If you live in the tristate area, chances are you've slipped on a patch of ice in the last few months. Most of the time, these slips lead only to minor scrapes and mild embarrassment, but unfortunately there are occasions when more severe injuries occur. Slip-and-falls, especially by the elderly and the very young, can lead to catastrophic and even life-threatening afflictions, such as broken bones, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain damage.
The term "slip-and-fall," just as it would seem, refers to a situation in which a person loses his balance because of a ground level obstruction and is subsequently injured as a result. Ground level obstructions in slip and fall cases may come in the form of slippery substances on the floor, unmarked obstacles in a pathway or staircase, or any number of other unsafe ground-level conditions.
In New Jersey, property owners are legally required to maintain safe premises for all visiting guests or workers. If a property is in any way hazardous, the owner must either repair the hazard in a timely manner or adequately caution visitors about the existence of the hazard, usually with a sign or an orange cone. If they fail to do so, the property owner (or whoever is responsible for the upkeep of the particular property) may be found negligent in the event of an accident.
The owner of a property, whether public or private, has an obligation to provide a safe, obstruction-free premise. This is especially important at stores with outdoor walkways or steps that may become icy, as well as retail and grocery stores where the merchandise is designed to attract the attention of a walking customer. Likewise, in stores where spills are conceivable, the owner has an obligation to clean any potential slip-and-fall hazard before a person can become injured on it.
In the winter months, and especially after a snow storm, the legal responsibility of New Jersey property owners becomes greater as they must constantly tend to snow, ice, debris and any other dangerous weather element that might cause a slip-and-fall. In the event that a visitor becomes injured due to a hazard that was not properly marked, repaired or otherwise attended to, the property owner (or other responsible party) may be held liable for the resulting damages and losses.
If you've been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, you may be eligible for a monetary recovery for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, amongst other damages. To find out if you are entitled to a recovery, contact the knowledgeable and experienced premises liability attorneys at Breslin and Breslin for a free case evaluation today.