How to Ensure You Receive FULL Compensation for Your Injuries
Slip, trip or fall accidents can result in serious and even life-threatening injuries. These injuries could cost you a lot of money due to medical expenses and time off from work. When you have been injured, you could be able to hold someone else liable for your injuries. Slip or trip and fall cases fall under an area of the law known as premises liability.
New Jersey state laws bind business and property owners to a duty of keeping their premises in safe condition for their guests and visitors. If a property owner is negligent about an unsafe condition on their property and someone is harmed, the owner can be held responsible for those injuries and other damages.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to find out what we can do for you.
WHAT IS PREMISES LIABILITY?
Premises liability is an area of personal injury law that holds property owners liable for injuries that occur on their land. While slip or trip and fall accidents are the most common premises liability accidents, these types of cases can also include dog bites, swimming pool accidents, construction accidents, and grocery store accidents. Those who sustain an injury while on the property of another may be entitled to compensation if they are able to establish that the property owner was negligent, or that the owner owed a “duty of care” to the injured individual, the owner breached that duty and caused harm to another as a result of that breach.
In New Jersey, the type of duty that a property owner owes to those on their premises will typically depend on the relationship the owner has with their guests and visitors, or whether those present on the property are considered invitees, licensees, or trespassers.
Under New Jersey law, the invitee is owed the highest duty of care. Invitees are usually individuals who are present on the property of another for business purposes. For instance, a customer at a grocery or retail store would be considered an invitee. The duty that a property owner owes an invitee is to ensure that the premises are free of harmful conditions and that it is safe for the public. The owner must also remediate any hazardous conditions on the property and warn visitors of any hidden defects.
Landowners owe licensees and intermediate duty of care. Licensees are those that are legally allowed or have permission to be on the property of another. For example, if you are having a dinner party, your guests would be considered licensees if you expressly invited the guests to your house. In these instances, a property owner does not have to inspect their property or make sure that the premises are reasonably safe, but the property owner can be liable if they knew or had reason to know that there was a hazardous condition on their property and was aware that the condition was dangerous.
Trespassers are usually owed a “minimal duty of care.” While trespassers do not have permission to be on the premises, a property owner still owes them a duty not to intentionally, recklessly, or wantonly injure the trespasser as long as the trespasser does not intend to commit a crime on the property. One exception to the trespasser’s duty of care is that there is actually is a duty of care owed to trespassing children. If it is rational to think that a child may be drawn to a dangerous environment such as an abandoned building or a swimming pool, a property owner must fence, repair, or otherwise barricade certain hazards that might attract children and put them at risk of danger.
Once the duty of care is established in a premises liability claim, the injured individual must show that the owner of the property has breached the duty of care and as a result of the breach they were actually harmed and sustained damages. If you’ve been injured in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident, be sure to contact an experienced New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer to determine whether you are entitled to reimbursement for your injuries and other damages.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
There are a variety of situations that may cause or contribute to a slip and fall accident, including:
- Ice or Snow. Weather-related falls happen all the time, especially in icy and snowy conditions. Individuals can slip on invisible black ice, or in poorly maintained parking lots and on sidewalks.
- Rain. Rain can also create slippery conditions on leaf-covered sidewalks and when tracked inside of buildings.
- Wet Floors. Many individuals slip and fall on floors that are wet either because they’ve been mopped or something spilled.
- Unexpectedly Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes the material that a floor is made of is just slippery, such as polished concrete or tiled surfaces, and when individuals aren’t expecting such a slick surface, they may be unprepared to brace themselves for a fall.
- Poorly Maintained Stairs. Stairs that are maintained poorly can be a safety hazard. If steps are broken or cracked, or even if the stairwell is not lit adequately, slips or trips and falls can occur.
- Uneven Carpets or Rugs. Uneven carpet or poorly maintained carpet can cause individuals to trip and fall. Oftentimes entryway carpets or rugs that get bunched up can be particularly hazardous.
- Uneven Sidewalks. Cracks or bumps in a sidewalk or uneven pavement can result in serious slip and fall accidents.
- Cluttered Floors. Clutter like boxes or papers can create a dangerous condition and a risk of slipping or tripping and falling.
