Protecting the Rights of Injured Clients
Durham Premises Liability Attorneys
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against a Property Owner
In North Carolina, property owners (and, in some cases, managers) are responsible for adequately maintaining the premises, ensuring that all dangerous conditions are promptly rectified, and warning visitors of potential hazards on the property. When they fail to take these measures, innocent people can be seriously hurt.
If you were injured on someone else’s property due to unsafe conditions or poor maintenance, you could have a premise liability claim. At Hyland + Padilla, PLLC, we can help you seek fair compensation for your damages by negotiating for a fair settlement or, if necessary, taking your case to court. We believe that you should not have to suffer the consequences of a property owner’s negligence on your own; instead, allow our team to fight for the full, fair recovery you are owed.
Request a free consultation with one of our premises liability lawyers in Durham, call (919) 891-8361 or contact us online. Se habla español.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that deals with property owner liability for accidents and injuries occurring on their properties.
There are many different types of premises liability cases; some of the most common include:
- Slip and falls
- Dog bites
- Animal attacks
- Negligent security
- Swimming pool accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Amusement park accidents
- Improper maintenance
- Building code violations
- Property defects
- Construction site accidents
At Hyland + Padilla, PLLC, we represent clients in all types of premises liability cases. Our award-winning trial attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience and have recovered more than $40 million in compensation, including both settlements and jury verdicts. We have the resources needed to properly investigate these types of claims, and we know how to utilize all available evidence to build powerful and persuasive cases on behalf of our clients.
When Is a Property Owner Liable for Injuries Sustained on the Property?
Property owners are often—though not always—responsible for injuries that occur on their premises.
To hold a property owner liable, you must be able to prove the following:
- You were injured, and your injuries led to measurable damages for which you can be compensated
- You were injured while on the owner’s property, and you were legally allowed to be there when the incident occurred
- You were injured by a dangerous condition that existed on the property and which the property owner could have reasonably known was there
- Despite knowing about the dangerous condition, the property owner failed to take the proper steps to rectify it and/or warn you of its presence
Generally speaking, property owners owe most visitors some duty of care. The exact duty of care owed depends on how the visitor is classified.
In North Carolina, there are three classifications of property visitors:
- Invitees: Invitees are people who visit a property for the financial benefit of the property owner. This includes shoppers in a grocery store, guests at an amusement park, library patrons, and other people whose presence on the premises results in financial gain for the owner. An invitee is also someone who visits a property with the express permission of the owner, such as a houseguest or someone visiting a friend at an apartment complex.
- Licensees: A licensee is someone who lawfully enters a property but not for the financial benefit of the property owner. Examples include delivery people dropping off packages, people passing through a retail store to get to another location, workers who go to a home to conduct repairs, and travelers who stop at a gas station to use the restroom without buying gasoline.
- Trespassers: Also known as an “unlawful entrant,” a trespasser is someone who does not have the property owner’s permission, either explicit or implied, to enter the premises but does so anyway, typically for their own purposes. This also includes people who have permission to be on a property but enter an area that is clearly marked as “off limits.”
Property owners owe these different types of visitors varying duties of care. The greatest duty of care is owed to invitees; property owners must examine their premises for conditions that could cause foreseeable harm to invitees and either eliminate those hazards or put out clear warning signs indicating their presence. When it comes to licensees, property owners are only required to take reasonable measures to eliminate dangerous conditions or clearly warn licensees of their presence.
In North Carolina, property owners owe the lowest duty of care to trespassers. In fact, the only responsibility property owners have to trespassers is to refrain from causing intentional injury or harm. If you were trespassing when you were injured, you likely do not have a case unless you can prove that the property owner meant to intentionally cause you harm.
Types of Damages That Can Be Recovered in Premises Liability Claims
Every case is different; the exact damages you can recover—as well as the overall value of your claim—depend on the many unique factors involved in your claim. However, there are certain types of damages available in most premises liability cases.
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income/wages
- Loss of earning ability
- Loss of future earnings
- Emotional distress
Note that, under North Carolina’s rule of contributory negligence, you are barred from collecting any damages if you are found to be even one percent at fault for the incident that caused your injury. Insurance companies know this and often try to use this rule to dispute or deny claims. We strongly recommend that you reach out to our Durham premises liability lawyers for help with your case. We can fight back against the insurance company and seek the full, fair compensation you deserve.
How Can a Premises Liability Lawyer Help with Your Case?
Having an experienced lawyer on your side can make all the difference when you are dealing with a premises liability case. A lawyer can help assess the situation and gather evidence to prove that there was negligence on the part of the property owner or manager and that this led to your injury and/or damages. Once negligence has been proven, your lawyer can work with you to negotiate for the fair settlement you deserve.
Your lawyer can also use their knowledge of the legal system to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process. They will often have relationships with investigators, defensive counsel, and other legal experts that they can leverage in order to represent your interests in court. Additionally, they have experience fighting these types of claims and understand how to effectively argue on your behalf.
At Hyland + Padilla, PLLC, our goal is to provide each client with the best possible representation, both inside and outside of the courtroom. We have successfully helped numerous victims of catastrophic injury fight for justice, holding negligent parties accountable for the immense harm they caused. As your legal team, we are prepared to advocate tirelessly for you.
If you were injured on someone else’s property, call (919) 891-8361 today to set up a complimentary case evaluation with the team at Hyland + Padilla, PLLC.
experienced legal help from hyland + padilla, PLLC since 1999
Over $40,000,000 Recovered We have won over 40 million dollars for our clients since 2012 and counting.
Over 7000 Cases Handled We have represented thousands of personal injury clients since 1999.
“I came to Hyland and Padilla after an automobile accident. Mr. Padilla worked very hard on my case. His primary concern is for the well being of his clients. He was caring, professional, honest and patient. His staff was always helpful and pleasant as well” - Toni B.
“Very happy and great full with the results. Thank you for helping the Hispanic community very happy with the results blessings. Andrea and Stefani did A great job.” - Jazmin A.
“Mr Padilla is extremely helpful with your personal injury. His staff is great. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I have worked with Mr Padilla several times over the years. He is a wonderful caring attorney. He will go all out to make his client happy.” - Carolyn H.