New Jersey Premises Liability Lawyer
New Jersey slip and fall accidents are often uneventful. A fall occurs and usually the person is not significantly injured. However, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, a New Jersey slip and fall or other premises liability accident can result in long lasting or even permanent harm. This could lead to unexpected financial and emotional harms.
A fall victim may be unable to work or care for her family. Medical bills can pile up. On top of all of this, trying to deal with the negligent property owner’s insurance company will also feel like a struggle. Your best course of action at this point is to hire an experienced New Jersey premises liability lawyer. I, Joseph Monaco, have over 30 years of experience representing injury victims and families in wrongful death and bodily injury cases throughout New Jersey. Call or text me at 609-277-3166 to learn how to protect your rights if you or a loved one has been injured in a New Jersey premises liability incident.
Experience in New Jersey premises liability and slip/fall cases does matter
From house fires to slip and fall accidents, I have extensive experience handling New Jersey personal injury and wrongful death cases. I have obtained million-dollar awards for my clients. Obviously, not every case is the same. An award of monetary compensation in a New Jersey slip and fall case will depend on the severity and nature of the injuries sustained and how the injures have affected the victim’s well-being including quality of life. The amount of economic losses such as lost wages and medical bills will also be important factors in evaluating the merits of a New Jersey premises liability case. As your selected trial lawyer, I will listen carefully to your concerns and then put together a winning strategy to allow you and your family to achieve justice including a maximum award of monetary compensation.
Common New Jersey Slip and Fall Injuries
Slip and fall and other premises liability cases happen when a person is not expecting a property to be unsafe. New Jersey law requires properties to be safe for their intended uses. This applies to all locations including places of employment, retail outlets, residential properties or governmental parks. Owners, managers or occupants of a New Jersey property will be held at fault for an accident if they fail to fix or provide proper warning of a dangerous condition such as a wet floor, cracked walkway or a lack of smoke detectors. These dangerous conditions can lead to wrongful death and personal injuries.
Injuries from a New Jersey premises liability case may include:
- Sprains and strains of muscles, tendons, ligaments or other soft tissue damage
- Broken bones including joints
- Spinal cord and other nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Lacerations with resulting scars
- Wrongful death
What liability do New Jersey property owners or managers have to injury victims?
A primary issue in New Jersey Premises Liability cases including common slip and falls is the legal status of the injured victim. As a general rule, the common classifications are invitees, licensees, social guests or trespassers.
New Jersey law defines these classifications as follows (Model Jury Charge 5.20F):
New Jersey Invitee or Business Invitee
An invitee is one who is permitted to enter or remain on a property for a purpose of the owner/occupier. She enters by invitation, expressed or implied. The owner/occupier of the property who by invitation, expressed or implied, induced persons to come upon his property is under a duty to exercise ordinary care to render the property reasonably safe for the purposes embraced in the invitation. Thus, he must exercise reasonable care for the invitee’s safety. He must take such steps as are reasonable and prudent to correct or give warning of hazardous conditions or defects actually known to him, and of hazardous conditions or defects which he by the exercise of reasonable care, could discover. The basic duty of a proprietor of a business establishment to which the public is invited for business purposes is to exercise reasonable care to see that one who enters his premises upon that invitation has a reasonably safe place to do that which is within the scope of the invitation.If you were a customer, you are considered an invitee. An invitee is an individual who enters a property with the express or implied permission or invitation of the owner, and whose visit benefits both parties. According to the law, an owner has the highest level of duty towards an invitee. As a result, they must use reasonable care to ensure that all hazards are taken care of in a timely manner, all operations are carried out safely, and that they routinely carry out inspections in order to fix any apparent premises defects.
New Jersey Social Guest
A social guest is someone invited to her host’s premises. The social guest must accept the premises of her host as she finds them. In other words, the host has no obligation to make his home safer for his guest than for himself. The host also is not required to inspect his premises to discover defects that might cause injury to his/her guest. If, however, the host knows or has reason to know of some artificial or natural condition on the premises which could pose an unreasonable risk of harm to his guest and that his guest could not be reasonably expected to discover it, the owner/occupier owes the social guest a duty to exercise reasonable care to make the condition safe or to give warning to his guest of its presence and of the risk involved. In other words, although a social guest is required to accept the premises as the host maintains it, she is entitled to the host’s knowledge of dangerous conditions on the premises. On the other hand, where the guest knows or has reason to know of the condition and the risk involved and nevertheless enters or remains on the premises, the host cannot be held liable for the accident.
