When is a property owner responsible for your injuries?
If you have suffered injuries in an accident involving a fall because of dangerous property conditions, you may be unsure of what to do next. When you go to any type of business, you likely have a reasonable expectation of personal safety, so it can be quite overwhelming to be the victim of conditions beyond your control. In fact, many victims of slip-and-fall accidents are not certain who or what is to blame for their injuries.
In the winter months, slip-and-fall accidents are more prevalent due to snow and ice. After this type of accident, it is possible you have grounds to move forward with a personal injury claim. The property owner may be liable for what happened to you, but it is smart to learn more about these types of claims and how to prove liability.
What conditions led to your accident?
In New Jersey, winter weather often brings the threat of snow and ice. It is quite easy to slip on ice or fall while walking on snow, and there is often confusion over who is responsible for making sure walkways, sidewalks and other areas are clear and safe for visitors. Responsibility for your slip-and-fall accident and whether or not you have a claim may depend on the where the accident took place and other factors. Consider the following:
- Property owners are not necessarily responsible for removing snow and ice that accumulates outside of their buildings. However, they may be responsible for removing snow or ice that forms as a result of dripping roof lines, sloped sidewalks and other reasons.
- A property owner could be liable for an accident that happens on his or her property due to poor lighting. This includes falls that occur on sidewalks or in parking lots due to lack of visibility.
- Slip-and-fall accidents that take place on public sidewalks may be the responsibility of public entities, such as the city public works. However, a business could be liable if you fall on their privately owned portion of the sidewalk.
Determining liability after a slip-and-fall accident is never an easy task. In fact, it can be quite complex to determine who or what is to blame for the accident that left you injured and dealing with financial losses.
Because of the difficulty of premises liability cases, it may be helpful to discuss your concerns with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal options and rights as a victim.