Any time you lawfully step onto property owned or managed by another person, that person has a “duty” under state law to keep you reasonably safe from harm by taking care of their premises. Any property owner or manager who fails to fulfill this duty and allows you to get hurt as a result may bear civil liability for your ensuing losses. However, holding a landowner liable for your injury can be challenging.
Support from a capable Bloomfield premises liability lawyer can make a significant difference in your prospects of securing a favorable result from a case of this nature. From start to finish of your settlement negotiations or civil court proceedings, your dedicated personal injury attorney can provide custom-tailored legal guidance and work tenaciously to protect your best interests. Reach out to Fredson Statmore Bitterman LLC to learn more.
What Is a Premises Liability Lawsuit?
Premises liability lawsuits are a classification of personal injury claims which generally involve injuries sustained as a result of unsafe or defective conditions on a property.
Owners and operators of a properties are required to provide safe and reasonable conditions for visitors, and these properties include:
- Stores and Shopping Centers
- Hotels, Casinos, and Resorts
- Supermarkets and Grocery Stores
- Schools and Playgrounds
- Bars, Restaurants, and Taverns
- Constructions Sites
- Homes and Apartments
However, there are many potential hazards on these properties which can cause injury. The crux of any New Jersey premises liability claim lies on proving that these hazards should have reasonably been identified and taken care of by the property owner or operator. Some of the most common types of premises liability hazards which result in injury are:
- Uncleared ice or snow in parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways
- Exposed or unsafe electrical wiring
- Insufficient lighting
- Liquid spills
- Missing sewer covers
- Large potholes
- Poor security
- Lead poisoning
- Dog and animal bites
When a property owner or operator fails to reasonably maintain a safe premises for visitors, and you are injured as a result, you may have a premises liability claim, and should speak with your Bloomfield attorney about your options for recovering compensation.
When Are Landowners Liable for Injuries?
Property owners in New Jersey are liable for injuries sustained by visitors when those injuries stem directly from the owner’s failure to fulfill the “duty of care” they owed to that visitor. Notably, the specific duty owed by landowners changes somewhat depending on the reason the visitor has for being on the property.
Property owners owe the smallest duty of care to trespassers and are generally not liable for harm that a trespasser suffers on their land unless they do something to knowingly and intentionally cause it. For example, this could mean setting a trap or otherwise purposefully creating a dangerous property condition.
Landowners must provide warnings to licensees of all known hazards on their property. Licensees are people visiting lawfully for their own purposes, like guests at a house party.
Landowners owe the greatest duty to invitees. Like retail store customers, these individuals are on the property for the owner’s benefit. Owners must provide warning of known hazards and regularly inspect their property, so they become aware of new hazards within a reasonable period. A Bloomfield property liability attorney can explain the differences between visitor categories and how they might impact recovery efforts in more detail during a private consultation.
Recovering Compensation in a New Jersey Premises Liability Claim
In order for your Bloomfield premises liability claim to be successful, you and your attorney must prove several key factors.
- The Existence of a Hazardous Condition – You and your premises liability attorney must be able to show that a hazardous condition existed, which was not readily apparent. If a hazardous condition like a wet floor caused a slip and fall injury, but was clearly marked by the property owner, you may not have a premises liability claim.
- Notice of the Hazardous Condition – Beyond the existence of a hazardous condition, you must also be able to prove that the property owner or operator knew of its existence, or reasonably should have known, and did not take the steps necessary to repairing it or alerting visitors to its existence.
- Failure to Secure the Hazard – The more time that passed between when the property owner or manager were aware, or should have been aware, of the existence of a hazardous condition and the time when you are injured, the greater their liability, and the stronger your personal injury case becomes.
- Relation between the Hazard and your Injuries – Finally, you must be able to show exactly how the hazard in question caused your injuries.
While these steps may seem fairly straightforward, it can be an extremely complex matter to gather all of the necessary evidence supporting your claim, and present this evidence in a compelling and effective manner. This is why having an experienced attorney can be of such great benefit when seeking compensation. Your attorney will understand exactly where to find supporting evidence, what kinds of experts to consult with to support your claim, and how to convince juries and insurance companies alike of the validity and strength of your claim.
Work with a Bloomfield Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability law works similarly to standard personal injury law in certain ways and differently in others. Without support from experienced legal counsel, you may have substantial trouble navigating the law effectively and obtaining the compensation you need after an accident on someone else’s property.
Fortunately, help is available from a dedicated Bloomfield premises liability lawyer throughout every stage of your unique case. Call our team today to schedule a meeting.