When you visit a person’s home or apartment, shop in a mall or a particular store, walk through a parking lot or use a building’s elevator or escalator, you don’t expect to slip and fall and be injured. Property owners have a legal obligation to take care that you do not confront unreasonable hazards that could cause slip and fall accidents. If a hazard exists, they are to provide adequate warning.
For instance, in winter, property owners are required to remove ice and snow from walkways so visitors do not slip and fall. Many cities and towns have local ordinances governing removal of snow and ice from sidewalks adjacent to private property in a timely manner. Private companies that solicit visitors such as stores and other businesses, and which cater to special populations such as nursing homes, have a heightened duty to those who might slip and fall on their premises.
Unfortunately, property owners and occupants often fail to make reasonable inspections of their premises, fix hazardous conditions or warn visitors about risks. As a result, slip and fall victims may be left with steep medical expenses, lost income, physical pain and emotional suffering.
The lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., have used their skills, experience and resources for more than 30 years to protect the rights of slip and fall accident victims in New Jersey. We help them to seek the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a slip and fall accident, contact us today for a free consultation.
Falling down in a slip and fall accident can result in serious harm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, including:
Elderly people are at an increased risk of falling and being severely injured. The CDC reports that falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among adults age 65 and older, and one out of three older adults falls each year. Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls. The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm and hand.
Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents typically occur because of a hazard that has not be cleaned up or repaired such as a spill or a pothole. In most cases, this is due to the negligence of the property owner.
Property owners in New Jersey have a duty to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. This includes the responsibility of promptly removing hazards such as ice and snow or adequately warning potential visitors that a hazard exists. The requirement to remove or mitigate a hazard is tempered by provisions of the law that give the property owner “a reasonable amount of time” to eliminate the hazard. In many cities and towns, local ordinances specify how long a property owner has after a snowfall or ice storm to clear their sidewalks, parking lots and other areas.
Other typical slip-and-fall hazards include:
After being injured in a slip and fall accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the costs of your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering and other damages. The burden is on you, the injury victim (or surviving family members), to prove that the property owner or person responsible for the premises should be held liable for injury.
In general, a slip-and-fall accident claim must show:
Business owners have a higher responsibility for ensuring their properties are hazard-free because they solicit visitors. Also, under New Jersey law, business owners have a specific legal obligation to remove snow and ice under the state’s “natural accumulation” rule.
A person considering a slip-and-fall accident claim should be aware of what is known as the “open and obvious” defense. In other words, if any reasonable person would have recognized the danger and stayed away, a property owner should not be held liable caused by the hazard.
Another important rule that apples to New Jersey slip and fall accident claims is the state’s statute of limitations. It requires personal injury lawsuits to be filed within two years of the injury. Because slip and fall accident cases are usually complex undertakings, it is good to have an attorney review your potential claim as soon as you are able to do so.
If you are a slip and fall accident victim, you may suffer injuries that can range in severity from a minor strain or sprain to a severe fracture, back, spinal cord, head or brain injury. In addition to dealing with high medical bills, you may be out of work for an extended period of time. The slip and fall accident could end up harming your family in addition to yourself.
The slip and fall lawyers of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., have decades of experience representing people hurt in slip and fall accidents in New Jersey. We will work aggressively to secure the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence, contact us today for a free initial consultation at 800- LAW-2000 or by using our online contact form.
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