New Jersey State Bar Association
Bergen County Bar Association

Defective Property Conditions

Premises Liability Attorney Representing Victims in Bergen County

While people should always be careful in unfamiliar surroundings, they are justified in making certain assumptions. People expect that a walkway will be level and free of obstacles, a stair rail will be sturdy, and safety locks will function. When these types of assumptions are not met, but instead a property condition is hazardous, injuries are likely to occur. If you have been hurt in a slip and fall or another accident caused by a defective property condition on someone else’s property, Bergen County premises liability lawyer Howard B. Leopold can assist you. He has represented many residents of New York City and Northern New Jersey during more than two decades of practicing law.

Defective Property Conditions May Cause Serious Injuries

Premises liability claims like slip and fall cases are based on the principle that parties that hold their property open to the public—apartment buildings, stores, restaurants, and hotels, for instance—have a duty to keep their property free from unreasonably dangerous or defective conditions that could lead to accidents.

While some accidents may have been avoidable, others occur because a particular property condition presents an unreasonable risk of harm that would not have been expected by the victim. If a property owner or business proprietor has failed to address a defective property condition, either by failing to place a sufficient warning around the hazard or by failing to fix it, that owner or proprietor may face liability to anyone who is injured as a result of the condition.

Some examples of defective property conditions that may give rise to liability include:

  • Unstable objects, such as boxes or objects stored incorrectly on high shelves;

  • Steps or walkways that are unstable, uneven, or broken;

  • Floor surfaces that are oily, wet, or slippery from spilled liquids or small dry goods;

  • Items on shelves or racks that protrude into aisles or walkways;

  • Loose or broken handrails, doorknobs, railings, bars, handles, fences, or banisters;

  • Ditches, gaps, or any other abrupt changes in floor surface or texture that are not marked or are otherwise obscured;

  • Broken or inadequate fences or warnings around pools, ponds, or ditches;

  • Any stairwell, step, or walkway that is not lighted properly at night or when it is in an interior space, such as a parking garage; or

  • A poorly constructed or malfunctioning elevator or escalator.

Not only must a property owner address any known defect, but also they have an affirmative obligation to observe and inspect their premises regularly and to maintain all public spaces in a safe condition. If any part of the property is not in satisfactory repair, the dangerous condition must be fixed, clearly marked, or cordoned off.

Consult a Bergen County Lawyer for a Premises Liability Case

If you have suffered an injury on someone else’s property as a result of a defective condition there, contact Bergen County attorney Howard B. Leopold. For a free, confidential consultation to find out more about your legal options, call (201) 345-5907 or contact us online. Howard B. Leopold assists people who need an injury attorney in Hackensack, Englewood, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Dumont, Edgewater, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Fairview, Fort Lee, Franklin Lakes, Garfield, Glen Rock, Hasbrouck Heights, Hillsdale, Little Ferry, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, New Milford, North Arlington, Oakland, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, Ridgewood, River Edge, Rutherford, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Tenafly, Wallington, Westwood, Wyckoff, Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City, among other areas of Bergen, Passaic, Essex, and Hudson Counties.

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