Slip, Trip, & Fall Attorneys in Westfield, New Jersey
If you suffer a slip, trip, or fall while on another’s property, there are important steps you should take shortly after the injury in order to protect your rights. One of the most immediate actions you can be making includes looking around to see what caused the fall. The following is a short list of what typically causes a person to slip, trip, or fall:
- Iced sidewalks
- Wet floors
- Inadequate lighting
- Unfitting floor coverings
- Trailing cables
- Uneven floor surfaces
Understanding what the cause of your injuries was can help you when filing a personal injury claim.
At Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC, we understand that the aftermath of a slip, trip, or fall accident can be stressful. In many situations, the victim is unable to return to work for some time after the accident. Because of this, it is important to understand that there are laws that can protect you and as an injured person, you have the legal right to file a personal injury claim and recover the restitution you are owed. Call us at (908) 543-7037 before you ever speak to the property owner or their insurance company.
State of New Jersey Premises Liability Requirements
Did you know that property owners and business owners have a legal obligation to take steps to ensure that their patrons are not hurt on the property? Often times property owners try to cut costs and try to put their profits before the safety of their customers. They often fail to mitigate and reduce hazards associated with the maintenance of their properties. Nonetheless, property owners, property caretakers, and managers have a duty to keep the premises free from known dangers that could result in a serious injury. Some common issues we have seen from property owners are:
- The failure to remove snow and ice from sidewalks and parking lots
- The failure to fix potholes in parking lots and cracks in sidewalks
- The failure to keep stores clean of liquid and garbage on the floors
- The failure to provide sufficient lighting in outside areas
- The failure to repair broken stairwells
- The failure to keep walkways free from potential hazards
Landlords and business owners can be held liable for any injuries you may have sustained on their property. In order to establish liability following a slip, trip or fall accident, there are certain requirements that will need to be demonstrated. Accidents can happen at any given time. Even if an accident occurred in the property, the owner or caretaker might not be held responsible if certain conditions are not met.
Identifying the Elements Needed to Prove Negligence in New Jersey After a Slip and Fall
The first and most important factor that will determine a property owner’s liability is the question “was whether the property caretaker was negligent in his or her duties of ensuring a safe premise”. In the State of New Jersey, negligence will occur when a person has a duty to ensure the safety of another, has breached said duty, which directly caused the injury to another.
In New Jersey, however, although property owners and managers need to make reasonable efforts in ensuring the safety of those inside the property, property visitors also share a degree of responsibility. According to New Jersey’s Comparative Fault laws, a person can continue to recover damages if found under 50% at fault for causing his or her injury. When the injured individual is found to be over 51% or more at fault for the accident, he or she will be prohibited from collecting monetary compensation.
Damages Available in a Slip, Trip or Fall Lawsuit in New Jersey
When you have suffered a serious injury because of the negligence of a property owner, you have the legal right to pursue a premises liability claim. When filing a lawsuit, there are a few different types of financial damages that could be available if the claim is successful. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
- Past medical costs and future related expenditures
- Physical therapy
- Inability to earn a living
- Loss of benefits
- Diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall Claims
The State of New Jersey allows injured parties two (2) years from the time of the injury to file a personal injury claim. Once the statute of limitations has concluded, a court can decline to hear the case and the injured party would have lost his or her ability to pursue legal action against the negligent party.
Adhering to New Jersey’s statute of limitations is crucial to a successful premises liability claim but it is also important to start the claim’s process early for other reasons. For example, in many personal injury matters, the hazardous condition can be quickly fixed in order to prevent the injury of another person. Although this is important, it can be hurtful to your case as it can make it difficult for you to collect evidence. Consider seeking the professional advice of an experienced attorney who can help you gather evidence and develop a strong strategy for your case.
After a Slip, Trip or Fall, Legal Experience Matters – Our Attorneys Can Help
When a person suffers a slip, trip, or fall, the incident can lead to a series of catastrophic consequences for the injured party. When the injured party is the sole provider for his or her household, the magnitude of the injury can be even more solemn.
At Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC, we understand the degree of concern a slip, trip, or fall accident can have on a victim. At the firm, we have many years of cumulative experience in helping slip, trip, or fall victims recover the financial compensation they are owed. If you have been injured due to a trip and fall or slip and fall accident on someone’s property give us a call to discuss your rights. When it comes to premises liability cases, time is of the essence – call us now for a free evaluation to see what duties the property owners and business owners have breached in your case and help you build a strong path toward recovery.