FAQs About Slip and Fall Accidents Caused by Snow and Ice
In New Jersey, the law imposes a duty on property owners to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Unfortunately, property owners frequently fail to uphold their responsibilities, and unsafe conditions arise as a result. People who rightfully enter a property and are injured in an accident caused by a dangerous condition may be uncertain regarding their rights to seek damages from the property owner. If you are a resident of New Jersey who suffered injuries due to an accident on someone else’s property, it is essential to retain a trusted New Jersey personal injury attorney to assist you in your pursuit of compensation. Bergen County premises liability attorney Howard Leopold of Leopold Law, L.L.C. can inform you of your rights and help you to seek the maximum damages recoverable under the law. Mr. Leopold represents parties in slip and fall cases in Bergen County and other cities throughout New Jersey and New York.
Typically, people hurt in slip and fall accidents caused by snow and ice will pursue negligence claims against the owner of the property where the fall occurred in a premises liability lawsuit. Under New Jersey law, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, a breach of the duty, and actual harm proximately caused by the breach. Damages recoverable in slip and fall cases include the cost of any necessary medical care, compensation for lost wages, and damages for the pain, mental anguish, and suffering endured because of the fall.
Under New Jersey law, the duties imposed on commercial and residential property owners differ. Broadly speaking, residential homeowners do not have an obligation to remove ice or snow from their sidewalks or property. Municipalities can pass ordinances imposing snow removal duties on property owners, however. Absent such ordinances, they will only be held responsible for slip and fall accidents caused by snow and ice if their conduct made the condition in question more dangerous than what occurred naturally.
Parties that own or lease commercial properties, though, have an obligation to take reasonable measures to make the walkways or sidewalks abutting their property relatively safe. In other words, they must remove foreseeable hazards, including any snow or ice covering the walkways. Under New Jersey’s ongoing storm rule, though, they do not have a duty to remove any accumulation of ice or snow until a storm ends. This means that if a person falls on snow or ice amid a storm, it may be challenging to establish liability.
People who enter property owned by another person or entity are classified into three categories: trespassers, who are individuals not legally permitted to enter the property; licensees, who are allowed to enter the property by the owner or occupier; and invitees, who are there by invitation of the property owner. In New Jersey, property owners and occupiers owe a greater duty of care to anyone who lawfully enters their property than trespassers. Thus, your status at the time of your fall may impact your case.
If you sustained harm in a slip and fall accident caused by snow and ice, it is crucial to engage an attorney to discuss the circumstances surrounding your harm. Howard Leopold of Leopold Law, L.L.C. is a knowledgeable Bergen County premises liability attorney with ample experience helping parties recover compensation following slip and fall accidents. He can answer any questions you may have and, if you decide to pursue a claim for your losses, develop convincing arguments in favor of your recovery. Mr. Leopold has offices in Hackensack and New York City, and he frequently represents parties in premises liability lawsuits in Bergen County and cities throughout Hudson, Passaic, and Essex Counties in New Jersey, and Bronx, Richmond, Kings, New York, Queens, and Rockland Counties in New York. You can reach him at his New Jersey office at (201) 345-5907 or his New York office at (646) 650-2106 or through the form online to set up a confidential and free consultation.