Winter in New Jersey usually brings plenty of snow along with icy conditions.
While snow creates beautiful, wintry scenes, walking across snowy, icy sidewalks and parking lots can lead to serious slip and fall accidents. Who is liable for the resulting injuries?
When cold weather comes bringing snow and ice, a variety of hazardous conditions develop. Anyone can sustain an injury due to walking on slick surfaces. Injuries can arise due to snowdrifts, black ice and tripping hazards hidden by snow such as uneven sidewalks.
Parking lot responsibility
The owner of a parking lot must maintain the lot in a safe manner. In addition to repairing defects such as cracks and holes, the owner must see to the removal of snow and ice.
Residents are not usually liable if someone walking on a sidewalk outside their home sustains a slip-and-fall injury. However, New Jersey law holds commercial landowners responsible for maintaining the safety of adjoining sidewalks. This includes removing snow and ice.
In New Jersey, liability for a slip-and-fall injury on an icy sidewalk or parking lot is not always immediately apparent. It may seem that a business is responsible. However, responsibility could ultimately lie with the property owner who rents space to the business. If a government entity is liable, the injured party must file a claim within 90 days of the date the injury occurred. Slipping and falling on a slick surface often results in a serious head or back injury, which could require months of recovery time. Compensation for such injuries should be sufficient to cover medical expenses, lost wages and more.