Slip and Fall Series: Can a Trespasser Sue You for Falling on Your Property?
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, all property owners have the responsibility to keep their property clear of any dangers. We do it so we can be safe in our own homes as well as for anyone who stops in for a visit. But what happens when someone slips and falls just outside your door and the victim is someone who doesn’t belong on your property in the first place?
Here’s the scenario: A recent winter storm has caused the front walkway the apartment building you own to become a sheet of ice. You’re aware of the problem; however, you don’t have any ice melt. After warning your tenants about the icy conditions, you head off to the store but don’t do anything to treat the area. While you’re gone, a teenager decides to cut through your yard to get to a friend’s house. While on your property, he slips on your icy walkway and falls, breaking his arm. Are you at fault for the accident since it is your property? Or does the responsibility fall on the trespasser?
As New Jersey premises liability law states, as the owner of the multifamily property, you must keep your property safe for all visitors, unwanted or not. It’s true that this is an unwanted visitor and yes, in this case, you may not be found liable for the accident since you were on your way to correct the situation. However, if trespassers are a normal occurrence on your property, you may be responsible. Whatever the case may be, chances are you’re going to be slapped with a lawsuit and you’re going to need an experienced slip and fall accident lawyer to help you with the situation.
Were you in a slip and fall accident on public property? Then contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.