Premises Liability Elements in New Jersey Law
Did you know that you must establish certain premises liability elements to bring a premises liability claim? In this post, we review these elements and how a Union City Personal Injury Attorney can help you prove them and pursue damages.
Duty of Care
Property owners are required by law to maintain their property in a safe condition for the safety of the people who visit their premises. That said, there can be several types of visitors to a property, each of whom is owed a different level of duty of care. This first element, a duty of care, focuses on why you were on the property. You may fall into one of the following categories:
Invitees are people who have been invited onto the property by the owner for the owner’s benefit, which could be social or financial. A customer who goes into a grocery store is an invitee. Of all the visitors to a property, invitees are owed the highest duty of care. Property owners must actively fix known hazards and provide warning notices to keep their premises safe for them.
A licensee is someone who is permitted to enter the property for their own benefit, such as a utility technician or friend who chooses to visit the premises on their own volition. Licensees are owed a lower duty of care than invitees. Generally, the property owner must warn them of a known hazard but isn’t required to take reasonable care to uncover hidden dangers.
A trespasser is someone with no permission to enter or stay on property. Property owners owe these visitors a duty to refrain from wantonly, maliciously, or willfully injuring them after discovering their presence.
Once the plaintiff proves their status and that the property owner owed them a duty of care, they should show that the owner breached this duty. This is evident when the property owner did not exercise reasonable and sufficient care to protect you from injury.
For instance, the owner of a construction site who doesn’t provide proper lighting on the worksite might be found to have breached the duty of care owed to his employees.
The third and arguably most important element you must establish in a premises liability case is damages. You wouldn’t have a viable claim if you didn’t suffer any injuries in the accident. Essentially, you must show that you sustained a physical injury due to the hazard on the property, such as a neck injury, broken bone, or shoulder pain.
If the injury resulted in more related losses, you should also connect them to your injuries. Doing so will assure your eligibility for compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
Finally, you must show that the property owner’s actions or inactions were the direct cause of your accident and subsequent injury. While this is usually easy to establish, some defendants may argue causation by claiming you had pre-existing injuries.
Contact a Union City Personal Injury Attorney Today
Proving the four premises liability elements can prove difficult without the help of a qualified attorney. If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone online or at 201-762-8956 to schedule a consultation with one of our top Union City Personal Injury Attorney.