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With a majority of activities occurring outside of individual’s homes, there is a distinct possibility of sustaining an injury on property that is owned by someone else. If you have been hurt while shopping or visiting a commercial, public, or residential property, you may be entitled to receive compensation under New Jersey law.
It is important to talk to a qualified New Jersey premises liability lawyer before insurance companies propose meager settlements and before the statute of limitations expires. You can best protect your rights, your health, and your future by calling a South Jersey injury attorney who knows the law and how to vigorously pursue your claim.
Burden of Injury
Whether the injuries sustained resulted from a slip and fall, or a more serious injury that occurred because of unsafe property conditions, any unexpected injury has serious consequences, including medical expenses, lost income and wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
The unsuspected difficulties of recovering from an accident that leaves a person injured can become all-consuming. After an injury suffered on someone else’s property, competent legal advice from a New Jersey premises liability attorney can be the best supplement to comprehensive medical treatment of the injuries.
Responsibility of the Owner
Business and property owners in New Jersey have a specific duty to individuals as the licensees of or invitees to their property. When someone visits a shop, café, or even a home for a social gathering, they should be able to expect that the premises are safe and well-maintained. The concept of premises liability law is predicated on the axiom that the owner is responsible for providing safe conditions for all who reside at, visit, or occupy the property.
When a property owner fails to reasonably act to remove hazards or to protect visitors, they may be liable for visitors’ injuries, suffering, and other damages.
Premises Liability Law
In New Jersey, premises liability is governed in part by the Landowners’ Liability Act. Premises liability law is a complex and sometimes confusing body of law that defines the relationship between owners and visitors, lists the types of liability, and explains the conditions and procedures for filing suit. A New Jersey premises liability lawyer can help break down these complex terms and processes.
Generally, an injured party must prove four elements to satisfy a liability claim:
- The owner had a reasonable standard of duty of care or conduct to uphold
- The owner failed to meet that standard of duty
- The owner’s failures were the actual and proximate causes of injuries sustained on the premises
- As a result of the owner’s actions or inactions, a visitor suffered an injury that could have otherwise been avoided
A qualified New Jersey premises liability lawyer can work to identify the responsible party and prove each element to ensure a person’s claim is not dismissed for technical reasons. Pursuing a claim is best accomplished with the assistance of an experienced lawyer who is familiar with the legal process, filing requirements, rules of evidence and procedure, and how to obtain the best possible settlement for their clients.
Accidents can happen anywhere, at any time, and no one is immune to them. Any of the following circumstances and conditions may result in an accident and injury requiring compensation for damages:
- Wet floors, icy pavement, or uneven surfaces are common causes of slip and fall injuries
- Faulty doors, escalators, or other conveyances can potentially leave a user temporarily or permanently disabled
- Poorly maintained fixtures, shelving, and equipment can fall over and hurt someone
- Hazardous displays can cause an injury, however minor it may be
The best protection after an accident is to obtain a lawyer that knows people’s rights and can protect them with trustworthy legal assistance. Someone should be prepared to talk to a New Jersey premises liability lawyer who may ask for:
- Any photos that were taken
- The names of any witnesses
- The name of the person spoken with from the property
- The hospital or doctor that the injured party visited immediately after
Each of these is a key piece of evidence in a premises liability case. There are many more considerations that a lawyer will investigate, and the more information a lawyer has to work with, the better the possible outcome.
Premises liability can be confusing in even the simplest cases of the injured party versus the property owner. However, the law becomes increasingly complicated when dealing with children’s rights and accidents on property owned and maintained by a public entity.
Because of their age and minor status, when a child is injured, the law generally places a higher duty of care and responsibility on the landowner, especially in places where it is likely that children will be on the property and there is a known danger. For example, in the event that faulty equipment at a playground caused a child to sustain injuries. If the child is behaving in a reckless manner and treating the equipment improperly and the recklessness leads to an injury, that is one case. However, if an apparatus breaks and strikes a child, the injury is sustained beyond any reasonably assumed risk that one takes when playing on a playground.
In instances of publicly owned property, the New Jersey Tort Claims Act controls and requires a plaintiff to prove five elements instead of four to satisfy a claim.
Contacting a Premises Liability Lawyer
A locally knowledgeable New Jersey premises liability lawyer knows the hurdles that need to be cleared when pursuing a claim for damages. Businesses and property owners and their insurers will fight aggressively to protect their assets and investments. They may claim there was no accident or injury, or may try to shift the blame.
An experienced New Jersey premises liability attorney can defend your rights vigorously and build a solid case by:
- Finding and interviewing witnesses
- Calling on experts to testify
- Examining medical reports
- Discovering any other evidence to support all aspects of a claim
If you have suffered a property-related injury the time to pursue your claim is now. Do not risk losing settlements and compensation you may be entitled to by waiting for the insurance company or property owner to make an offer. It is important to speak to a New Jersey premises liability lawyer to discuss your case as soon as possible to learn how to obtain the best possible legal remedies.