New Jersey Premises Liability Lawyers
Premises Injury Claims in NJ
It is taken for granted that owners of businesses, private homes, and other properties will do their best to prevent and remove conditions which might cause harm to someone. Unfortunately, sometimes property owners and occupants are thoughtless or reckless in creating or failing to remedy these hazardous conditions. New Jersey law (and some federal regulations) makes property owners and occupants legally responsible for remedying any type of hazardous condition on their premises, including:
- Uncleared ice or snow on walkways.
- Dogs not confined by a fence or leash.
- Toxic fumes or substances, including lead exposure.
- Signs or plant life that dangerously obscure drivers’ views.
- Discarded refrigerators, cars, and other objects that could be “attractive nuisances” to children.
- Vermin, unsafe structural conditions & criminal activity.
- Violations of building codes.
This responsibility extends to everyone who visits or passes the property for a legitimate purpose, including customers, social guests, employees, and passersby. Property owners and operators are legally responsible for removing unsafe conditions within a reasonable amount of time after they learned of them or should have known of their existence. Visitors must also be properly warned of the dangers.
Property hazards can cause a variety of accidents, including car crashes, serious falls, dog attacks, toxic exposure, and violent crimes. They can cause wrongful deaths, as well as head and spinal injuries, broken bones, permanent scarring, and other grave injuries.
If you were hurt because a property’s owner or operator failed to fulfill these duties, you have the right to hold them responsible for any serious injuries that resulted by pursuing a New Jersey hazardous conditions lawsuit. A New Jersey hazardous conditions lawsuit can help compensate you for these injuries and the pain and suffering they cause, as well as for your medical bills and other costs caused by the accident.
When a condition exists that creates a hazard, the property’s owner or occupier is supposed to take care of it. If you are injured because of a condition that a property owner was aware of and did not fix, consider an action for premises liability against the owner or tenant of the property.
A: Simply put, premises liability puts the responsibility for maintaining property in a safe condition on the owner or occupier of that property. That means that defects or hazards like uneven sidewalks, poor lighting, inadequate security, slippery floors, unsecured flooring, wet or slick conditions, and even falling materials can be the basis for a claim if injuries occur because of them.
A: In order to recover damages for injuries sustained as a result of a dangerous or defective condition on a piece of property, the claimant needs to be able to show what his or her right was to be on that property. In other words, he or she needs to show that they were one of the following:
- A Guest: A person specifically invited onto the property by the owner or occupier for a social or other personal reason. This means that they are there with permission — and that plays an important role in their right to recover.
- A Licensee: A person with an independent right to enter the property and who does not require specific permission to be there. For example, if you have a water delivery company, the water deliverer may be considered a licensee. He or she is there to provide you with a service requested, but he or she may not be a social acquaintance.
- An Invitee: A person welcome onto someone else’s property, often for a commercial purpose. A customer visiting a retail store is an invitee. He or she lacks the social element of being a “guest” but holds a beneficial relationship in entering the property and to the person managing it.
- A Trespasser: A person with no invitation onto the property. Trespassers have no independent right or relationship entitling them to enter the property, and they visit without the consent of the owner or occupier.
What difference does it make? The responsibilities a property owner owes to someone who breaks into their property are, for the most part, quite different than for those who he or she invites.
A: In order to be eligible to recover damages, a claimant must show that the property owner or occupier owed a duty of care to him or her, that they breached that duty of care in some way, and that because of that breach, the claimant was injured.
A: Not every accident is the fault of another. As described above, acts of nature, spills, and other people’s actions can cause dangerous conditions to occur. What makes the legal question of liability challenging is that, in order to be responsible, an owner or occupier of property has to have caused the condition to occur, known about the dangerous condition, had an opportunity to fix or repair it, and failed to do so despite the fact that they should have.
A: Depending on the type of case, the injuries sustained, and the nature of the relationship of the injured claimant to the property, premises liability claims can be difficult to prove. Trying to show that someone knew or should have known of a condition may require evidence of how long the condition existed, what records were kept, photographs of the area, and even expert testimony.
Premises liability cases in New Jersey can be extremely complex and are limited in time by law.
Contact the NJ Premises Liability Attorneys at Blume Forte Today
Founded in 1929, the law firm of Blume Forte has nearly eight decades of experience helping injured New Jersey residents secure compensation for serious injuries. We’re proud to be able to say that we’ve obtained more than $320 million for our clients in just the last five years alone. With experience in the complex medical and legal issues raised by lawsuits surrounding a serious injury, most of our attorneys have special professional Certifications by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Civil Trial Attorneys. We have four offices conveniently located in Red Bank, North Bergen, Jersey City, and Chatham.
If you were seriously injured in a slip and fall in New Jersey because of a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, contact an experienced lawyer at Blume Forte at (973) 635-5400 today for a free consultation.