Common Places Where a Slip and Fall Accidents May Occur
- Retail Stores. Oftentimes clutter or spilled liquid or merchandise can cause a slip and fall.
- Grocery Stores. Grocery store slip and falls also usually happen due to spilled merchandise or leaking or spilled liquid.
- Schools. No matter whether the school is a high school, elementary, or college, if the premises are maintained poorly, they can be the sites of slip or trip and fall accidents.
- Gas Stations and/or Convenience Stores. Many individuals are injured in the slippery parking lots or entryways of convenience stores and gas stations.
- Restaurants. Spilled food or drinks, and wet and slippery bathroom floors are usually the cause of slip and falls in restaurants.
- Parking Lots. If parking lots are poorly maintained or are not kept free of ice and snow buildup, an individual can be seriously injured in a slip or trip and fall.
- Casinos, Hotels, and Other Entertainment Venues. Slip and fall accidents occur all the time at casinos, movie theaters, resorts, concerts, and hotels. The owners of these properties also have a duty to keep the premises safe from harmful conditions.
- Private Residences and Apartment Complexes. If you slip and fall and are injured at someone’s private residence or at an apartment complex, you can usually pursue a claim against the property owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy.
Common Injuries Sustains During a Slip and Fall Accident
Because a slip or trip and fall accident can happen in a number of different ways, it is not surprising that individuals sustain a variety of injuries in these accidents, including:
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord damage and paralysis
- Tailbone injuries
- Neck injuries
- Knee injuries
- Broken bones
- Elbow injuries
- Bruises, scrapes, and lacerations
- Dental injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Emotional pain and suffering
Premises liability can be a complicated area of the law so if you’ve sustained injuries in a slip or trip and fall accident, it is important that you have an experienced New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer by your side to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Call Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Slip and Fall Accidents in New Jersey
Q: What is a slip and fall accident?
A: A slip and fall accident in terms of premises liability is an accident that happens on the property of another. In these types of accidents, an individual trips/slips on an object, falls and then is injured. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your slip or trip and fall case, you may be entitled to damages.
Q: If I’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, who can I sue for damages?
A: Determining who is at fault in a slip and fall case can be complicated. Property owners are obligated to prevent slip and fall accidents from occurring by keeping their premises free of hazardous conditions. So, when a slip and fall accident does happen, the individual or entity who owns or is responsible for maintaining the premises can be held liable for any injuries or other damages that one might sustain in the accident.
Q: In order to obtain compensation in a slip and fall case, what do I need to prove?
A: Slip and fall cases typically revolve around proving that someone was negligent. If an individual or entity who owns or maintains property fails to exercise reasonable care to keep their premises free of safety hazards and someone is injured, they can be held at fault for any damages. In order for you to prove negligence in your slip and fall injury case, you need to establish that the negligent property owner owed you a duty of care, that the owner breached the duty of care, and that the breach caused you harm. Once negligence is established, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The type of evidence you need to prove your case will depend on the facts and circumstances, the type and extent of your injuries, and your relationship with the property owner.
Q: What is the duty of care in a slip and fall case?
A: Not all slip and fall accidents are the fault of someone else, but spills, acts of nature, and the negligent actions of another individual can all cause hazardous conditions to occur. Whether a property owner owes an injured individual a duty of care to keep their premises safe and free of hazards will depend on the relationship between the parties and if you are a licensee, invitee, or trespasser.
Q: How much time do I have to file a slip and fall case in New Jersey?
A: States have what are called statutes of limitations which are laws that establish deadlines by which you can file a particular type of lawsuit. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for slip and fall cases and any other premises liability cases is generally two years, meaning you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline and file your case after the two-year deadline, you likely will lose your right to compensation. While two years might seem like plenty of time, it is important to recognize that slip and fall, and premises liability cases can be complex, especially if more than one individual or entity might be at fault. So, if you’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident, be sure to contact a knowledgeable New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer to protect your right to compensation.
Q: What should I do if I’ve been injured in a slip and fall accident?
