A New Jersey resident who slips, trips or falls on another’s property may be able to recover damages via a premises liability claim. Several requirements must be met, though. First, victims must be lawful entrants. Second, it must be clear that the property owner failed in their duty of care to entrants either by neglecting to repair a safety hazard or failing to foresee a hazard. Hazards range from wet floors and cracked pavement to poor lighting and loose rails.
Other conditions must be taken into account. The property owner must have had a reasonable amount of time to fix a dangerous condition; otherwise, they cannot be considered negligent. Also, the victim must have been using the property in a reasonable way. If they were not, then it was their own carelessness that led to the injuries.
A slip and fall case will proceed differently depending on whether the accident occurred on a residential, commercial or government property. For example, someone who has been injured on a government-owned property may not be able to file a premises liability claim. On the other hand, a tenant may sue a landlord who did not fix a condition within a reasonable time. It must be shown that the repair itself was not an overly expensive or difficult one to carry out.
Before filing a slip and fall claim, a victim might want to have a lawyer assess the situation. If there is enough evidence to support the claim, the lawyer may then strive for a settlement out of court. Should the other side refuse to pay out, the lawyer could take the case to court. Before that, the lawyer may hire investigators to gather proof of the property owner’s negligence. This could include the incident report and any surveillance camera footage. A successful claim may cover damages like medical expenses and lost wages.