New Jersey Premises Liability and Slip & Fall Injury Attorney

Senior woman slips and falls on stairs. A form of premises liability.Most slip and fall accidents are not especially serious. We may scrape a knee, bruise an elbow, or tear a piece of clothing, but most of the time we are able to “pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off,” not much worse for the wear. Common and incidental as many slip and falls are, some are not only serious, requiring surgical intervention and/or prolonged recovery, but may be life-threatening. A certain percentage of falls, particularly of older adults, can result in permanent disability. If you have suffered a serious slip and fault in New Jersey, you should contact Nagel Rice LLP in Rosedale or New York City. We have an outstanding record of winning substantial damages for our clients.

What does premises liability mean?

Premises liability laws require all property owners (and in some situations, renters) to maintain their property and keep it safe for visitors, mail carriers, repair people, customers, clients, salespeople, and even, under certain circumstances, trespassers {especially children).
While some slip and fall accidents are attributable to a thoughtless or awkward action or sudden medical event or on the part of the individual harmed, all too often they are caused by the negligence of another party. If you have slipped and fallen due to the negligence of someone else, the law provides for you to be compensated for your medical expenses and other costs resulting from your injuries. Also, remember that we work on a contingency basis, meaning that you pay us no fee until we win your case.

Reasons for Slip and Fall Accidents

Though you may slip on the soap and fall while showering, trip over your own hall rug or one of your children’s toys, legal counsel is necessary if you suffer a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property as a result of another’s negligence. in most cases, some external factor contributes to a slip and fall, such as:

  • Wet, icy, or otherwise slippery surfaces
  • Crumbling stairs or wobbly bannister
  • Exposed electrical wiring
  • Falling debris from defective shelving or a building facade
  • Frayed or uneven carpeting
  • Unmarked obstacles on walkways
  • Poorly lit vestibules or hallways
  • Uneven flooring or broken tiles
  • Unsecured rugs

At your personal injury attorneys at Nagel Rice, we are well-prepared to investigate the circumstances of slip and fall accidents, and have the resources to document evidence, interview witnesses, and obtain medical records. We are also connected with medical professionals, electricians, engineers, and other experts should their testimony become necessary for your case.

Where Slip and Fall Accidents Occur

As many of us are painfully aware, slip and fall accidents can and do occur in a great variety of locations, both indoors and outdoors. People regularly slip and fall:

  • At neighbors’ homes or on their grounds
  • On sidewalks and playgrounds
  • In grocery or department stores
  • At theatres, hotels, parking lots, and in hotel lobbies

Because of the statute of limitations of premises liability cases, it is important that you contact us promptly. During our initial free consultation, we will determine whether you have a viable personal injury case and against whom our claim should be filed. Once you engage our services, while you concentrate on physically and emotionally recovering from your ordeal, we will be diligently investigating, assessing, and documenting the circumstances of your accident, focused on the other party’s premises liability.

Proving Premises Liability in a Timely Manner

Even though most property owners try to keep their premises safe, too many let inattention, thoughtlessness, or monetary concerns get in the way of their good intentions. The sooner you seek our legal counsel, the sooner we can investigate the circumstances of your particular case, documenting the problem that caused your fall before the property owners can remove or repair evidence of their neglect. If we find that the targeted property owners have not cleared away ice and snow from walkways, left flagstones or cement in disrepair, have not removed dangerous obstacles or repaired broken stoops or frayed carpeting, allowed spills to remain slippery, there may be grounds for a civil lawsuit against them. They may also be culpable if they have been in the process of making necessary repairs but have not put up warning signs in places where hazards exist.

Slip and Fall Statute of Limitations in New Jersey

A statute of limitations limits the time you have to file a civil lawsuit. With very few exceptions, If, by the time you attempt to file your slip and fall lawsuit the deadline has passed, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a slip and fall personal injury lawsuit is 2 years. Because the wheels of justice turn very slowly, it is best to file your claim early so that your attorney has plenty of time to investigate and develop your case. This is true whether or not we actually take your case to trial. The threat of a lawsuit is an excellent bargaining tool in negotiations, and such processes take more time than you might expect.

Common Slip and Fall Injuries

In most cases, the party whose negligence resulted in your injuries had no intent to cause you harm. Nonetheless, he or she failed to keep you safe when you were on his or her property and must be held responsible for your expenses and your suffering. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common injuries that occur as a result of slip and falls are:

Damages You May Receive After a Slip and Fall

In the state of New Jersey, if premises liability of the other party is proven, you are entitled to:

Compensatory damages to cover:

  • Medical and rehabilitative costs
  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future earning capability
  • Care for long-term disability
  • Loss of household services
  • Mental anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium (companionship, emotional support, spousal relationship)

Punitive Damages

If the negligence that caused your injuries was particularly egregious (for example if a hazard existed for a period of time, was brought to the attention of the property owner, but never repaired), our highly qualified attorneys will all fight to win you punitive as well as compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and to discourage similarly flagrant misconduct in others.

Comparative Negligence in New Jersey Slip and Fall Cases

Because of the way personal damages are awarded differs from state to state, it is important that you have a New Jersey attorney to protect your interests, one who knows New Jersey State law inside and out. New Jersey, like many other states, considers the possibility that you were at least partially responsible for your slip and fall accident. For this reason, the law assigns comparative negligence in terms of percentages of responsibility for the mishap.

The way comparative negligence works is that, if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident, say 20 percent, the damages you are awarded will be decreased by one-fifth. It is important to note that, in New Jersey, if the court finds that you bear more than half of the responsibility (51 percent or more) for the accident, you will not be entitled to any damages at all. This is known as “modified” comparative negligence. For this reason, we, as your personal injury attorneys, must be prepared to argue against claims that your inattention, inappropriate footwear, inebriation, or balance or mobility issues played a major role in your accident.

Proving Premises Liability

In order to win your case, we must prove that the property owner in question failed to maintain the property within the normal boundaries of safety and/or failed to warn of any existing hazards. We must also prove that the other party was aware, or should have been aware, of the danger presented and taken steps to warn those coming onto his or her property. There are even cases in which trespassers, children retrieving a misdirected ball, for example, may be protected from negligence of the property owner since the law assumes that such actions are to be anticipated in a residential area. The two major things we have to prove to win your case are [1] that you suffered a significant injury and [2] that the injury resulted from the property owner’s negligence.

Contact A New Jersey Slip and Fall Attorney

Our accomplished personal injury attorneys have not only proven themselves to be savvy negotiators and tough litigators; they have a well-earned reputation for compassion. Once you come to us after your slip and fall accident (or we come to you), you can be sure that you have one of the finest teams of personal injury attorneys working hard to obtain the settlement or verdict you deserve. At this vulnerable time in your life, you can depend on us to try your case and produce positive results. While you are busy healing, we will be working diligently to win you every bit of compensation you and your family deserve. Give us a call or fill out a contact form on our website.