Civil laws in New Jersey allow for property entrants to file a claim against the owner if they are injured on the grounds through no fault of their own. These are called slip and fall claims, and they are normally based on some form of negligence, such as inadequate facilities, inadequate warnings and mechanical malfunctions.
Slip and fall lawsuits that are filed due to inadequate facilities can involve dim or burnt-out lights that may have caused the victim to fall down the stairs. Loose cables may also have led someone to trip. Even a rucked-up carpet could cause a trip hazard. The victim is, in effect, claiming that the accident would not have occurred if the owner had taken the proper steps to ensure safety on his or her property. However, the law also requires that entrants, be they customers, employees or guests, use the property in a reasonable manner.
Inadequate warnings may include a property owner’s failure to put up signs cautioning visitors about wet floors or potholes. Mechanical malfunctions can cover incidents involving elevators, escalators, automatic walkways and more. It must be shown that the owner had sufficient time to have the malfunction addressed but neglected to do so. Slip and fall claims, in general, are among the most expensive claims and are thoroughly evaluated by lawyers.
Whether the incident took place in a restaurant, store, parking lot or stairwell, victims of a slip and fall injury may be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and whatever else is applicable. A lawyer can determine if the victim contributed to the accident and then start building up the case with evidence like incident reports, surveillance footage and physical proof from the scene. An attorney may then negotiate an informal settlement or go straight to court.