What happens if you have an accident on a foreclosed property
In the last decade, more and more foreclosed properties are infiltrating New Jersey’s landscape. Unfortunately, many overextended buyers have no longer found it economically feasible to maintain their investments. However, what happens if you have an accident while on a foreclosed property?
A recent court opinion addressed this issue. In the matter of Charlton v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. CIV. 11-6572 FSH, 2015 WL 686827, at *1 (D.N.J. Feb. 18, 2015), a real estate agent was showing a home to a potential buyer. The real estate agent acted as a representative of the bank that owned the foreclosed property. The prospective buyer was injured when she slipped on a piece of glass and sued for damages. Although her claim was initially denied, the federal court ruled that she was entitled to recovery from the bank. The bank had a duty to ensure that the property was safe.
The fact that premises are under foreclosure does not necessarily mean that the bank is responsible for any injuries sustained on it. Many times, homeowners continue to stay in their homes until the time they are requested to leave by the sheriff. They therefore assume the risk and duty of maintaining their premises. They can still be sued for injuries due to their negligence. Sadly, individuals involved in foreclosure do not maintain homeowners insurance.
In order to determine the culpable party for any premises accident, an experienced law firm such as the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone conducts a thorough investigation. Your part, as the prospective litigant, is to ensure you have provided the attorney with the proper address. If possible, take photographs. Include the dangerous conditions that caused your accident.
Once a client has retained us for an accident that occurred on someone else’s property, we begin our investigation. We have several resources available to determine ownership. It is important that the correct party is named in the lawsuit. In some circumstances, this is a difficult task.
Many of our premises liability clients have been injured when they slipped and fell on someone else’s property. The fall may be due to dangerous conditions or the owner’s failure to maintain the premises. If you have suffered any type of personal injury due to a premises accident, you should consider legal advice. There is no cost for consultation. Contact us to set up a meeting.