Property owners in New Jersey must provide safe surroundings for tenants and visitors. This not only applies to stores but also apartment buildings and any other facilities. If you rent an apartment, your landlord must take reasonable care of maintenance and immediately repair any hazards that could cause injuries.
Any injuries that you or other tenants suffer due to the negligence of a landlord could lead to premises liability lawsuits. Circumstances that could cause you to slip and fall include wet and slippery walkways or floors inside and outside buildings. Damaged staircases or missing handrails can also cause falls, especially when the lighting is insufficient.
Vital steps to take
If you are the victim of a slip-and-fall accident that resulted from the negligence of a property owner or landlord, you may have grounds for filing a premises liability lawsuit. However, the burden of proof will be on you, and to prove negligence you will need evidence. To show the court that a dangerous condition existed and that the property owner was aware, or should have been aware, it might help to take the following steps:
- Record details — Document everything you remember about the circumstances that led to your fall. If your injuries allow you, take photos on your mobile phone to show any defects or out-of-place objects that contributed to the incident. Were there signs posted to warn people of the potential hazards?
- See a doctor — Try to seek a medical evaluation immediately after the fall — even if you feel your injury is not serious. It can take days for some internal injuries to become evident. If you decide to file a lawsuit later, you will need the doctor’s report. To allow the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis, make sure you provide him or her with all the details about the incident.
- Get legal counsel — Proving negligence in premises liability claims can be challenging. For that reason, you may want to consult with an experienced premises liability attorney to learn about your rights. A lawyer can assess the available details to determine whether you have a viable claim.
If the presentation of your premises liability claim is successful, the court may award a monetary judgment against the owner of the property. Your claims must be properly documented, and they may include all the financial losses and emotional damages you suffered as the result of the injuries.