Premises Injury in New Jersey
Premises Liability Attorneys in New Jersey
Regardless of whether you’re visiting public or private property, New Jersey premise liability laws guarantee your right to safety wherever you are. Property owners are legally obligated to keep their property safe and eliminate potential hazards so you and your family can’t get hurt. Those who fail to do so are responsible for any damages they cause to others.
In addition to slip-and-fall incidents, our diligent legal team at Dansky | Katz | Ringold | York represent people who have been seriously injured in a wide range of premises liability accidents.
Premises injuries can include:
- Playground Injury – Playground equipment and theme park rides should be designed to keep your child safe.
- Swimming Pool Accidents – Public and private swimming pools should have lifeguards on duty and signs about diving to prevent drowning and head injury.
- Negligent Security – Businesses and government buildings are obligated to protect you by using security guards, bouncers, alarm systems, restricted access areas for employees and video surveillance.
- Inadequate Lighting — Property owners need to keep security lights lit in order to prevent falling down stairs or attacks in parking lots and back alleys.
- Intoxicated Patrons – Restaurants and bars have an obligation to stop serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron and protect other diners from violent outbursts.
- Falling Objects — It’s important retail shop managers and grocery store personnel keep shelves safely stocked so falling produce or window displays do not injure you while shopping.
- Retail Injury – The aisles in your favorite local boutique should be dry and free of clutter in order to prevent an accident.
- Sidewalk and Parking Lot Disrepair — Businesses and the local government can protect you by salting walkways during icy weather, shoveling sidewalks covered in snow, filling potholes and correcting uneven parking lots to prevent slippery puddles of water.
- Amusement Park Injury – Theme parks should staff knowledgeable ride operators to ensure your children enjoy themselves safely, and employ experienced maintenance people to keep rides running without a hitch.
- Lead Exposure – Public and commercial spaces that involve historic property should be regularly tested and properly maintained to avoid lead poisoning.
- Construction Accident – Construction managers are obligated to train their crew on using equipment, follow building codes and install proper fencing to keep employees safe and others out of harm’s way.
- Fire or Explosion – Homeowners should make sure their heater, gas stove and other appliances are working properly and do not cause a fire to erupt.
- Trash and Debris – Businesses and homeowners need to clear trash and other junk from their property in a timely manner to avoid an infestation of vermin or attracting vandalism.
- Obscured View — The New Jersey and local city governments are required to keep roadways clear of overgrown plants so motorists can see signs and drive safely.
- Dog Bites – Dogs need to be placed on a leash or within a fenced yard to prevent attacks and biting.
If a property owner knows about a hazardous condition but does nothing to protect you, they may be liable. With the help of our experienced lawyers, we can help get you reimbursed for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering and more.
Property Owners’ Duty of Care
You have the right to safely visit a commercial, government or private property across the Garden State. However, some accidents are just that — accidents. In order to prove a premises liability case, the owner or tenant of the property you’re visiting must cause or know about a dangerous condition and not repair it, despite having the opportunity to do so.
They are required to:
- Keep the property safe and in good condition
- Inspect the property for dangers
- Warn visitors of hazardous conditions
- Repair defects
These responsibilities are referred to as the property owner’s duty of care.
Plaintiff’s Rights in Premise Liability Cases
The property owner’s degree of premises liability and duty of care depend on the context of your visit to their property.
There are three types of plaintiffs in NJ premises liability cases:
- Trespasser – You are entitled to a basic level of safety while visiting public or private property, even if you were not invited. For example, you may have been on a neighbor’s property picking up your newspaper when their dog bites you.
- Licensee – If you are invited to a private property for a specific purpose that does not involve the sale of goods or services, the owner is required to keep the property safe or warn guests of a hazard. For example, if you are invited to a friend’s home for a pool party, they are obligated to warn guests that there is no lifeguard on duty.
- Invitee – Customers who shop at a business’s brick and mortar location are entitled to the highest level of protection. For example, supermarkets have an obligation to monitor their shelves and floors throughout the day to ensure you do not slip on a spilled item or falling produce does not knock you down with it.
Do I Have a Valid Claim?
If you or a family member were hurt while attending a party at a neighbor’s house in Marlton, shopping at a boutique in Somerville or playing at a public Woodbury park, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. All valid premises liability claims must show that an injury occurred and that the property owner or occupant caused the injury.
What are Premise Liability Cases Worth?
If the parties involved cannot reach a settlement outside of court, the case is taken to court for a jury to decide. Plaintiffs go to court when they believe they can receive higher compensation than the settlement offer.
The injured party can be compensated for medical bills and lost wages — the exact amount is generally easy to calculate — but also for pain and suffering. A high degree of pain and suffering such as physical disfigurement can raise the targeted compensation level significantly, and the same can happen if the jury decides the plaintiff has experienced a loss of quality of life or will be unable to earn the high future income they would have without the injury.
Each of these factors have the ability to substantially impact the compensation you receive and is another reason you cannot afford to represent yourself in these matters.
Comparative Negligence if Both Parties are at Fault
In some premise liability cases, the property owner will claim the injured party was partially at fault because they did not exercise reasonable care. Comparative negligence seeks to reduce the amount the plaintiff is compensated for injury by the estimated percent by which they were at fault.
For example, if the jury decides the property owner is 60% at fault, and the plaintiff was 40% at fault, the plaintiff would only receive 60% of the recovery. New Jersey comparative negligence laws do not allow a plaintiff who is ruled at least 51% responsible to receive compensation, further demonstrating your need for a skilled premise liability attorney.
Hiring a NJ Premises Injury Lawyer
If you are not sure whether your case qualifies, or you would like to get more information on pursuing a case, please call our office at 800-609-7577. We treat every client like family and would be happy to talk with you to discuss your injury during a free consultation. Our dedicated attorneys at Dansky | Katz | Ringold | York have been practicing personal injury law for more than 30 years, recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of clients like you.