The modern world is full of hard surfaces, cement sidewalks, hard-tiled grocery store floors, metal and concrete staircases and more. When these surfaces get slippery, or when they’re littered with something that could trip us, accidents are bound to happen.
Unfortunately, human beings aren’t meant to fall on hard surfaces — especially aging individuals. It seems like children can take a fall and bounce right back up again as if nothing happened in most cases, but when it comes to adults — and older adults in particular — bones are more brittle and fragile and a simple slip-and-fall accident can result in catastrophic injuries, even death.
This is why New Jersey property owners must take precautions to keep their premises free of tripping hazards. This isn’t only a good idea for moral reasons, it’s also the law.
Property owners who fail to take reasonable action to keep their premises safe and free of slip-and-fall dangers may be liable in court for injuries that happen as a result of their negligence.
Proving a slip-and-fall accident claim
When pursuing a claim for slip-and-fall accident injuries, plaintiffs will need to prove the fact that the property owner was liable. To prove liability, New Jersey plaintiffs will usually have to show that:
- The property owner, property manager or employee should have realized that the dangerous condition was present because a reasonable person would have immediate recognized the issue as dangerous and corrected it;
- The property owner, property manager or employee was aware of the dangerous problem and failed to correct it; or
- The property owner, property manager or employee directly caused the dangerous situation.
The first scenario listed above is the most common one that plaintiffs attempt to prove. Nevertheless, it is not always easy and straightforward to prove that someone “should have known” that a dangerous condition was present.
Get help presenting your slip-and-fall accident claims
It will be the plaintiff’s task to bring his or her case forward with the strongest arguments available. Then the judge will decide the matter. As such, slip-and-fall plaintiffs may want to put their best feet forward when making their claims by retaining the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney.