Filing a lawsuit for a slip-and-fall accident in New Jersey requires proving the property owner’s negligence. When you visit commercial premises, the owner and manager owe a duty of care to maintain a safe environment and protect you from harm.
Commercial establishments must warn customers of any risks or dangers. Water on the floor, broken ceilings and leaking pipes require visible warning signs advising customers and visitors to exercise caution or avoid the hazard.
If an accident occurs because employees failed to warn you of the possible risk of slipping and falling, the owner may face liability for your injuries. New Jersey law requires you to begin a legal action within two years of the incident.
The court could require proof that the injury resulted from an otherwise preventable accident. You may need to show how the property owner or an employee failed to warn you of a possible danger.
Evidence, such as camera footage, could demonstrate that the establishment lacked necessary warning signs. The defending party, however, may attempt to show that the accident was wholly or partly your fault.
A membership-only chain store, for example, reduced a premises liability award by showing that a 64-year-old Garden State resident was partly responsible for her slip-and-fall injuries. As reported by NJ Advance Media, the jury found that she was negligent by 15%. The court reduced the $1 million she sought in damages to $850,000 and then added prejudgment interest in the amount of $54,090.85.
It is not uncommon for a defending party to attempt to demonstrate that the injured individual was somehow at fault. Depending on the strength of the injured party’s assertions, however, the premises owner may not achieve a significant reduction in an award verdict.