NJ Slip and Fall Lawyers

New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyers

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Have You Been Injured in a Slip, Trip and Fall? We fight for the Maximum NJ Injury Compensation for You and Your Loved Ones.

Slips, Trips and Falls

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Safety Council (NSC), and the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) Americans slip, trip and fall with alarming frequency. The statistics provide:

  • More than 8 million hospital emergency room visits are due to falls. This makes falls the leading cause of visits (21.3 percent).
  • Falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries and brain injuries.
  • Slip and fall injury lawsuits are second only to car accident lawsuits.

Locations Where Slip and Falls Occur

Locations Where Slip and Falls Occur

Where you fell plays a large part in whether you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Most slips, trips and falls occur at one of the following locations:

  • Retail stores, such as a clothing store or the grocery store
  • Parking lots
  • Sidewalks
  • Restaurants
  • Offices
  • Parks
  • Residential property, such as the home of a friend or work colleague

Slip and Fall Premises Liability

Commercial Property Owner Premises

Commercial Property Owner

Traditionally there are three types of relationships (invitee, licensee, and trespasser) between a landowner and a visitor. Generally, customers and potential customers of stores, known as invitees, and are owed a duty of reasonable care. This means that business owners must keep their property in a reasonably safe and hazard-free manner. A commercial property owner also has the duty to regularly inspect their property to ensure the premises are free of defects and safe for the public.

If a business owner fails in these duties, you have the right to recover for your injuries. Typically, this will require the injured individual to show one of the following:

  1. That the property owner knew, or should have known, of the hazardous condition;
  2. The property owner caused the hazardous condition; or
  3. That the property owner failed to remove, adequately repair, or warn patrons of the hazardous condition.
Commercial Sidewalk

Commercial Sidewalk

Unlike residential owners, which will be discussed below, commercial businesses in New Jersey have a duty to maintain the public sidewalk. Stewart v. 104 Wallace Street, Inc., 87 N.J. 146 (1981); Mirza v. Filmore Corp., 92 N.J. 390 (1983).

This means if you trip and fall on a sidewalk outside of a restaurant, or other business, due to the sidewalk being raised (tree roots commonly), cracked, or slippery, you have the right to sue the owner for compensation.

Likewise, if a business failed to shovel snow or remove ice from their walkways, an injured individual likely is entitled to compensation for a resultant fall.

Residential Premises

Residential Property Owner

The next type of visitor is known as a licensee. This is typically a social guest. Thus, if you were injured at a friend or family member’s house, you are likely to be considered a licensee. If you slipped, tripped and fell at a residential property, whether it was in the kitchen, living room, bathroom of a house or in the yard, you will need to prove the owner of the residence:

  1. Controlled the area where you fell;
  2. That it was foreseeable that someone would be injured by the defect;
  3. That it was not unreasonably burdensome or expensive to remove, repair or remedy the condition; and
  4. That the responsible individual knew of the condition and their failure to take steps to remove, repair or remedy the condition caused your injuries.

The key difference with a residential property owner and a commercial property owner is that a residential property owner is not required to inspect the premises or make it reasonably safe for the guest. Instead, a residential owner may simply warn the guest of the condition if the owner knows of it.

Residential Sidewalk

Residential Sidewalk

Generally, a homeowner is not responsible for any injuries that occur on the sidewalk outside of their home. However, New Jersey law does provide that a homeowner may be responsible for an injury that occurs on an abutting sidewalk if the homeowner caused or contributed to the defective condition of the sidewalk. Notwithstanding, this is often very hard to prove.

Likewise, if a homeowner fails to shovel snow or ice from their sidewalk, a homeowner generally will not be held liable for a subsequent slip and fall.

Nevertheless, if the homeowner created an artificial condition liability may attach. For instance if a homeowner ran a hose or gutter to the sidewalk and allowed slippery conditions to be created, liability could be found.

Government Property

Government Property

If you slip, trip or fall on government property, you should immediately contact a New Jersey slip and fall lawyer. There are special and complex laws that apply when suing the government, along with very strict deadlines.

Causes of Slips, Trips and Fall Accidents

Causes of Slips, Trips and Fall Accidents

Countless things may cause you to slip, trip or fall. However, there are a number of common causes including:

  • Ice or snow on sidewalks, staircases, or parking lots;
  • Cracks and uneven sidewalks;
  • Camouflaged elevation changes;
  • Water or other slippery substances present on slick floors;
  • Torn or loose carpeting;
  • Poor lighting;
  • Shrubs or landscaping decorations that are low and conspicuous.

Injuries Caused by Slips, Trips and Falls

Injuries Caused by Slips, Trips and Fall

Nonfatal Injuries Resulting From Slips, Trips and Falls

While the injuries that may be sustained in a slip and fall are endless, the most common injuries include the following:

  • Fractured/broken bones, most typically in the hands, wrists, arms, hips, knees, legs or feet;
  • Injuries to your neck or head;
  • Lacerations, abrasions, bruises and cuts;
  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Spinal cord injuries; and/or
  • Soft tissue injuries, which includes strains, sprains, or tears of your muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Fatal Injuries Resulting From Slips, Trips and Falls

While much less frequent, unfortunately, slip and falls can result in death. This is more typical in individuals over the age of 65 but can happen to anyone.

Comparative Negligence

Comparative Negligence

The New Jersey Comparative Negligence Act, codified at N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.1, et seq. provides that injured individuals may recover damages where the person is up to 50 percent at fault but not if you were more at fault than the other person.

Therefore, if you are injured in a slip, trip and fall, you will likely need to consider the following:

  • Were you trespassing at the time of your fall?
  • Did your own inattention contribute to the fall? Or in other words, were you paying attention to where you were walking, was your vision obstructed, were you running or walking backwards?
  • Would a reasonable person in your situation have noticed the defect and avoided the hazard?
  • Were there any warnings, barriers, or other notices of the defect that you ignored?
  • Did you in anyway contribute to your injuries?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, your damages may be significantly reduced or you may not even have a claim. Nevertheless, you should always speak with an experienced slip and fall lawyer who can help to evaluate your case.

Contact a Mercer County and Somerset County Slip and Fall Lawyer

Contact a Mercer County and Somerset County Accident Lawyer

At Farrell Thurman & Flammer, P.C. we are determined to achieve the maximum amount of compensation for our clients.

If you are a victim of a personal injury in Mercer County or Somerset County New Jersey, you are encouraged to call (609) 924-1115 for a FREE Case Evaluation with a personal injury lawyer.

Alternatively, if you prefer, you may send us an email (Contact Us) or Schedule a Consult where we call you at the time you prefer.

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