It happens. When you're just going about your day, taking a stroll along a New Jersey sidewalk, and you take a spill after slipping and falling. Maybe it's a crack in the sidewalk or uneven pavement that causes the fall, but nonetheless, you slip and fall, and you sustain serious injuries.
When this type of injury happens, who is liable for your injuries? Who else besides you might be responsible?
In this article, we'll answer some of those questions. However, while looking for answers on your own is important, you should always consult with a New Jersey slip and fall lawyer to make sure you're covering all of the bases.
A slip and fall lawsuit is a type of personal injury claim that can be filed if someone sustains injuries due to a trip, slip or fall on another person's property. The claimant must prove that the fall was not his or her fault, but rather the result of the property owner's carelessness or negligence in order to receive compensation.
What Are My Legal Options After a Slip and Fall Injury? Who is Responsible?
There are many elements to consider, including any specific conditions that caused the injury, will determine whether or not a public entity in New Jersey is liable for a slip and fall accident on a sidewalk. In most situations, the public entity would be held liable for the accident if they were aware of the hazard that contributed to the accident but did nothing to fix it. Injuries sustained on private property may result in legal claim against the property owner.
You can sue the city if you fell because the sidewalk was in bad shape and in need of maintenance. You will still need to prove that the city – in this case, a city in New Jersey – neglected public property and was negligent in causing the injury in order to win a lawsuit against the municipality. For example, if the pavement is cracked, uneven, or eroding, that can be used as proof.
A slip and fall accident lawyer should be consulted if the city fails to reply to a citizen's request for information.
In a case involving a slip and fall, the injured party has the burden of proof. While the city or the owner of the private property will most definitely put together evidence to fight the claim, you can potentially be awarded damages even if you were partially responsible for your injury. You may receive less compensation if you're found to be somewhat at fault, as New Jersey is a comparative negligence state. Judges and juries will determine your percentage of fault.
A person's share of responsibility for the accident cannot exceed that of the person from whom damages are sought under New Jersey's comparative negligence statute. In an accident, an injured victim can recover damages if they are not more than 50% at fault.
Establishing Fault in a Slip and Fall Accident
You might be wondering how to establish responsibility if you or a loved one suffered a slip and fall on a New Jersey sidewalk.
It could be difficult to prove that another person's negligence led to the fall. You must show that the conditions that led to the fall were either intentionally established by the owner, that they were aware of the danger but purposefully chose not to address them, or that they existed for so long that the owner had a reasonable opportunity to address them but did not.
You must prove the following to be successful:
- Duty of care: The liable party was required by law to take reasonable precautions for your safety and welfare.
- Breach of duty: The party must have acted carelessly or in some way that violated the obligation.
- Causation: The party's actions must be what led to the slip and fall incident.
- Damages: In order to bring a slip and fall lawsuit in New Jersey, there must be verifiable, compensable damages.
You must submit a Notice of Claim if you are filing a claim against a municipality, and it must be filed within 90 days of the accident. If you miss this deadline, you lose your right to file a lawsuit. According to New Jersey law, a Notice of Claim must be submitted before a lawsuit for damages can be filed against a municipality or other governmental entities. You must specify the location and state of the sidewalk, as well as other important information specific to the incident.
Document the specifics of your accident to prove that the property owner was irresponsible, regardless of who is at fault. Photos, videos, names and the contact details of witnesses are essential to your claim. Evidence of negligence is required in New Jersey for a slip and fall case to succeed.
Deadlines For Slip and Fall Claims
Slip and fall victims in New Jersey have a finite amount of time to submit a slip and fall claim. The statute of limitations states that personal injury lawsuits must be filed no later than two years following the accident date. The injured party has until age 20 to bring a claim if, at the time of the accident, he or she was under the age of 18.
There are a few circumstances, such as slipping and falling on public property, that may have further restrictions on how long one has to file a slip and fall lawsuit. Your claim is covered by the New Jersey Tort Claims Act if you fall on public property. This means that you have 90 days from the date of your accident to notify them of it and file a claim.
The statute of limitations could vary, depending on your specific circumstances. Consult with a lawyer to get legal advice for your claim.
Consult The Slip and Fall Lawyers of Brandon J. Broderick To Learn More About Your Legal Options
It's important to speak with an experienced NJ slip and fall lawyer who is informed about the intricacies of the law before bringing forth a lawsuit. Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, has both the experience and track record to help you win. This could have a major impact on how your case turns out.
It costs nothing to hire a personal injury attorney in New Jersey like Brandon J. Broderick. Our fees are contingent, which means we only get paid if we win your case.
Contact our offices today for free consultation.