New Jersey Licensee
A licensee is a person who has the right to enter or remain upon land by the consent of the possessor. She is not invited but her presence is tolerated. The owner/occupier of the property owes a duty to a licensee to abstain from willfully injurious acts. If the owner/occupier knows of a hazardous condition on the premises and the owner/occupier could reasonably anticipate the licensee would not observe and avoid such condition, then the owner/occupier must either give warning of it or make the condition reasonably safe. A licensee is a person who is permitted to come onto the property and does so for her own purposes. The owner/occupier does not have a duty to a licensee to actually discover latent – hidden defects. The owner/occupier does have a duty to warn a licensee of any dangerous conditions of which the owner had actual knowledge and of which the licensee is unaware.
New Jersey Adult Trespasser
A trespasser is a person who enters or remains upon property in the possession of another without a right to enter or remain on the property. A right may be created by the possessor’s consent or otherwise. An owner/occupier of property owes a duty to a trespasser to refrain from acts which willfully injure the trespasser.
New Jersey Child Trespasser
Although a possessor of property is generally not required to keep his property safe for trespassers, an exception exists for those trespassers who are children. Because children may lack sufficient discretion for their own safety, a possessor of property, who maintains an artificial condition upon his property, will be liable for physical harm to a child trespassing on his property caused by the artificial condition if:
(a) the possessor of the property knows or has reason to know children are likely to trespass in the place where the condition exists;
(b) the possessor of the property knows or has reason to know and realizes or should realize that the condition involves an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to such children and
(c) the children because of their youth either
(1) do not discover the condition, or
(2) do not realize the risk involved by trespassing in that area of the property made dangerous by the condition, or
(3) do not realize the risk involved in intermeddling with the condition;
(d) the utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger are slight as compared with the risk to the children involved and
(e) the possessor of the property fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect the children.
Some common examples of New Jersey premises liability accidents include:
- Merchandise falling off shelves at places like Home Depot or Walmart
- Collapsing decks from the weight of guests
- Amusement Pier Accidents
- Lack of proper building security leading to an assault or murder at a casino or mall
- Building code violations leading to unsafe stairs or a collapse
- Failing to properly maintain an amusement ride
- Failure to mark the depth of a pool or have a lifeguard
- Elevator doors closing on customers
- Escalators stopping or jolting suddenly leading to a fall
- Serving alcohol to a minor of visibly intoxicated adult
- Slip and fall accidents due to spilled liquid or other tripping hazard
- Exposed electrical wiring
- Construction site accidents
- Exposure to lead or mold
What types of damages are recoverable in a New Jersey injury case?
Typical damages include an award of monetary damages for the following losses:
- Reimbursement for medical bills: Medical bills can add up quickly and become an unexpected financial hardship especially if you do not have health insurance or have health insurance with large deductibles or co-payments. The monetary compensation you receive will pay for past and future medical treatments and doctor visits. This can be physical or occupational therapy, hospital admissions, MRIs, mental health care or surgeries.
- Payment of lost wages: Lost wages can add up fast when you are disabled from work. Fortunately, the State of New Jersey provides 6-months worth a Temporary Disability Insurance if you work for a New Jersey employer. However, you do not receive the full amount of your pay and it will not cover your health insurance premiums. You will be able, though, to collect in your New Jersey premises liability case an award of lost wages not covered by the Temporary Disability Insurance including future lost wages, if you are deemed permanently disabled or disabled for an extended period of time.
- Pain and suffering: Monetary compensation for pain and suffering is part of a class of damages known as non-economic damages. This class of damages also includes compensation for loss of life’s pleasures, meaning that you no longer enjoy doing things like you did before your injuries. You also can receive a monetary award for disfigurement including scarring or loss of a finger or limb.
What defenses do big insurance companies use to take away victims’ rights?
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, big insurance companies’ top priority is to increase profits. This leads them to trying every trick in the book to undermine your rights as a New Jersey personal injury victim. Their goal is to prevent you from receiving the fair and just compensation you deserve. They will attack the cause or extent of your injuries with evaluations by the same cast of unscrupulous physicians. These physicians will charge the insurance company $1,000 to $3,000 for a simple 15 minute evaluation to write a report saying there is nothing wrong with the victim, or if there is, it was caused by an accident occurring 15 years ago. This scenario plays out way too often to not only keep settlement amounts low but also to deny needed medical care and treatments. Often, this leaves victims more vulnerable than they already were because of the injuries they needlessly sustained. In regards to assessing fault, the big insurance companies and corporations will argue that their insured property owners or managers took all reasonable precautions to eliminate or warn of the dangerous condition, or that the fall or other incident was the victim’s own fault.
