You are on your way to work and you decide to pop into Ingles Market to grab something for lunch. You’re walking down the aisle when you get a text notification from your friend. You know she went on a date last night and you can’t wait to hear all about it.
Your attention is now completely on your phone – which is fine because you’ve been in this store hundreds of times and know exactly where you’re going. What you don’t know is that the freezer case on the end of the aisle has malfunctioned and the melting ice has leaked out creating a huge puddle on the floor. As you come around the corner you are engrossed in your friend’s text and don’t see the puddle. The next thing you know you are falling, you feel a sharp pain in your head and everything goes black.
Meanwhile, the store manager had seen the puddle and was on his way to find someone to clean it up when he saw his buddy who drives a delivery truck and he got sidetracked discussing the football game.
When you wake up in the hospital you learn you have a significant head injury. Now, what happens?
The Rutherfordton slip & fall accident attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. know that slip & fall accidents can result in significant injuries and we fight to get the maximum compensation for our clients.
What North Carolina Premises Liability Law Says
The law expects people to behave reasonably. Under premises liability laws, the store has to provide you with a reasonably safe shopping experience. And you need to be reasonably attentive to your own safety.
When you enter onto the property of another for the purposes of doing something that would benefit the property owner you are an ‘invitee’ – you have been invited onto the property. Because the property is not under your control, the owner has the responsibility of making sure you are aware of anything on the property that might be harmful to you. If the property owner fails to make the property reasonably safe for you and you are injured because of it, you can hold the property owner responsible.
However, you are not without some responsibility for keeping yourself out of harm’s way. You are expected to pay reasonable attention to your surroundings and are considered to be aware of any obvious dangers.
What a North Carolina Property Owner or Manager Must Do
The manager – as a representative of the store – has a responsibility to make sure that the store remains reasonably safe for shoppers. The fact that the ice melted due to an equipment failure might not be enough to hold the store responsible if it wasn’t a common occurrence and the manager was quick to discover the issue and put out some type of warning to customers. While the manager may have had good intentions, he got distracted which cost him time in getting the water cleaned up. That time might have been the difference between you falling or not.
What Someone Invited onto a North Carolina Property Must Do
You did what a lot of people do these days. You paid little attention to your surroundings and relied on your familiarity to get you through while your focus was basically elsewhere. No one expects you to be on the lookout for water on the floor around every corner. But if it would have been reasonable for you to have seen the water had you not been looking at your phone then some of the responsibility for your fall may rest with you.
How the Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. Can Help
At Price, Petho & Associates, PLLC, we are on your side. Our Rutherfordton slip & fall accident lawyers know that what is considered reasonable now may not be what was considered reasonable years ago. If you were injured falling while an invitee on the property of another and you were acting as any other reasonable person would act, we will help you recover from your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 704-850-6322.