Slippery Sidewalks: Who is Liable for Slip and Falls in NJ?

When heading out for a brisk walk, we rarely think about sidewalks as having the ability to hurt us, but when sidewalks are improperly maintained, they can pose a safety risk to pedestrians of any age. Sidewalks that are poorly cared for can cause slip and falls in NJ, resulting in serious injury or death. The injuries which often result from sidewalk accidents can be physical painful, mentally stressful and can incur large medical expenses for the victims.

We’re now entering the season where we’ll see wet leaves creating a very slick surface stuck to the sidewalks and approaching winter’s snow and ice causing cases of slip and fall accidents. Whether it’s the wet leaves that are creating the hazardous environment or when severe weather becomes a factor, the property or business owner has an added responsibility to properly and safely remove fall foliage, snow and ice from the premises or sidewalk. Premises owners have an obligation to keep the pathways surrounding their property safe and to prevent snow and icicles from accumulating on buildings bordering sidewalks. In icy conditions, the property owner should apply salt or other materials to increase traction, in order to minimize the risk of injuries to innocent pedestrians.

Any business or individual whose property is open to the public can be liable for a trip or slip & fall in NJ, including private homeowners and many government agencies. If the property’s owner knew or should have known there was a danger and failed to resolve the hazard within a reasonable amount of time, they are legally responsible for any injury resulting from that hazard. New Jersey law (and some Federal regulations) makes property owners and occupants legally responsible for remedying any type of hazardous condition on their premises, including:

• Uncleared ice or snow on walkways
• Dogs not confined by a fence or leash
• Toxic fumes or substances
• Signs or plant life that dangerously obscure drivers’ views
• Discarded refrigerators, cars and other objects that could be “attractive nuisances” to children
• Vermin, unsafe structural conditions & criminal activity
• Violations of building codes

“Slip and fall” may sound like a minor accident, but it can actually be quite serious and could cause broken bones, head injuries or even spinal damage. In addition to causing serious physical injuries, these incidents can also be very expensive. 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 New Jersey slip and fall accident lawsuit and personal injury attorney can help you recover those lost wages, as well as compensation for your medical bills.

If you or someone you love was injured due to a poorly maintained sidewalk, you may be able to recover financial damages for the pain and suffering you and your family endured. But the law limits the time you have to bring a claim for injuries suffered in a premises liability accident, so call the NJ slip and fall lawyers at Villani & DeLuca P.C. at 732-965-3350 for your free consultation today. We serve New Jersey clients located throughout Ocean County and Monmouth County.