Understanding Your Rights Under N.J.S.A. §59:4-2
Business establishments are held to a certain standard, known as a "duty of care," in the state of New Jersey. This responsibility holds them accountable for any personal harm that occurs on the premises by requiring them to compensate the victims of their own negligent actions. More specifically, N.J.S.A. §59:4-2 states that a "public entity is liable for injury caused by a condition of its property if the plaintiff establishes that the property was in dangerous condition." In the event that a customer of a restaurant was involved in a slip and fall accident because a spill had been left on the floor for an unreasonable amount of time, for example, they would have grounds to seek damages from that establishment.
Cases of premises liability can be particularly tricky, however, as it is the victim's responsibility to prove that the property owner and/or manager had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous conditions before the accident took place. This can be done by proving that they had admitted to having knowledge or by providing a sufficient amount of circumstantial evidence. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you discuss your case with a New Jersey premises liability lawyer from Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law immediately if you have been injured on someone else's property. In doing so, you can ensure that the legal complexities involved in your case will be efficiently managed.
To get started with a free initial consultation, call (201) 870-1909 .
Did the Property Owner Have Actual Construction Knowledge?
Since a business establishment cannot be expected to recognize every single danger that could potentially exist on their property, they would only be held accountable if they had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazardous conditions before an accident took place. Actual knowledge means that an owner, manager or employee had directly recognized the danger but subsequently failed to remedy it. Constructive knowledge refers to the idea that the hazardous condition had existed for such a period of time that the owner should have been aware of its dangerous nature. In either situation, the victim could prove that the public entity was negligent in upholding their duty of care.
Examining the Difference Between a Licensee, Invitee or Trespasser
Under the law, a property owner is not expected to maintain a reasonably safe environment for unwelcome visitors-which, in this case, would be "trespassers." Instead, the duty of care that they owe to their visitors would be predicated on the status of the person. For this reason, it is important to understand the difference between licensees, invitees and trespassers.
- Invitee: Under the law, an invitee is owed the highest duty of care. This includes anyone who has been explicitly or implicitly invited onto another person's property-which could be the customer of a business establishment or the visitor of a public park.
- Licensee: Under the law, a licensee is owed an intermediate duty of care. This includes anyone whose presence has been permitted, but who technically does not qualify as an invitee-which could be a homeowner's social guests, for example.
- Trespasser: Under the law, a trespasser is owed a minimal duty of care. This includes anyone who has entered onto the property unlawfully or without consent from the property owner, but there are certain exceptions for child trespassers.
Injured in New Jersey? Turn to Our Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law for Help Today.
If you have been injured on someone else's property in New Jersey, you should not hesitate to consult with the New Jersey premises liability lawyer at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law. Whether you were involved in a slip and fall accident or you were the victim of negligent security, the experienced legal team at our firm is well-equipped to assist you in your pursuit for compensation.
We truly understand how devastating the ramifications of a wrongful injury can be-especially if you have been faced with costly medical expenses-so you can rest assured that we will do everything in our power to recover damages on your behalf. To learn more about how we can help, simply contact our office today at (201) 870-1909 - we guarantee a 12-hour call back. Either way you choose to reach out, however, we just ask that you do so quickly. Time is of the essence when dealing with a matter of premises liability, so we would like to ensure that you are able to put forth a strong case.
Don't wait to get help. Contact our dedicated legal team today to schedule a free consultation and learn how our team can help you.
Do I need an attorney if I've already been offered a settlement?
The offer you received from the insurance company is almost certainly less than what you are entitled to, by a significant margin. Insurance companies, just like any other business, are structured to maximize their own profits, and in addition to offering a minimal amount in any settlement, they will also commonly employ aggressive tactics against claimants like you to discourage requests for full compensation. We can not only advise you of what your case is really worth, but also provide skilled representation to help you recover damages.
How much is my case worth?
Each personal injury case is unique, and your attorney will consult with you in detail to help you determine the full value of your claim. In any fair settlement, you should expect to receive enough money to cover all your medical bills, from emergency treatment at the scene of the accident to rehabilitative care to help you fully recover. Claims of this nature should also cover the amount of income you will lose due to the injury from missing work or inability to perform on your job, as well as compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
A variety of factors will play into how long it takes to get your insurance settlement, from the availability of evidence to support your claim to how cooperative the insurance company is and how effectively you can prepare your case. At our firm, our legal team takes every case seriously and we will do everything possible to achieve a successful resolution for you. We will also keep you informed throughout the entire process about what you may be up against and how long you can expect your case to take.