Slip and Fall Injuries on Ice or Snow in New Jersey
A fresh blanket of newly fallen snow may be look peaceful and serene. But the harsh reality is that winter conditions bring freezing temperatures, brutal winds, icy and snowy, roads and sidewalks, all which make it treacherous to venture outside. These dangerous conditions frequently result in slipping and falling on ice, black ice or snow. If you or your family member is a victim of a slip and fall injury, you should contact a NJ Injury Lawyer to consult with you about your case. An experienced NJ Injury Lawyer can help you determine who may be liable for your slip and fall on ice and snow, and whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Who is Responsible When You Fall on Snow or Ice?
Often when people slip on ice they fall down and get right back up or land in fresh, soft snow. However, not everyone is so lucky. Many people suffer serious, traumatic injuries when they slip on ice and snow. If you are injured, it is important to determine where exactly you fell in order to figure out who is responsible party for the ownership, control and maintenance of that location.
- Commercial Property
Commercial business owners are required to make their property safe for all members of the public. They have an obligation to clear ice and snow for people that they invite onto their property for their business activities. This includes making the sidewalks and parking lots on their property safe from snow and ice.
- Residential Property
Homeowners and private residences are not required to clear their property and driveway of snow and ice after a major snow storm or from icy conditions. Therefore, owners of residential property will not be liable if you fall on their property, unless they made the condition worse or more dangerous, causing your fall.
- Public Property
If you fall on ice or snow on public property, such as a sidewalk on a city-owned park, or other property owned by the State, County, Municipality, or other public entity, you will face several obstacles in order to make a claim for your injuries. First, you need to provide the public entity notice of your potential claim within 90 days of your fall, or you may be barred from making a claim. Second, your injury must pass a high threshold called a “significant permanent injury.” Finally, even if you satisfy the first 2 – public entities are protected by the “Weather Immunity.” This means they cannot be sued for weather such as ice and snow, unless you can establish that they knew about the condition and still failed to clear the ice and snow.
- Charitable Property
If you fall on ice or snow located on property owned by a non-profit charitable organization, you may also face obstacles when making a claim. Non-profit churches, charities or educational entities are protected by the “Charitable Immunity.” This means the charity may not be sued unless their failure to prevent of a dangerous condition, such as ice or snow, unless their conduct was considered “gross negligence.”
- Independent Contractors
Many times, commercial property owners hire contractors to clear ice and snow from their sidewalks and parking lots. These contractors may also be liable if you slip and fall on property they are hired to clear. ALSO: independent contractors hired to clear ice and snow in public property or charitable organization property are not immune from suit, and can be liable if they failed to clear the property where your fell.
Contact a Skilled Trial Attorney
If you or a loved one falls on ice or snow in New Jersey, you should contact a seasoned litigator familiar handling these claims. An experienced NJ Injury Lawyer can help determine who is responsible for the property where you fell. Please contact NJ Injury Lawyer Howard Lesnik, Esq., immediately if you were injured due to ice or snow. A skilled NJ personal injury lawyer may be able to help your case overcome the pitfalls with public property and charities and may be able to enlist the services of a specialized witness who is qualified as an expert in premises liability. 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.