Who is liable if I tripped over unfinished carpet coming out of my counselor’s office at school?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Who is liable if I tripped over unfinished carpet coming out of my counselor’s office at school?

I fell head first into the bathroom door across the hall hitting my knee on the frame of the door and my other knee on the outside of the door. I was taken by ambulance to the ER and referred to a specialist/surgeon. However, the school’s insurance is limited liability, therefore they want pay for office visits surgery, etc. One by one they told me that I had to get a estimate and they will pay the lump sum. I don’t have a attorney so I don’t know what to do. The carpet company says they are not liable; the school say they aren’t liable; and the county that owns the building say they aren’t liable. I am in pain and have no meds. Both of my knees are swollen and the discomfort wakes me up out my sleep. I am on crutches.

Asked on August 9, 2017 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The school, carpet company, and county are liable for your injury. 
If their insurance carriers are denying liability, you will need to sue them for negligence against the carpet company and premises liability against the school and county.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports document your injury and are used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Your claim filed with the insurance carriers should include your medical bills, medical reports, and wage loss.
If the case is not settled with the insurance carriers for the school, carpet company, and county, file your lawsuit for negligence and premises liability at that time as discussed above.
If the case is settled with some but not all parties, only name the parties with whom the case has not settled as defendants in your lawsuit.
If the case is not settled, your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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