Whether you slipped on a wet floor in a gas station or tripped over misplaced items in a retail store, if you’re injured at a place of business you may have a premises liability case. These cases often turn on both the negligence of the business owner or operator, and whether the injured individual was at fault to any degree.
North Carolina is a contributory negligence state. Contributory negligence is discussed further HERE, but if the injured party is found to be 1% at fault, it may be a bar to recovery from the defendant/property owner.
In establishing a case for negligence in an injury sustained at a place of business, the question commonly turns on the condition of the property and whether the owner was negligent in the maintenance of the property. Some facts that may be taken into consideration are whether a wet floor sign was present, how long the condition existed prior to the slip and fall, or whether the owner knew or should have known about the condition. Quite often, an injured party can establish the condition existed numerous times on the property in the past and the owner did nothing to remedy it, negligence can be established.
Depending upon the duty owed the injured by the property owner, establishing negligence requires different proof. The duty a landowner owes a guest for instance, is different from the duty a landowner owes a trespasser—if at all. The same would be true for the duty owed by a restaurant owner to a patron.
Four Prong Negligence Test
In any negligence case, the following must be established:
- Did the defendant owe a duty to the injured party;
- Was there a breach of that duty;
- Were the plaintiff’s injuries the foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s negligence;
- Were there damages and what were they;
Call An Attorney
If you have any questions about an injury you sustained on property owned and operated by another, please call me at 704.749.7747. The call is free and you deserve answers.