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Slip and Fall

Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries. Falls are one of the leading causes of emergency room visits in the United States. When a slip and fall happens due to a dangerous condition on someone else’s property or at a place of business, the injured party may have grounds to file a premises liability claim. Property owners have a legal duty to maintain a safe environment.

Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents

Property owners, property managers, and caretakers of property all have a legal duty to protect visitors from known dangers on the property, including cracked pavement, torn carpeting, spilled fluids, loose handrails, and the like. In premises liability cases, various types of property owners have different levels of responsibility to maintain their property. For example, business owners have the highest level of responsibility to keep their premises safe, because patrons visit their premises for commercial purposes.

At the other end of the spectrum, very little duty is owed to trespassers. For example, if you have a hazardous condition in your back yard, like an open pit, and someone trespasses on your property, wanders into the pit and is injured, it is extremely unlikely that they would be able to recover damages from you, because they were not invited onto your property.

In general, property owners can only be held liable for hazardous conditions that they know about. If you are in a grocery store and someone spills a bottle of oil on the floor, if you slip and fall immediately after the spill, before any employee could have seen it, you would have a hard time prevailing in a premises liability lawsuit.

Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents

Although a slip and fall accident can happen for any reason, there are a few common safety hazards that commonly cause accidents and injury, including:

  • Broken steps
  • Cracked pavement
  • Uneven pavement
  • Slippery, wet floors
  • Icy surfaces
  • Open manholes
  • Dangerous construction sites
  • Poorly lit stairwells or walkways
  • Obstructions on the floor, like debris
  • Lack of adequate warnings about existing safety hazards
  • Torn carpets
  • Icy parking lots
  • Potholes in parking lots
  • Unfinished flooring or temporary platforms on a construction site

What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you are probably more focused on your recovery than any future legal claim that you may bring. However, there are some steps that you should take to preserve your ability to bring a successful claim.

  • Get Medical Treatment. Even if it seems like you did not sustain any injury as a result of your fall, injuries may arise later. Some injuries worsen over time, and symptoms may not show for weeks. Seeing a doctor immediately after your accident is essential to shorten the duration and intensity of potential injuries. Make sure that you follow all your physician’s instructions and attend all follow-up visits.
  • Document Your Accident. Take photos of the accident scene as soon as possible after your slip or fall. This is especially important if it is due to a temporary dangerous condition, like a spill or the result of weather, that led to your fall. If there were any witnesses present, be sure to take down their contact information. Keep a journal of your injuries, and photograph them periodically over time to track improvement or worsening.
  • Contact an Experienced Camden County Slip and Fall Lawyer. In New Jersey, there is a statute of limitations on slip and fall injury claims of two years. In order to give your lawyer time to build your best case and gather all the evidence, contact an experienced Camden County slip and fall lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.

Compensation for Slip and Fall Accidents

In New Jersey, slip and fall accident victims may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, loss of future earnings, repair or replacement of any property (such as clothing) destroyed in the fall, lost wages for time off of work, permanent disability and disfigurement damages, emotional distress, and any other costs incurred by the accident.

Contact a Haddon Heights Slip and Fall Lawyer at The Law Office of Thomas J. Gosse Today

If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident caused by a property owner’s negligence, we can pursue a premises liability claim on your behalf, so that you can focus on what really matters – your recovery. To schedule a free consultation, call an experienced Haddon Heights slip and fall lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas J. Gosse at 856-546-6600 to discuss your case for free.  You can also submit an online contact form. Our Haddon Heights office is conveniently located to clients in Camden County, Burlington County, and surrounding areas.