Proving a Slip and Fall Injury Case
The first issue with a slip and fall injury claim is proving the accident happened at a location under city jurisdiction while still having sidewalk maintenance responsibilities. Even then a full description of how the injury occurred would be needed for proper filing and subpoena authority for all negligent parties. Not all slip and fall accidents are due to a bad state of repair or failure to maintain a reasonably safe walking space, especially in crowded situations where injuries can occur due to congested areas with limited walking space. This typically requires ambulance reports as well as testimony from actual eyewitnesses, which can be difficult to obtain when individuals do not want to get involved. However, ambulatory reports work well in this situation when someone notifies 911 as soon as possible.
The standard time allowance for filing a personal injury claim in North Carolina is three years from the time of the injury or realization of an injury. The problem with filing against a city agency is that they typically have a set policy that can include a reduced filing period of possibly as short as 30 days in some locations and six months in others. NC slip and fall lawyers understand well that premises liability claims against government agencies differ significantly from others because the government typically wants to negotiate a low settlement even in serious injury claims to end the issue quickly. There can also be a problem with when the statute “clock” begins, with the clock sometimes being tolled in certain situations. This is effectively a stoppage of the filing window for a certain period of time as determined by the court.
Potential Damages from a Slip and Fall Injury Against a Government Agency
One specific problem with a slip and fall injury is the range of severity. The amount of damages is based on severity as diagnosed at the time with a prognosis of how problems may develop as life goes on for the victim. Some slip and fall injuries only result in relatively minor injuries that can rehabilitate in a short time frame with no ongoing issues while others involve injury to the head and neck area and can be life-altering events. Broken hips are not uncommon as well based on factors regarding how the accident occurred. Punitive damages are generally not available against the government due to sovereign immunity, which also limits total damages in North Carolina to $1 million per state law. Additionally, sovereign immunity can be a defense against any claim, such as when an injury occurs on a city-owned sidewalk directly in front of a personal business. The business owner is typically held responsible for clearing the entranceway into the business, and not the city. At best, this is a shared tort liability claim.
Contact Our NC Slip and Fall Lawyers
Personal injury claims against any government agency are assuredly complicated legal procedures that require the expertise of an experienced and thorough pedestrian injury law firm that has handled many of these injury situations. Cases are not always cut and dry. Anyone who has been injured in a slip and fall injury in Bern North Carolina should contact Kellum Law Firm as soon as possible because evidence of injury can fade fast when personal testimony. Call us today if you have been injured in a slip and fall situation in North Carolina and let us put our expertise to work for you and your personal injury claim.