North Carolina businesses are legally responsible for maintaining safe premises for clients and employees. An individual who suffers a serious injury after a fall in a public place may be able to recover financial damages for costs such as medical bills and lost wages.

Review the process of filing a legal claim in North Carolina after a slip-and-fall injury.

The role of fault

North Carolina is one of the few states with a contributory negligence law. To be eligible for financial damages in a personal injury lawsuit, the court must find that the injured person did not share fault in the slip-and-fall incident. For example, the judge could find in favor of the defendant if the plaintiff was texting or otherwise distracted at the time of the fall. State law also prevents damages in cases where the plaintiff ignored caution signs, wore inappropriate footwear or trespassed in the private area when the incident occurred.

Types of compensation

The court can award various types of damages in a slip-and-fall case, including current and projected medical expenses associated with the injury. The plaintiff can also request compensation for lost wages, household tasks he or she can no longer complete, permanent disfigurement, and temporary or permanent disability.

An individual who suffers catastrophic injury in a fall must file a claim within three years of the incident under the North Carolina statute of limitations. He or she must be able to show that the business location failed to uphold a duty of care to its clients and that this failure resulted in financial loss.