New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
How often do slip and fall accidents occur?
About one million people in the United States are treated in the emergency rooms each year for slip and fall injuries. Every year, about one out of every three people over the age of 65 experiences a fall. For people ages 65 to 84 years old, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death. For people over the age 85 years, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death.
Slip and fall accidents can have a devastating impact. In addition to physical pain, they can cause debilitating injuries, overwhelming medical bills, and affect your ability to work and engage in your ordinary activities.
Whether you fell at a restaurant, shopping mall, grocery store, public facility, or any other premises, the attorneys at Kemeny, Ramp & Renaud, LLC can assist you. Our lawyers know the impact a slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall incident can have on a person and are here to help.
What causes slip, trip, and fall accidents?
Common causes of slip and fall injuries include:
Snow and ice – Snow and ice can build up on sidewalks, parking lots, stairs and entrances.
Damaged or broken stairs and floors -– Damaged tiles, floorboards, carpets, mats, steps, and handrails can cause a person to trip.
Poorly designed or built structures – such as stairs, curbs, ramps, and sidewalks may cause injury.
Damaged walking areas – Damaged sidewalks, parking lots, and floors can create a trip hazard.
Wet floors or stairs – Rainwater may collect and snow and ice can melt and puddle creating slippery hazards. Floors also become dangerously slick after they are mopped or as a result of spills.
Clutter – Equipment, tools, merchandise and debris left on the floor, stairs, or walking area can create a tripping hazard.
Uneven surfaces – Loose or damaged tiles, floorboards, carpets, or mats can cause a person to trip. Scaffolding, railings, and ramps can also be unsafe due to uneven or unsteady surfaces.
Open holes – potholes in parking lots, open manholes, holes dug into the landscape, and other openings where people often walk, can create a dangerous condition, especially if the hole is hidden from view by the snow, leaves or grass or if they are in area that is marked off signs, fencing, or cones.
Medical or other professional malpractice – Some falls are the result of medical or other professional malpractice. A hospital, healthcare provider or facility may be responsible when it provides sub-standard care that results in a fall.
What Must Be Proven to Win a Slip and Fall Case in New Jersey?
To succeed in court on a New Jersey slip and fall case, you generally must establish premises liability – that the property owner or person responsible for the property where the accident took place is responsible for your injuries. However, in some cases a different standard of care, such as standard of medical care may exist. In those cases, a claim for medical malpractice may exist.
In New Jersey, the rules for establishing premises liability differ depending on the type of property the fall occurred on, as well as whether person who fell was allowed to be on the property or was instead trespassing. Likewise, the duty owed to a trespassing adult is different from the duty owed to a trespassing child.
Someone who is permitted to enter or remain on a business’s premises is considered an invitee. A property owner or possessor of the property (such as a tenant) is under a duty to exercise ordinary care to render the premises reasonably safe for the purposes for which people are being invited or allowed onto the property. Thus, the owner/occupier must exercise reasonable care for the invitee’s safety. The owner/occupier must take such steps as are reasonable and prudent to correct or give warning of hazardous conditions or defects actually known to the owner/occupier, as well as of hazardous conditions or defects which the owner/occupier should have known about with the exercise of reasonable care.
A social guest is someone who was invited to a host’s premises for social rather than business reasons. In such situations, the host has no obligation to make the home safer for the social guest than for the host and the host is not required to inspect the premises to discover defects that might cause injury to the social guest. To establish that an owner or occupier of a property is responsible for the injuries of a social guest who fell, you must demonstrate that the property owner/occupier (1) knew or had reason to know of the dangerous or defective condition, (2) realized or in the exercise of reasonable foresight should have realized it involved an unreasonable risk of harm to the guest, (3) had reason to believe the guest would not discover the condition and realize the risk, and (4) failed to take reasonable steps to protect the guest from the danger by either making the condition safe or warning the guest of the condition and the risk
A trespasser is a person who enters or remains upon land without permission. The duty owed to an adult trespasser is merely to refrain from acts which willfully injure the trespasser.
However, the duty owed to a child trespasser is different. If a child who is trespassing is injury, the property owner/occupier may be held responsible for physical harm to the child trespassing on the property if the harm was caused by an artificial condition and:
(a) the property owner/possessor knew or has reason to know that children
were likely to trespass in the place where the condition existed, and
(b) the property owner/possessor knew or had reason to know and realize or should have realized that the condition involved an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children, and
(c) the children because of their youth either
(1) did not discover the condition, or
(2) did not realize the risk involved by trespassing in that area of the property, or
(3) did not realize the risk involved in intermeddling with the condition, and
(d) the utility to the property owner/possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger were slight as compared with the risk to the children involved, and
(e) the property owner/possessor failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or protect the children.
Obtain Legal Representation
The attorneys at Kemeny, Ramp & Renaud, LLC provide aggressive and effective legal representation for accident victims throughout New Jersey. We have experience successfully representing clients in fall accident cases.
Contact the attorneys at Kemeny, Ramp & Renaud, LLC if you or someone you love sustained an injury as a result of a fall. Our firm fights slip and fall accident victims and their families. Our attorneys provide free consultations for people injured as a result of an accident. Call us at (732) 853-1725 to schedule a consultation.