You should not give in to these defense tactics. Call me, Joseph Monaco, to hire a trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience handling New Jersey premises liability cases. Plus, hiring me for your New Jersey slip and fall case will not cost you anything upfront. My firm works on a contingency fee basis and only gets paid if we win.
Plus, I provide all potential clients with a free consultation to learn how I can help them get through this unexpected ordeal. Hiring my law firm on a contingency fee basis allows my clients to get the legal support they need quickly and efficiently.
Can an New Jersey injury victim also be entitled to New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits in a premises liability case?
If you or a loved one have been involved in slip and fall or other premises liability incident while working, you likely will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to pay your lost wages and medical bills. All you need to prove is that the incident happened during the course and scope of your employment. You do not have to prove negligence (fault) by your employer.
However, you also may be able to pursue what is known as a third party premises liability claim (negligence liability) against the property owner, manager or maintainer. For example, if you fall at work because of a wet bathroom floor, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits and pursue a premises liability claim against the building owner or vendor hired to maintain the bathrooms. If your employer maintains the bathrooms by having your co-employees do the work, then you cannot bring a New Jersey premises liability claim against your employer. You can under these circumstances only collect workers’ compensation benefits from your employer.
In order to preserve your rights, you should notify your employer about the fall or other incident as soon as possible. You should also seek medical care by a doctor approved by the workers’ compensation insurance company. Unfortunately, New Jersey law allows your employer and its workers’ compensation carrier to control where you receive treatment. However, if there is a need for emergency care, you should go to the nearest emergency room to get evaluated.
New Jersey workers’ compensation claims can be complex. So can, slip and fall and other New Jersey premises liability claims. In a negligence liability claim, simply proving that the fall occurred at a property is not sufficient proof of negligence. It has to be proven that the property owner or occupier was reckless or careless.
With over 30 years of experience, I understand how to put a New Jersey premises liability case together to achieve justice for my clients. I recommend that my clients take photographs of the dangerous condition as soon as possible, and to gather contact information for any witnesses. We will have to then conduct a thorough investigation including obtaining any security camera footage. Most properties in this day and age have surveillance systems.
Is it important to hire a New Jersey slip and fall lawyer with trial experience?
Yes, because you never know if your case will be low balled by the insurance companies. Preparing a case for trial is the best way to maximize your recovery and show the big insurance companies that you mean business.
What types of damages are recoverable in a New Jersey premises liability case?
Typically, an injury victim can recover economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages and the costs of hiring help to clean the house or mow the lawn. Plus, you can recover monetary compensation for what is normally termed non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures and disfigurement.
Can an New Jersey injury victim also be entitled to New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits in a premises liability case?
Yes. Although an employee can only collect workers’ compensation benefits from his employer, he can purse a negligence claim also if the accident was caused by another person or entity’s reckless or careless management of a property. This is known as a third party liability claim.
Can you in New Jersey sue if you fall and get hurt at a friend’s home?
Yes, but the laws covering the case are a bit different than if you had fallen at a business property. When you fall at a friend’s home, you are considered a social guest who must accept the premises as is. In other words, your friend does not have to make her home safer for you than for herself. However, she can be found negligent for having a dangerous condition that caused your fall.
Contact An Experienced New Jersey Premises Liability Lawyer
The last thing you want happening to you or a family member is being needlessly injured because of a property owner’s neglect. Property owners have a legal obligation to make sure their properties are safe for others to use. This can range from building security to snow removal. The failure to make the premises safe can lead to serious bodily injury or wrongful death. I, Joseph Monaco, have been fighting for victims in New Jersey my entire career as a New Jersey Premises Liability Lawyer – Slip & Fall Attorney. I know as a New Jersey trial lawyer how critical it is to seek legal advice early on in the process to preserve crucial evidence that may be lost as time passes. Call or text me at 609-277-3166 before it is too late to get the best help a New Jersey Slip & Fall Lawyer can provide you and your family. Free Consultation.