Who Is Legally Liable for Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

By Greg Kohn

New Jersey continues to be slammed by freezing temperatures, snow and ice this winter season, resulting in dangerous conditions for both drivers and pedestrians. According to an article in the New York Times earlier this month, area emergency rooms have reported treating a significantly higher number of slip-and-fall accident patients in the past few weeks than earlier in the season, as New Jersey and the northeastern region continue to be hit with snow and ice.

Dangerous conditions on public or private property can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. This type of accident can result in serious injury and, at the very least, can cause the victim to miss work or school in order to recover, possibly forfeiting pay or missing important academic lessons. If unsafe conditions are to blame for your serious injury, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, whether you fell on public or private property. Medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages are some of the damages you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit of this kind.

New Jersey Premise Liability Law

An area of law known as premise liability typically governs New Jersey slip-and-fall accidents, as it is the responsibility of the property owners to remove unsafe conditions from their premises, i.e. shovel the snow and ice from the property (and salt the area if necessary), within a reasonable amount of time from when the conditions first occurred. For example, if a business, homeowner or municipal entity fails to sufficiently clear their property of snow and ice and someone injures themselves on said property, it is generally the property owner who is legally considered at fault.

According to New Jersey law (and some Federal regulations), property owners and/or occupants are legally liable for mitigating any type of hazardous condition on their premises, including un-cleared ice or snow on walkways. New Jersey businesses and homeowners alike must ensure their property is safe for all who may lawfully enter the premises.

If you have questions about your rights as they pertain to slip-and-fall accidents and resulting injury, contact the law offices of Nagel Rice, LLP. Our attorneys have represented clients throughout Essex County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas  in their personal injury cases for 30 years.  We’ll review the particular circumstances surrounding your injury, inform you of your rights, and discuss the options for appropriate legal action.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.