New Jersey winters bring snow and ice, which make sidewalks, parking lots and outdoor stairs slippery (and dangerous). These icy and snowy conditions are among the leading causes of slip and fall accidents in NJ. Slippery surfaces can be hazardous for pedestrians, especially if the hazardous condition is not obvious, like in the case with black ice. Black ice refers to a thin coating of glazed ice on a surface. While not truly black, it is virtually transparent, allowing black asphalt (or other surfaces) below to be seen through it—hence the term “black ice”. Property owners in New Jersey have a duty to make their premises reasonably safe for tenants and visitors which includes removing ice and snow within a reasonable time after it collects to reduce the risk of a slip and fall accident.
Are you legally liable if someone gets hurt because of snow or ice on your property?
Liability for injuries suffered as the result of falling on another's property can be confusing. If you fall on a sidewalk next to a commercial property, that landlord or owner would be responsible. The issue becomes more difficult when a person falls in front of a residential property. New Jersey's Courts have not extended legal responsibility for slip & fall injuries caused by defects in a sidewalk adjacent to a residential property. However, this rule, like every other rule has exceptions. Many slip and fall injury cases can be quite serious and could cause broken bones, head injuries or even spinal damage. Medical bills can quickly add up and if the injury ends up taking you out of work, it can result in significant lost wages. A qualified personal injury attorney in New Jersey can help you understand your options and help you recover those lost wages, as well as compensation for your medical bills.
If you have suffered an injury due to a fall from snow or ice on a sidewalk, stairs or parking lot, you should:
• Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
• Take photographs as soon as possible of the ice or snow that caused your fall. Even if the ice or snow has melted, it is important to show the area where the condition existed. Try to take pictures from far away, from close up, and from all sides.
• Make note of the street address of the property or the name of the business if applicable.
• Call and talk to one of our experienced slip and fall lawyers to protect your legal rights.
If you or someone you love was injured after slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk or parking lot in New Jersey, you may be able to recover financial damages for the pain and suffering you and your family endured. And, if you slip on ice or snow while you were working, you may be eligible for a workers' compensation case. Call Villani & DeLuca P.C. at (732) 709-7757 for your free consultation today; we serve New Jersey clients located throughout the state, including Ocean County and Monmouth County.