When you visit property owned by someone else, the owner of that property has a duty of care toward you and all other visitors to ensure that their premises are maintained in a reasonably safe condition, and to warn visitors of any hazards and dangerous conditions on its property. The details of this duty of care vary depending on whether the premises are a commercial property or a private residence, and the type of visitor in question (for instance, a property owner has far less responsibility toward a trespasser than toward an invited guest or a customer). In general, however, if the owner of a property has neglected their duty of care toward visitors and someone is injured as a result of a dangerous condition on their property, the injured party may have the right to seek compensation.
Premises liability claims involving stores and businesses are usually more common, both due to the increased duty of care that a commercial property owner has toward customers entering their premises for the commercial benefit of the property owner, and because of the higher volume of people coming and going on the property. Business owners are liable to people on their property even when people do not buy anything or if they are just walking on their sidewalks or parking lots outside of their property.
Slip and fall or trip and fall are the most common injury claims at commercial properties and businesses. Of course, not every accident when someone slips or trips is caused by the negligence by the property owner. However, there are many hazards and dangerous conditions that that can cause someone to fall and be injured. This is especially true when the property fails to fix the hazard or warn the public about the dangerous condition. The most common examples include:
- snow and ice accumulation
- damaged or uneven walkways
- liquid spills or dropped merchandise
- torn or bunched carpets or mats
- lack of sturdy handrails or unsafe stairs
- inadequate lighting in public areas
An unexpected fall onto a hard surface, particularly if the victim’s hands are full and they cannot brace against the impact, can result in severe injuries. Even a small fall can cause serious injuries. Imagine if you tried to sit down and someone pulled the chair out and you landed on the ground. Your fall of only a few feet can cause you to suffer serious injuries when you unexpectedly crash to the ground. Slip and falls or trip and falls can cause you to fall the same amount of distance – and often the falls are much faller and the landing is even harder. If your legs fall out from under you from slipping, you can fly up in the air and crash down on your legs, back, neck or even head. Tripping hazards can cause you to fall down hard, or even great distances, such as a flight of stairs.
Damage to the back and neck, as well as head trauma, are common in such cases, and injuries of these types have the potential to seriously impact the accident victim’s ability to work and participate in normal activities, both in the short term and on a more lasting basis. When an accident victim seeks compensation for their injuries, these losses are calculated as part of their damages – both the wages they lost from missing work due to their injuries, and any future earning potential that was altered by the long-term effects of their injuries. The physical and emotional toll that a serious injury takes on a person is also recognized by the legal system as a form of harm deserving of compensation in these cases, making it possible to seek damages for pain and suffering as well as compensation for the medical costs associated with the treatment of the injuries sustained in the accident. Payment for medical treatment also includes expected future medical costs in cases where the lasting effects of an injury will require continued care.
While injuries resulting from slipping or tripping and falling are the most common cause of premises liability cases, many other dangerous circumstances caused by a property owner’s negligence may also give rise to injury claims. This can include a lack of proper physical maintenance of the building and grounds, resulting in fires, electric shock from exposed wiring, lead paint poisoning, or other injuries due to structural failures. Negligence may also encompass a lack of adequate security or supervision, resulting in assault, drowning in swimming pools, dog bite injuries, or being struck by a vehicle in a parking lot due to missing or improper signage. A business may also be deemed negligent for serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated or underage patrons if an accident occurs as a result. If you are in an accident caused by a drunk driver who was served alcohol while visibly intoxicated – you may be entitled to compensation against the driver that hit you as well as the bar, restaurant or business that over-served the driver.
If you have suffered an injury on someone else’s commercial or private property due to a dangerous condition that the property owner did not take steps to correct or warn against within a reasonable span of time, it’s important to act promptly to safeguard your right to seek compensation. The statute of compensation for personal injury claims in the state of New Jersey is two years starting from the date of the injury. If a lawsuit has not been filed within this time, the courts bar your claim and you will not be able to be compensated. However, you should not wait 2 years to contact an attorney. By getting the process started as soon as possible, your attorney to begin building your case and gathering evidence and witness statements while everything is still fresh. Finding an experienced and reliable attorney that you trust means that you can keep your focus on healing from your accident, knowing that your rights are being protected right from the beginning.
Contact MyNJInjuryLawyer Howard P. Lesnik, Esq.
If you were injured in a slip and fall or trip and fall accident at a store, mall or other business – whether it was a dangerous condition, snow, ice or other hazard, please contact My New Jersey Injury Attorney Howard P. Lesnik, Esq. immediately. Your phone call is confidential, complimentary and no obligation. I will answer any questions and provide information so you can make a decision about your potential claim against a store, mall or business for your slip and fall injury claim. Please remember that there is no legal fee unless I recover money compensation for your injury claim.
My NJ Injury Lawyer Howard P. Lesnik, Esq. offers free strategy sessions to address any issue or questions you may have about your accident claim in NJ.
Please contact NJ Injury Lawyer Howard Lesnik, Esq., immediately if you were involved in a slip and fall accident at a store, business, mall or other location. I personally handle NJ personal injury cases on a regular basis. Please contact me now by email, by phoning 908.264.7701, or by completing the form to the right to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.