From apartment complexes to department stores, many places you encounter each day present hazards. You have the right to go about your day free from fear of improperly managed property conditions. Unfortunately, however, many property owners do not take the required steps to keep their property safe from hazards. And when innocent visitors are injured, they can often bring a lawsuit for a slip and fall.
If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, the attorneys at O’Connor, Parsons, Lane and Noble would like to help. We are some of the most experienced slip and fall lawyers in New Jersey, and we have won millions for accident victims during our decades of practice. Contact us for a free consultation to find out how we can assist you.
Slip and Fall Injuries
After slipping on a dangerous surface, many people are injured either when they hit the ground or while they are falling. As experienced attorneys, we see many slip and fall victims suffering from these injuries:
- Broken hips;
- Sprains and strains, as they try to stop themselves from falling;
- Fractures, particularly in the arms as they try to break their fall;
- Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, when they strike their head on the ground or on something else; and
- Cuts and lacerations, if they strike their head on a filing cabinet, desk, or sideboard.
Many of these injuries were entirely preventable had the property owner used adequate care to keep the premises safe. Unfortunately, the premises owner did not. As a result, many people experience preventable injuries due to unsafe premises.
These injuries can result from a number of incidents, including these:
- Falling on an improperly managed staircase,
- Slipping on a spill that was not promptly addressed,
- Slipping on an icy sidewalk,
- Tripping on an object in a crowded aisle,
- Tripping on a rug or carpet, and
- Slipping in a poorly lit area.
Injuries like these can cause a significant amount of damage and stress, including short- and long-term medical costs as well as emotional pain and suffering. Some victims may have permanent damage from a slip and fall accident.
Duty to Keep Premises Safe
Property owners have varying degrees of responsibility to keep their premises safe, depending on their relationship with other people on their property.
In New Jersey, there are three categories of people who visit a property: invitees, licensees, and trespassers.
Invitees are business visitors, including customers, employees, public servants, and tenants. They receive the highest level of premises liability protection. A business owner’s property is designed to attract and serve others in exchange for economic benefit. Therefore, the business owner has a duty to keep the property safe for others. A business owner’s duty to protect invitees includes these tasks:
- Keep the property in reasonably safe condition,
- Inspect the property for hazards, and
- Correct or warn visitors of hazards.
If you were injured at a business due to the owner’s negligence, you might be able to file a premises liability lawsuit. A lawsuit can compensate you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Landlords are legally required to maintain their premises safely. This includes routine inspection, promptly addressing hazards, and warning visitors about potential safety issues. If property owners fail to maintain the safety of their property, they can be liable for injuries sustained by visitors. For instance, it is their duty to properly address snow removal. If a tenant slipped on a snow-covered walkway, the landlord might be liable for the tenant’s injuries.
Nevertheless, there are some circumstances where a tenant has primary responsibility for maintaining premises. For example, when the owner of a commercial building leases to tenants and the tenants control and maintain the property, the responsibility for keeping premises safe falls on the tenant, not the landlord. For example, a commercial tenant may have responsibility to maintain the walkways for its customers.
Duties owed to invitees can be complicated, and many premises liability lawsuits focus on this area of law. Contact our slip and fall attorneys for an explanation of the New Jersey laws that apply to your case.
A licensee is a social guest who is not on the property for the economic benefit of the owner. Property owners owe social guests a duty to keep the property reasonably safe and warn guests of dangers. However, property owners don’t have to inspect their property for dangers before allowing people on their property.
Trespassers come onto property without the owner’s permission. A property owner must refrain from intentionally or recklessly harming a trespasser. Sometimes intentional harming of trespassers occurs when property owners set a trap to frighten trespassers away. This action would violate the very limited duty that property owners have to protect trespassers.
However, New Jersey law offers increased protection to child trespassers. If property owners know that children may trespass on the property and the owner knows of a hazard, the owner has a duty to protect children from that danger. For example, a property owner in a neighborhood with children should put a locked fence around a swimming pool.
To summarize, the precise duties owed to visitors depend
s on the circumstances. Sometimes, it is easier to warn a visitor of a problem rather than fix it. Each case is different, so meet with an attorney to review the circumstances of your accident.
What Should You Do After a Slip and Fall in New Jersey?
The steps you take immediately after the fall could make the difference between receiving maximum compensation or having to take a measly settlement.
If you slipped and fell due to improperly managed property conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for things like medical bills and missed wages. To help your case, do the following:
- Get a picture of the hazard that injured you, if possible. For example, if you slipped on pooled liquids, use a smartphone to get at least a couple of pictures before the liquid is cleaned up. Pictures can help establish that the hazard actually existed.
- Identify any witnesses to the accident. Get their names and contact information so your attorney can speak to them later.
- Get prompt medical treatment and follow your doctor’s orders. You want to improve as quickly as possible.
- Obtain insurance information from the owner where you slipped and fell. Businesses should have a business liability policy. A private homeowner should have homeowners or renter’s insurance.
- If at a business, insist that they create an incident report.
- Contact a New Jersey slip and fall attorney.
If you’re injured, you may not be able to focus on getting evidence to back your claim. In that case, it is essential that you contact a New Jersey slip and fall attorney soon after your accident. The longer you wait to take legal action, the more critical evidence tends to disappear.
Our New Jersey slip and fall lawyers will review available evidence and use an investigator to find additional information if needed. Each piece of evidence can strengthen your claim, and we want to present a strong case for your need for maximum compensation.
How Long Do You Have to File a Slip and Fall Claim in New Jersey?
The New Jersey statute of limitations allows you two years from the date of your slip and fall to file a lawsuit. If you try to file a claim after this period elapses, the court will likely throw out your case. Contact a slip and fall attorney quickly to avoid being impacted by the statute of limitations.
How Much Money Can You Get in a Slip and Fall Case?
In a slip and fall lawsuit, you request damages from the injuries suffered after your fall. These damages cover physical, financial, and emotional injuries. Slip and fall damages might include the following:
- Medical bills,
- Rehabilitation costs,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
When you meet with our slip and fall lawyers for a free consultation, we’ll help you calculate damages. All the evidence we gather helps support your claim and shows the insurance company or court what compensation you deserve.
We can’t promise you a certain amount of money for your slip and fall claim, but we can point you to our past case results. We have won New Jersey accident victims millions during our decades of advocating for those injured by others.
How Can Our New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyers Help You?
A slip and fall attorney can investigate your claim and advocate for your maximum compensation. An attorney can handle the insurance details while allowing you to invest 100% in your recovery. Never speak to an insurer without an attorney present, since the insurer might try to get you to say something that compromises your claim.
Speak with One of Our NJ Slip and Fall Attorneys
If you have suffered an injury on someone’s property, contact us to determine what compensation you might receive. O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble, LLC, is a leader in premises liability law in New Jersey.
Here are some things you should know about our law firm:
- We employee seven of New Jersey’s finest trial attorneys;
- We have been recognized by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers, as well as receiving other recognition;
- We believe in community service, offering a Free Sober Rides program and a law school scholarship;
- We focus on personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, and employment law; and
- We have won dozens of multi-million dollar settlements and trial verdicts.
Give us a call to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and share potential legal options.
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
This is a personal injury automobile case wherein our client was struck in his vehicle by another vehicle at an intersection.
The client was given Propyphal, a medication which put him into a coma-like state for several years.