Decorations are one of the most exciting parts of Halloween. Yards are transformed into haunted houses, spooky graveyards, or other eerie venues. But between the strobe lights, lawn decorations, and artificial fog, they can also create a recipe for injuries.
When anyone invites another person to their home, they owe them a “duty of care.” This is no different on Halloween. Their duty of care is to ensure the safety of their property. When someone is injured on another’s property due to a breach of this duty, the property owner can face liability for damages.
What is Premises Liability Law?
Premises liability law is a subset of personal injury law, and states that the person or entity that is responsible for injuries that another person incurs on their premises is also responsible for the damages. Not only do homeowners owe a “duty of care,” but so too do business owners and rental property owners.
How to Know if the Homeowner is Liable
If you or a loved one is injured on another person’s property, the premises liability claim will generally go through the homeowner’s insurance. In North Carolina, in order to prove that the homeowner was in fact liable, the following conditions must have generally been present:
- The owner or person who caused the injury owed you a duty
- The person failed to carry out that duty
- You suffered an injury due to that failure
- The injury resulted in damages
In North Carolina, under premises liability law, an individual who injured you is responsible for past, current, and future medical expenses, time lost from work, property damage, costs involved in hiring help for basic chores that you are unable to perform, any permanent disfigurement or disability, emotional distress, changes in earning capacity, and other associated costs.
Safe Decorating for Halloween
In order to avoid injuries on your property this Halloween, here are some common-sense safety tips for decorating:
- Be sure that the walkway is clear of decorations, cords, etc. and well lit
- Block off unsafe areas and place any necessary warning signs
- Be sure that dry ice or fog machines are not pointed towards people
- Use battery-powered candles for jack-o-lanterns
- Always keep dogs inside since they may be afraid and become unexpectedly aggressive
North Carolina has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. Should you fail to file a lawsuit within three years of the accident, you forfeit your opportunity to take the other individual to court. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Premises Liability Attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured on another’s property and you believe that you may have a premises liability lawsuit, the experienced Premises Liability Attorneys at Daggett Shuler can help. Call us at 336-724-1234 for a free consultation.
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