You should have some basic expectations while on someone else’s property: that property owners keep their premises well maintained and safe. If that’s not the case, and you suffer personal injuries as a result, you may be able to pursue a premises liability case.
Premises liability acts as a broad term that encompasses different types of accident claims. Consider who might be liable if you slip, fall, and get hurt. The same would be true if you trip and fall. In both cases, you’ll hope to recover damages from the property owner. However, premises liability cases aren’t just limited to slips and falls. Additionally, the fact that you’re injured on someone else’s property doesn’t mean their insurance company will automatically payout on your claim. In fact, it’s not unusual for the negligent party to attempt to avoid responsibility.
It should go without saying that you can’t pursue a premises liability case unless you’ve suffered injuries. However, there are additional legal requirements, aside from injuries, when it comes to proving that the property owners’ negligence means they should be responsible for monetary damages. When it comes down to it, the extent of your injuries and subsequent treatment speak volumes. However, proving negligence also involves use of skilled investigation and an understanding of the law. Often, it calls for the retention of expert evaluation and testimony. In some cases, an engineer will review the place where the injury took place in order to determine any construction defects. If you were injured as a result of a fire, a fire safety expert might look to determine the cause of the accident. Other experts provide experienced opinions concerning property operations, management, and safety issues.
The Jersey City premises liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone is dedicated to helping individuals like you recover their rightful compensation from premise liability injuries. For over 30 years, Attorney Carbone has been helping New Jersey victims with their premises liability cases and is ready to advocate on your behalf.
Property Owner’s Responsibility
New Jersey laws place the greatest responsibility on property owners of commercial premises or multi-family homes. These two types of properties make up a majority of both the Jersey City and Newark landscape. The same holds true for other areas of Essex and Hudson counties.
Again, property owners are expected that individuals who are invited onto their property or who are likely to come onto their property are not put at risk. Therefore, it is critical that properties are presented in a relatively safe condition or dangerous areas are clearly posted.
New Jersey law also lays out other requirements when it comes to pursuing a case based on premises liability. This involves notification of the dangerous condition. Was the property owner aware of the hazard? When did they receive the notice?
What does that mean exactly? Consider this scenario. You are waiting in line in a supermarket, and the customer in front of you drops a gallon of milk. Of course, the floor becomes wet and slippery. Unfortunately, you are unable to move quickly enough, and you fall to the floor. Although you suffer severe injuries, you are surprised when your claim is denied. The supermarket did not have sufficient time to clean up the dangerous condition that caused you to fall. However, had they received notification and procrastinated about making the area safe, it would be a different situation entirely. Successfully pursuing a premises liability case often hinges on whether it can be proven that the property owner was aware of the danger to others.
When dealing with a claim against a commercial enterprise, your attorney may also secure information regarding policies and procedures. This includes establishing the protocol for dealing with hazardous conditions such as the one that caused your accident. Investigation of the accident conditions can add to proving negligence in a case. When you retain an experienced premises liability attorney, you should feel confident. The investigation will not only include an examination of the accident scene but also obtaining all reports. If there is video surveillance, your lawyer will ensure the footage is preserved. Witness statements are also critical to proving your case.
If you were on another person’s property, including inside a building, when you suffered an injury, you may have been the victim of premises liability. Successfully pursuing a premises liability case often hinges on whether it can be proved that the property owner was aware of the danger to others. In the case of unmarked wet floors or dangerous stair areas, this may seem like an easy objective to obtain, but even when the fault of the owner seems implicit there may be complications to proving the owner’s negligence. Our personal injury attorney in New Jersey has the experience to help you build a successful case.
Common Injuries from Premises Liability Accidents
Some of the most common types of premises liability injuries include:
- Spinal injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Dog bites
- Assault injuries
- Burns and inhalation damage
Types of Premises Liability Cases
Premises liability can exist under virtually any situation and on almost any type of property. The following are other types of cases where a property owner may be found negligent:
- Swimming pool accidents: Property owner failed to erect a fence high enough to avoid access to a swimming pool. As a result, someone enters the area and drowns.
- Animal bites: Although dog bites are the most common, all animals represent potential harm. A property owner’s failure to secure a dangerous animal may result in a personal injury action.
- Inadequate or negligent security: Commercial business owners have a duty to keep their property safe. This not only applies to shopping centers, but to hotels and other larger establishments.
- Elevator accidents: A premises liability case may arise because of improper maintenance and repair of an elevator.
- Amusement park injuries: Just because there are signs posted that are at their own risk, the potential for a premises liability case is still there.
- Sidewalk falls: Whether the accident occurs because of uneven pavement or icy surface, it may be possible to pursue a case based on premises liability.
- Shopping accidents: There are a number of reasons a property owner could be found negligent when a patron is injured while shopping. This includes heavily stocked items falling and causing serious injury.
- Falling down steps or stairs: Property owners may be found negligent for staircase accidents if their stairs do not meet building codes. Failure to provide handrails or maintain and repair stairs can result in serious injuries.
- Construction site accidents: If the property owner or general manager fails to keep the premise safe, they may be subject to a negligence claim.
- Carbon monoxide or fire claims: You may be able to pursue a premises liability claim against a property owner who failed to take the proper cautions to prevent hazardous conditions. In some cases, it could be the owner added to the danger by storing flammable materials on site.
While this breakdown includes many of the typical premises liability accidents, it is not inclusive. Attorney Carbone will review the circumstances of your claim to determine if you have a case.
When You’re Injured on Someone’s Property
Depending on the nature of your accident, you may not be in a state of mind to take proper action. Of course, your primary concern should be in securing immediate medical treatment. If you need urgent care, that should be foremost.
If your fall is in a public place such as a supermarket or shopping mall, you should make a report documenting your accident. It is not necessary to go into complete detail. You will most likely be contacted a few days later. By that time, it would be beneficial to have your attorney speak with the individual who calls you.
In the meantime, here are some basic instructions for anyone who feels their injuries are due to a property owner’s negligence:
- Document the address where the incident occurred.
- Take photographs. If the accident occurred inside, also take pictures of the outside of the building.
- Locate any witnesses and secure their contact information.
- Write down anything you recall about the accident as it comes to mind.
- Keep a record of all medical treatment.
As the result of a property owner’s failure to ensure the safety of the premises, there is also the risk of a fatal accident. This leaves a great void for the family that is left behind. It is then necessary to consider pursuit of a wrongful death claim.
Any time that you are injured on another person’s property, you should meet with an experienced premises liability attorney. Our Jersey City premises liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone works with injury victims to help them find the financial compensation necessary for complete recovery, as provided for by New Jersey law. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to premise liability and you would like to learn more about your options, please contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for your free initial consultation with our premises liability lawyer in New Jersey. We welcome clients from Jersey City, Newark and throughout Hudson and Essex counties in New Jersey.
Could you have a Case for Carbone? The best way to find out is to call the office at (201) 963-6000. Let Attorney Carbone’s 30 years of experience handling premises liability cases help you.