Slip and Fall Accident in New Jersey: What is Premises Liability, Notice, and How to Prove Negligence?
You’re walking through a parking lot on your way to work. It’s been raining, and the pavement is wet. Suddenly, you slip and fall, hitting your head on the ground. You’re rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion. You miss work for a week and rack up a hefty medical bill. Who is responsible for your injuries and expenses?
In New Jersey, the answer to that question depends on several factors, and only an attorney with experience in handling slip and fall cases can help you answer that.
Slip and fall accidents can happen anywhere, at any time. But in New Jersey, these accidents are especially common in the winter months, when ice and snow make walking conditions treacherous. A landowner in New Jersey may be held liable for injuries suffered by someone who slips and falls on their property. This is known as premises liability. For a landowner to be held liable, the injured person must prove that the landowner was negligent in some way.
There are two types of negligence that can be proved in a premises liability case: ordinary negligence and gross negligence. Ordinary negligence is when the landowner fails to take reasonable care to prevent injuries. Gross negligence is when the landowner does something so reckless that it shows a complete disregard for the safety of others.
To prove that a landowner was negligent, the injured person must show that the landowner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition on their property and did not take steps to fix it or warn people about it.
What is ‘Notice’ in Slip and Fall Accidents and Its Implications
One of the most important things to prove in a premises liability case is that the landowner had “notice” of the dangerous condition. Notice can be proven in several ways. The most common way is to show that the landowner knew about the dangerous condition. This can be done by showing that the landowner was told about the condition or that the landowner saw the condition and did nothing about it. Another way to prove notice is to show that the dangerous condition was “open and obvious.” This means that the condition was something that any reasonable person would have seen and realized was dangerous.
Factors That Determine Negligence
Several factors must be considered to determine if a property owner was negligent. These factors include the following:
- The condition of the property. Was the property in a reasonably safe condition? If not, the property owner may be held liable.
- The type of property. Is the property residential or commercial? The type of property will affect the level of care that is expected. For example, a commercial property owner is expected to take more precautions to prevent accidents than a residential property owner.
- The use of the property. Was the property being used for its intended purpose? If not, the property owner may be held liable. For example, if a property is being used as a storage unit and someone is injured, the property owner may be held liable.
- The warnings were given. Did the property owner warn people of any potential hazards on the property? If not, the property owner may be held liable.
- The property owner’s knowledge. Did the property owner know or should have known about the hazard? If so, the property owner may be held liable.
- The victim’s knowledge. Did the victim know or should have known about the hazard? If so, the victim may not be able to recover damages from the property owner.
- The victim’s actions. Did the victim’s actions contribute to the accident? If so, the victim may not be able to recover damages from the property owner.
To recover damages from a property owner, the victim must prove that the property owner was negligent. If the victim is unable to prove negligence, the victim will not be able to recover damages.
Contact the Law Office of James W. Taylor, Jr. Today
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, it is important to contact an experienced slip and fall personal injury attorney in New Jersey. An attorney who is competent and has successfully handled slip and fall cases in the past can help you investigate the accident and gather evidence to prove negligence. A New Jersey slip and fall personal injury lawyer can also help you negotiate with the insurance company and recover the compensation you deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a slip and fall accident in Jersey City, Newark, Bayonne, Paterson, Hackensack, or anywhere else in New Jersey, call the Law Office of James W. Taylor, Jr. at 201-418-0143 to book a FREE consultation today.