Slip and fall accidents occur when a property is poorly maintained or hazardous. When a person is injured on someone else’s property due to insufficient maintenance or dangerous conditions, he or she has a right to file a premises liability lawsuit seeking damages for the undue medical costs, mental anguish and other expenses that result.
Generally, slip and fall injury claims operate under the assumption that the landowner was somehow negligent. A property owner might be negligent for one of the following three reasons:
- The property owner caused a spill or other dangerous item to be underfoot
- The owner knew of the dangerous condition but did nothing to fix it
- The owner should have known (but likely did not know) of the dangerous condition.
In determining whether a property owner acted “reasonably” in keeping the property safe, courts typically focus on whether the owner makes thorough, regular efforts to maintain the premises.
In addition to negligence by the property owner, every slip and fall case questions whether the victim’s own carelessness may have contributed to the accident. Those preparing to file premises liability personal injury claims should be prepared to answer the following questions:
- Their reasons for being on the property
- Whether there were any warnings present that alerted them to the conditions that ultimately caused their injuries
- If they were acting carefully enough to avoid the cause of their injuries
- Whether they were distracted or acting recklessly at the time of the slip and fall
Establishing liability in a slip and fall injury case can be complicated. Anyone dealing with a premises liability issue in Bergen County or elsewhere in New Jersey should seek legal support from a skilled attorney.