Residential real estate in the State of New Jersey has a whole different set of laws and standards as to what property owners have to do to prevent others from slipping or tripping on the property. If you are lawfully on someone’s property, in their home, in their yard or on a walkway next to their house, they have a duty to maintain it in a fashion that does not endanger people.
“Lawfully” is an important point and trespassers are not necessarily going to be protected from a property owner’s negligence, but anyone who is expected to be on the property should have conditions that do not endanger them.
In neighborhoods where you have sidewalks that are maintained by the town and other sidewalks that lead to homes, there is an interplay between homeowners and municipal entities, as well as other governmental entities who might be responsible for maintaining walkways.
For instance, there may be a sidewalk where a tree’s roots have caused a sidewalk to buckle, which may cause someone to trip and fall. There is an analysis as to what entities are responsible for the maintenance of the tree. Is it the shade tree commission? Is it the town directly, or does the town have an ordinance perhaps that puts that obligation upon homeowners who have adjacent properties?
In sum, you have a number of levels of analysis as to who is responsible for a potential slip and fall, or trip and fall in a residential scenario. This requires an experienced slip & fall and trip & fall attorney, familiar with these kinds of claims, because it’s easy to miss a potentially responsible party, which can lead to a lost lawsuit and malpractice claims.