Accidents caused by inadequate maintenance and other defective conditions on business property or at a personal residence are all too common in New Jersey and elsewhere. These accidents can result in serious, even catastrophic injuries for a victim. People who are injured have a limited time to take appropriate legal action seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The Middlesex County slip and fall attorneys at Siegel & Siegel, P.C., can assist with many types of cases arising from a property owner’s negligence, including cases involving slip or trip and falls. We also handle cases in Mercer County and surrounding areas.
Slip and fall cases arising from inadequate maintenance are usually filed under a legal theory known as negligence. When a business, individual, or governmental entity is found to have been negligent, this means that they failed to act in a reasonably prudent manner under the circumstances. Negligence cases require proof of four elements: a duty of care, a breach of duty, damages, and causation. The plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case and must offer legally admissible evidence that shows that their version of events is more likely than not to be accurate.Common Issues in Premises Liability Lawsuits in New Jersey
In premises liability cases, the level of care owed to the plaintiff can vary, depending upon the reason why the plaintiff was on the defendant’s property. Invitees such as people who go onto another party’s property for a business purpose (like a customer in a restaurant) are typically owed a higher duty than a trespasser or social guest. Once the appropriate level of care has been established, the plaintiff then has the task of proving that the defendant breached the duty that was owed. Inadequate maintenance and other premises liability cases are often very fact-specific, hinging on the particular type of danger that harmed the plaintiff, how long the situation had existed on the defendant’s premises, and whether the plaintiff was on actual or constructive notice of the problem.
New Jersey allows the defendant in a negligence case to seek a reduction in the amount of damages that must be paid to the plaintiff if the plaintiff’s own fault contributed to the accident. If the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault, he or she cannot recover any damages at all under the state’s modified comparative fault law. While many types of negligence cases can give rise to an argument of comparative negligence, this is especially true with premises liability cases. For example, a business may admit that it failed to make repairs to its property but argue that the plaintiff could have avoided the accident by paying more attention to his or her surroundings instead of texting while he or she was walking into the defendant’s business. The defendant may also argue that the condition was so “open and obvious” that a reasonable person would have noticed – and avoided – the danger. Each situation is unique, and an experienced attorney will carefully investigate the accident scene and the events leading to the accident to determine the most effective basis for establishing liability. If you are successful in your case, you may be able to obtain compensation for past, present, and future damages, including your current and anticipated medical bills, lost income and earning capacity, and pain and suffering.Discuss Your Case with a Knowledgeable Middlesex County Attorney
As with all personal injury and wrongful death cases, time is of the essence following a slip and fall accident. Claims not filed within the statute of limitations are almost always dismissed, and promptly gathering evidence is an essential part of building a strong case. For a free consultation about your accident, call Siegel & Siegel, P.C., at 609-799-6066 or contact us online. Our attorneys assist victims in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor, as well as other areas of Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Union Counties.