The North Carolina Museum of History on Edenton Street finally became official after years of expansion as the "Hall of History." An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the venue offers visitors an extensive trip through history. With large crowds constantly passing through, museums are frequent sites of slip or trip and fall accidents. So who is liable if an injury occurs at this particular museum, a public property? Can the injured party sue the City of Raleigh?
Making a claim against a state or federal agency is different from other types of legal action. Generally, state agencies enjoy immunity from litigation for personal injury, except when the claim falls under the North Carolina Tort Claims Act.
If you are injured at this museum or elsewhere in a public space controlled by the City of Raleigh, you may have legal standing to file a claim. However, due to the regulations and time limits associated with making a claim against the City, you should speak with a knowledgeable Raleigh personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident in order to maximize your options.
In general, the types of claims that may be brought under the Tort Claims Act are those in which negligence can be proven. For example, at the museum, if you slip in an unseen puddle of spilled liquid or trip on cords related to renovation of an exhibit, you could easily suffer an injury. In order to pursue a claim, you and your attorney should consider several factors:
- Employment – Did a person or persons, within the scope of their employment, create the hazard? Did they have a duty of care?
- Negligence – Was the employee negligent when he or she created or failed to address the hazard that harmed you? Was the duty of care met or breached?
- Causation – Did your injury result directly from the negligence or breach of duty?
- Contributory negligence – Were you in any way responsible for your injuries? If you participated in creating the problem that caused your injury, such as by running over wet surfaces or spilling a drink, you may not be entitled to money damages.
For a claim against the state in any city, the action will be brought before the Industrial Commission.
If you are injured at this new museum or in any other public venue in Raleigh, contact the Lanier Law Group, P.A., or call us toll free at (855) 757-4204 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.