Committed To You - Since 1956

Who is at fault for a slip-and-fall injury in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Slip & Fall |

Comparative negligence is a legal principle used to determine fault in personal injury cases, including slip-and-fall incidents. In North Carolina, this doctrine plays a crucial role in how courts assign responsibility and award damages. Understanding comparative negligence is essential in slip-and-fall cases.

North Carolina’s contributory negligence rule

North Carolina follows the contributory negligence rule, which is stricter than the comparative negligence rule used in many other states. Under the law, if the injured party (plaintiff) is found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, they may be barred from recovering any damages. This rule makes it critical for plaintiffs to clearly demonstrate that they were not responsible for their own injuries.

Key elements of slip-and-fall accident liability

To successfully navigate a slip-and-fall case, plaintiffs must focus on several key elements:

  • Duty of care: The plaintiff must show that the property owner had a duty of care to maintain a safe environment. This duty extends to keeping the property free of hazards that could cause a slip-and-fall accident.
  • Breach of duty: The plaintiff must prove that the property owner breached this duty. This could involve failing to clean up spills, not repairing broken steps, or neglecting to put up warning signs for known hazards.
  • Causation: The plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the breach of duty directly caused their injuries. This means showing a clear link between the property owner’s negligence and the slip-and-fall accident.
  • Damages: The plaintiff must provide evidence of the damages they suffered as a result of the fall. This can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Legal implications and case outcomes

Ultimately, the outcome of slip-and-fall cases hinges on the ability to navigate the contributory negligence rule effectively. Plaintiffs must meticulously gather evidence to show that they were not at fault in their accident to ensure they get the compensation they deserve to help them move on with their lives.