New Jersey’s winter season is vastly affected by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Snow typically occurs between October 15 and April 30. The temperature fluctuates greatly during the winter season. The record high in NJ during winter was in February 2018 when the mercury reached 79 degrees. Temperatures frequently dip below freezing during winter. Real feel temperatures reach below zero degrees with wind chills. Storms in one part of the State can cause blizzard conditions, while the same storm can cause flooding elsewhere. Freezing rain, sleet, ice and snow all make an appearance in New Jersey during winter. These weather conditions can make it hazardous getting around outside, no matter where you’re going.
Temperatures fluctuate depending on arctic air from the north or warm air from the south. Temperatures also drop significantly at night after the sun goes down. This causes snow and ice that accumulated to melt and thaw out during the day and warm temperatures. However, when the melted ice and snow can quickly freeze back over. This can cause extremely hazardous conditions where people walk. Sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, and roads can become dangerous. This often leads to slip and falls on ice and black ice and can cause serous injuries. Business owners are responsible to maintain their premises in safe conditions and take steps to clear ice and snow from their property.
In New Jersey, it is clear that businesses must ensure the safety of its property and the sidewalks in front of its property. Since sidewalks are open to the public, all people must be allowed safe passage on public sidewalks. This includes all pedestrians using the sidewalk – even those who are not going to the store or business where the sidewalk is located. Just as important, a business or store must take steps to make sure the sidewalk is safe, salted, cleared, and maintained – even after the store closes for the day. This means that if you fall on a business’s sidewalk at midnight due to hazardous snow or ice that was not cleared, salted or maintained, you are entitled to compensation if you suffer an injury.
While a business is responsible if its negligence created a hazardous condition that caused you to slip and fall, you should still consult with an experienced NJ Injury Lawyer. Your attorney must show that the business knew or should have known about the snow and ice present on its sidewalk or property and failed to fix the dangerous condition within a reasonable amount of time.
Business owners are in the best position to inspect their sidewalks and fix any hazards. Sidewalks provide easy access to stores for customers and increase the value of the business property. Snow and ice removal is part of a business owner’s general maintenance duty for its property. Snow and ice pose a much more common hazard than dilapidated sidewalks. Snow and ice removal is less expensive and more easily fixed than extensive sidewalk repair. Therefore, NJ Courts require businesses to eliminate dangers that can be easily removed.
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.
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 email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your complimentary 30-minute strategy session.