North Carolina law makes slip and fall cases difficult to successfully handle. Two things have to be true for there to be a significant chance of winning a slip and fall case. First, the defendant must have had notice of the dangerous condition causing the fall or a reasonable chance to discover the condition. Second, the client must have acted diligently in watching where he or she was walking. Establishing that the defendant had knowledge of the dangerous condition is the first step in any case. It often requires the filing of a lawsuit, depositions of the folks working for the defendant, and, in some cases, hiring expert witnesses.
One of the worst assumptions many folks make after falling at a big box retail store, grocery store, or other location is that the owner will take financial responsibility for their damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. The reality is that slip and fall defendants often refuse to take responsibility. They deny liability even when their video tape shows the incident was their fault and the plaintiff was hurt. Even worse, when the video hurts their interests it often times goes “missing.” The attorneys of Maginnis Law will quickly investigate your slip and fall case and send out a “spoliation letter,” requiring that the owner of the premises maintain all evidence of what happened, including video and incident reports. We’ll then aggressively litigate the case and question anyone who might have responsibility.
The biggest hurdle in any slip and fall case, aside from proving the defendant had notice of the defective condition, is showing that the client kept a proper look out. In many cases, the defendant will argue that the dangerous condition was “open and obvious” and should have been seen by the plaintiff. For example, if the client fell on red applesauce spilled on the floor at a grocery store, the grocery store will argue the plaintiff should have seen it and avoided it. Essentially, they will argue that the fall was the plaintiff’s own fault. And, because North Carolina’s “contributory negligence” rule provides a complete bar to any financial recovery if the plaintiff is even partially at-fault, the defendant often times can win a case on this basis. We recommend that anyone injured in a slip and fall case not give a recorded statement prior to speaking with any attorney. The adjusters for the retailers are skilled in asking questions in a way that implies your negligence.
The Raleigh slip and fall attorneys at Maginnis Howard provide free consultations to folks injured in a slip and fall accident. We can help you recover fair compensation to put you back on your feet. We offer a contingency fee agreement, so you pay no attorneys’ fees unless and until we make a recovery on your behalf. To speak with us about your slip and fall case, give us a call or visit our contact page to submit a request.