Slip-and-fall accidents in the snow bring up several questions. Our injury lawyers in Raleigh handle cases on both public and private properties that involve trips, slips, or falls. When an individual falls at home due to snow or ice accumulation, our lawyers must ask a few questions. Here is one important question, possible areas of compensation, and what individuals need to do after a snow injury:
Do you own your home?
If you own your home you should have a homeowners insurance policy, which has coverage limits for personal injuries sustained on your premises. Whenever your insurance company fails to provide coverage outlined in your policy, contact our Raleigh insurance dispute attorneys to help manage your claim. However, keep in mind that North Carolina is one of just a handful of states that has a contributory negligence statute. This law provides that any individual who contributes in any way to their own injury or loss will not be able to recover compensation from another party. A slip-and-fall case in the snow on your own premises may be difficult to prove. You will need to prove that you completed adequate snow removal, salted, and made the area as safe as possible prior to your accident. As is the nature of nature, the weather conditions at the exact time of your accident may be difficult to document and prove. Immediately following your accident you likely sought medical attention or moved to a safe place--taking photographs of the accident area were probably the last thing on your mind. Our lawyers may be able to pursue a third party on your behalf if other factors contributed to your fall. Were you using a snowblower at the time of your accident and did a malfunction cause you to fall on your own property? Our lawyers have also handled defective product cases and we can review your rights.
If you do not own your home, check with your landlord or apartment complex. If they failed to remove snow timely or neglected to salt the sidewalks, you may be able to pursue a premises liability case against them. The owner of the property where you reside must help prevent the affects of snow and ice, not only for tenants' safety when they come and go, but to ensure emergency personnel can access the property in the event of an accident. (In some cases landlords may have snow and ice removal exclusions in lease agreements, which our lawyers can review.)
After you fall, you need to seek medical attention. Document the reason for your injuries with a physician or healthcare provider. This way you can provide clear information to your insurance company.
Whether or not you fall at a home you own or rent, if you were leaving to make a sales call or a make a delivery as part of your job, your employer may be liable for your injuries. Whenever you are injured while performing duties associated with your employment, you may be eligible for workers' compensation. Learn more about the "going and coming rule."
Property owners and businesses are responsible for maintaining the safety of their properties. Let us know if we can help with an injury claim on your behalf.