Slip and Fall Lawyers Trenton, NJ

Slip and Fall Lawyers Trenton, NJ

Slip and Fall Lawyers New JerseyIf you were injured when you slipped and fell on someone else’s property in New Jersey, you may be wondering whether you should contact a lawyer.  Davis and Brusca is proud to be the slip and fall lawyer lawyers Trenton, NJ residents trust. You can count on our skilled legal team to evaluate the facts of your specific case and provide you the advice you need.

In New Jersey, public entities, owners of property, and managers of businesses all have a level of responsibility to keep the public safe from hazards on their premises. If you were injured while patronizing a business or visiting someone’s property, you may have a legitimate claim to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you have questions about any of the following, you should call to seek the counsel of a top slip and fall lawyer from Davis & Brusca, LLC.

Basics of Slip and Fall Cases

The “rules” for liability in a slip and fall accident vary based on the relationship between the parties and what the property owner/operator knew, and what they did or did not do.  In order to be liable, a property owner must generally have either caused the dangerous condition, known about it (or should have known about it) and failed to take reasonable action to correct it, or failed to issue a proper warning that the danger existed.  Liability generally turns on the type of property involved (commercial vs. residential), the relationship “status” of the injured person (business patron vs. social guest vs. trespasser),  and whether the property owner acted “reasonably” under the circumstances.  In order to answer these questions, one must examine what steps the property owner took to keep the property safe, inspect the property, as well as all of the factors which caused the injured person to be on the property and in the area where the accident occurred.  The conduct of the injured person is also a significant factor which must be examined fully in order to determine the merits of the case.

What Is a Dangerous Condition?

It is not enough that you slip and fall on someone else’s property. In order to bring a successful premises liability lawsuit against a property owner you must be able to show that they did something, or failed to do something, which was a cause of the accident. If the truth is that you were careless, or just simply “fell” – meaning nothing about the property’s condition caused you to fall, the property owner will not be liable for your injuries. The slip and fall accident must have been caused by a dangerous condition on the property which the owner was responsible for causing you to encounter.

A wide array of hazards can causes an injury and potentially be deemed “dangerous” or “unreasonable”.  This is a fact-sensitive analysis which requires careful analysis of the law.  However, one of the most common hazardous conditions is snow and ice accumulation.  But even this is not a simple issue, as most states have a variety of laws and issues which control the question of liability, and a variety of immunities may apply to protect government entities and transportation providers (such as NJ Transit or SEPTA).  Commercial property owners have the most exposure.  After a snowstorm or winter weather event, a commercial property owner or occupier must take reasonable action to remove the snow and ice from any sidewalks and walkways that people are likely to use. The law does not generally require them to make the property completely free of ice and snow and warn of the potential for slippery conditions.  The simple fact that a patron slips does not necessarily mean they will have a valid claim.  This is because event commercial property owners are not required to “guarantee” safe passage. Rather, they are only required to make their property “reasonably” safe.  Evaluation of the merits of any case is a fact-sensitive determination.  Residential property owners are generally under a lesser duty.  In addition, some states, townships, and municipalities have laws governing snow and ice removal which may or may not prove relevant to the case. Other common examples of unsafe conditions that may cause a person to slip or trip, fall and sustain injury include:

  • Wet or slippery floors
  • Potholes
  • Debris on the floor
  • Damaged sidewalks
  • Uplifted or buckled carpets, rugs or mats
  • Poorly lit stairways

Did the Property Owner Know About the Dangerous Condition?

As discussed above, a property owner will only be liable if they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition and failed to take proper action to address it or warn of it. The courts will afford property owners a reasonable amount of time to discover the dangerous condition. For example, if a person spills a bottle of oil in a grocery store, and someone immediately slips after the spill, the store will probably not be held liable because it likely had no chance to discover and correct the hazard. It can be difficult to prove how long a spill has been sitting in the aisle of a store, although there may be indications (such as track marks through a spill) which suggest its age. An experienced personal injury lawyer, like the slip and fall lawyers New Jersey trusts, can examine the incident report taken by the store  surveillance footage, and can interview witnesses, including store employees to gauge the merits of the claim.

Property owners and public entities are generally also required to warn people of known dangerous conditions, if they do not or cannot correct them immediately.  For example, the public must be warned of areas under construction, and stores must place “caution” cones on freshly mopped or waxed floors.

What Damages Will I Be Able to Recover?

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover for any present and future medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.  Other damages may be available depending on the circumstances. Victims may be eligible to recover compensation to cover all medical bills relating to the fall. You may also be able to recover damages for “pain and suffering.”  There are no clear rules as to how much one may be awarded, but the severity of the injury and the amount of one’s economic losses (medical bills, lost wages, etc.) are factors a jury or insurance company may consider. If you missed work as a result of your injuries, you may be able to recover the value of the wages you otherwise would have earned. If your injuries were severe enough to prevent you from returning to your former line of employment, you may be able to recover damages for your lost earning capacity. A vocational rehabilitation specialist can be retained for use at your trial to help evaluate this part of your damages. For more information on your potential case, contact Davis & Brusca, LLC, and speak to one of the top Slip and Fall Lawyers New Jersey residents rely on right away.