A: If you’ve sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment right away. While some injuries are apparent others may be less so. You never know if the bump on your head is actually a concussion, or if the pain in your arm is due to a broken bone, or if a bruise on your stomach indicates that you are suffering from internal bleeding. Make sure you go to all of your medical doctor’s appointments and that you follow the treatment regimen that your doctor has prescribed for you. It is also important to retain any and all medical records and bills in the event you end up filing a claim for compensation. It is also a good idea to consult with an experienced New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer who can help investigate your case, file any necessary paperwork, and assist you with meeting deadlines. Call the lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
Q: I slipped and fell on my friend’s steps and was injured. They live in an apartment complex. Who will pay my medical bills and other expenses?
A: Who will be responsible for your injuries will depend on the particular facts and circumstances of your case, but this very question is a good example of how complicated slip and fall accident cases can be when it comes to determining fault. In this instance, perhaps your friend created the unsafe condition, or the apartment complex owner or maintenance company is responsible for maintaining the steps in a safe condition. Your friend’s landlord might also be at fault depending on the terms of the lease agreement. Other than these individuals, perhaps a third party was responsible for removing any ice and snow from the steps and failed to do so. Because determining fault is so complex and a number of different individuals might be at fault for your injuries, it really is a good idea to consult with an experienced New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer so they can help you figure out who is responsible for your injuries and other damages.
Q: What types of damages might I be able to recover in a slip and fall accident case?
A: In New Jersey, when an individual is injured due to the negligent actions of another, they may be entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault parties. The compensation can either be economic, which can include lost wages and medical expenses, or it can be non-economic where you can receive compensation for things like pain and suffering and loss enjoyment of life
Q: Will a lawyer be able to tell me how much my slip and fall case is worth?
A: The worth of your slip and fall accident case will depend on the facts and circumstances of the accident such as where it occurred, what your relationship was with the owner of the property, the extent and nature of your injuries and medical treatment, whether you’ve had to miss work because of your injuries, and whether you have any prior medical conditions.
Q: What if my loved one died in a slip and fall accident? Can I file a claim for compensation on their behalf?
A: If you’ve lost a loved one due to a serious slip and fall or other premises liability accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. Whether you have a right to bring a wrongful death claim will depend on your relationship with the decedent such as whether you are the decedent’s spouse, child, parent, or sibling. The damages that you may be able to recover in a wrongful death lawsuit can include compensation for the loss of your loved one’s expected earnings, medical and funeral expenses, loss of benefits, loss of services and support, lost prospect of inheritance, and even loss of companionship and love as well as for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
Q: If I have been injured during a slip and fall accident in New Jersey, how much does it cost to hire a lawyer to represent me?
A: Our personal injury lawyers accept a case on a contingency fee basis meaning that you do not owe any money to your lawyer up front, and you will not be required to pay for expenses throughout the case. However, if you obtain compensation either by a settlement offer or a successful verdict at trial, your lawyer will be entitled to a percentage of the total recovery. If you do not recover any damages, you will not be required to reimburse or pay your lawyer. In other words, your lawyer doesn’t get paid unless and until you get paid.
Why Choose Parker Waichman LLP For Your New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident?
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have decades of experience representing clients who have been injured in slip and fall or other premises liability accidents. Over the years we have earned a reputation for obtaining successful results in our clients’ personal injury cases and have recovered more than one billion dollars in settlements and verdicts. We’ve also received a number of honors and accolades over the years, including:
- A listing in Extensive Peer Review’s Best Lawyers Publication
- Recognition as “Preeminent Lawyers” by the AV Peer Review Rating
- Lawdragon’s highest ranking of “5 Dragons” based on peer review
- An AVVO rating of 9.8 out of a perfect 10
When you choose Parker Waichman LLP to handle your slip and fall accident case, you can expect effective representation from lawyers who care about your legal rights and who will strive to obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
Speak to a New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer Today
At Parker Waichman LLP, our lawyers have extensive experience handling slip and fall accident and other premises liability cases. The injuries that an individual might sustain in a slip and fall accident can range from minor to serious, can require extensive and expensive medical treatment, and in some instances, the injuries can even be fatal.
At Parker Waichman LLP, our attorneys make every effort to ensure our clients receive the compensation they deserve to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to file a premises liability lawsuit for damages.
Contact one of the experienced New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out our contact form online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.
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