operates under a contributory negligence statute for premises liability law. This means that damages may be divided among the property owner and injured party if the jury (or insurance company) finds that both parties were somewhat at fault. Usually, the court sets a percentage (for example, a property owner could be 75% responsible and an injured party 25%), and any awards are divided according to this percentage.