Common Misconceptions About Slip and Fall Accidents

Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for other people. If they violate that duty and someone suffers an injury, that property owner may be liable. If you were hurt on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. Don’t let the following misconceptions about slip and fall accidents prevent you from filing a case.

  • Misconception #1:  If there was a warning sign, you don’t have a case. Some people assume that they can’t file a lawsuit if there was a warning sign when they suffered a slip and fall accident. Although this fact may make it harder to win your case, it’s not necessarily impossible. For instance, if the warning sign was hidden by the circumstances (crowds, bushes, etc.), it may have been ineffective and you may still be able to collect compensation. Similarly, if the owner made a conscious and unreasonable decision to delay repair and relied only on a warning, it may be legally insufficient as a defense.
  • Misconception #2:  If the property owner didn’t have actual knowledge of the dangerous condition, you can’t sue. This is not accurate either. Actual knowledge is not generally required.  In slip and fall cases, the property owner is still generally  responsible if he or she should have known about the dangerous condition.  A property owner usually cannot escape liability by willful ignorance.  Of course, this issue is fact-sensitive and the nature of the property involved is a major consideration.  For instance, residential property owners often have no duty to inspect their property for hazards and are usually only held accountable for hazards they know of and should expect their guests to encounter.
  • Misconception #3:  You can only recover compensation for physical injuries. Many people associate the “damages” from slip and fall accidents with physical injuries, like broken bones and head injuries. However, victims can also experience depression, anxiety and other emotional injuries after the fact. If you suffered emotional distress after a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for them depending on the circumstances.  Some states may require physical manifestations of injury or illness for this to be actionable.  An experienced lawyer can help evaluate the full scope of damages available under your specific situation.
  • Misconception #4:  The property owner is always responsible for slip and fall accidents. This is not always the case. In order for a property owner to be found negligent, he or she must have created the dangerous condition, or they must be aware of the condition and failed to properly address the hazard.  The specific type of property is a very significant fact and may limit the scope of liability (such as with residential property).  If notice cannot be proven and/or if you suffered a slip and fall accident simply because you weren’t paying proper attention, you likely will not be eligible for compensation.
  • Misconception #5:  You can file a slip and fall accident claim at any time. Just like with any personal injury cases, slip and fall cases come with a statute of limitations. In New Jersey, the deadline to file a claim for personal injury (slip and fall or otherwise) is generally two (2) years from the date of the slip and fall accident. Special rules apply to government claims, which may require notice of an intention to sue be presented to the proper government agency within a fixed period of time (generally within ninety (90) days in NJ).  That is why you should discuss your case with Davis & Brusca, slip and fall lawyers in Trenton, NJ as soon as possible. 

    Request a Free Consultation

    What seemed to me to be a complicated case finally came to a close with a successful outcome. Mark Davis was diligent, perseverant and focused on my case and he was certainly compassionate and patient with me where and when needed. He is very intelligent and highly knowledgeable of all of the legal facts and nuances that emerged throughout the lengthy case period. While the circumstances that forced me to initiate the legal process I would not wish upon anyone, Mark was my legal partner all the way and I thank him for his attention and commitment.
    Mark Davis quickly sets himself apart from the rest. He puts his knowledge and experience to work from day one to prove you have made the right choice in trusting him and his staff. Mark is attentive to your needs and is driven to get you results. Mark Davis is the attorney you want in your corner!
    Mark is very dedicated to his clients.. There's never been a time I needed him and he wasn't available for me to help me understand my case. I would recommend Mark Davis to anyone looking for an attorney.
    Mark is very professional. He takes the time to listen to my questions and answers each one. I feel confident and informed after speaking with him. I have no doubt that he is there to help to me. I recommend Davis & Brusca to everyone!
    I was seriously injured in a car accident. Mark Davis represented me to the fullest. Besides delivering results I was hoping for Mark did so much more. Mark checked in with me time and time again to see how I was feeling, how I was doing, how my family was, did I need anything, etc. Mark Davis cares about his clients. Most importantly Mark Davis fought for me.  He fought hard for me through long nights, over the weekends.  He fought endlessly til I got what I deserved which, by the way, didn’t take long at all. Mark Davis, from my family and I, thank you so much for all your hard work and dedication towards us.
    They will do their best. I've had the pleasure of working with the Davis' and I can only say good things. I have no doubt that if you need their services, they will do their best, show compassion, and look out for your best interests.
    Very Professional! Would use their services again. Amazing!
    Everyone I Spoke with was Very Professional. I worked with Mike and Nicole on a nursing home negligence case. Mike was very honest and upfront about what to expect. Everyone I spoke with was very professional and they always kept me informed on the status of the case. They responded to my emails quickly and made me feel like they truly cared. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for an excellent nursing home negligence attorney.

    Schedule a consultation with one of the dedicated lawyers at Davis & Brusca, LLC