New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyer
If your slip and fall happened because a floor was unexpectedly wet, a walkway was uneven or a parking lot or stairway held patches of ice, there may be a clear cause for your injuries: someone else’s negligence.
You shouldn’t be the only one facing the consequences of another person’s reckless behavior. Our New Jersey slip and fall lawyers can make things right. We’ll hold the people who caused your injuries responsible and get you the money damages you deserve.
For your free, private consultation with Console & Hollawell, call (856) 778-5500 now.
Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents
Most safety hazards that cause slip and falls are a lot less obvious than the clichéd banana peel – that’s why people get hurt even when they’re not doing anything wrong.
The kinds of safety hazards that cause slip and falls vary, but they often fall into one of a few basic categories.
Weather-Related Slip and Falls
Slip and falls on ice or snow, including nearly invisible black ice, are very common in New Jersey. They’re also very serious.
If you want to pursue a lawsuit involving a slip and fall on ice, you’ll need an attorney with experience handling these claims specifically. These cases aren’t easy, but that hasn’t stopped our lawyers from winning hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of slip and fall accidents involving ice.
Of course, snow isn’t the only weather condition that can cause safety hazards. Rain, too, can create slippery walking surfaces if property owners don’t take precautions. Even seemingly harmless objects, like scattered leaves, can cause dangerously slippery conditions when they get wet.
You might be surprised just how many slip and falls result from uneven pavement.
Most of us aren’t staring down at the ground when we walk – and we shouldn’t be. You expect the surface you’re walking on to be even. But broken curbs, cracked sidewalks, loose paving stones, and deep potholes pose dangers that you never see coming.
Poorly Maintained Stairs
Whether indoors or outdoors, poorly maintained flights of steps can develop safety hazards that put you in danger. Our attorneys have seen slip and fall cases involving everything from broken and cracked steps to outdoor stairs that develop slippery patches of mold.
A dangerous staircase presents even more danger than a slippery condition on a flat walking surface. If you slip and fall on stairs that are poorly maintained, you could have a lot further to fall – and suffer the pain of additional impacts from each step.
Unexpectedly Slippery Walking Surfaces
What about when spilled liquids or debris create an unexpected hazard?
A slippery patch on any walking surface can lead to fall injuries. The property owner should always clean up or at least use a warning sign to mark a safety hazard – and if they don’t, they could be liable for the injuries you suffer as a result.
The Injuries That Result from Slip and Falls
Every personal injury case is unique. But there are patterns that you notice when you’ve worked in this field of law as long as we have. Over our 20+ years of personal injury experience, our New Jersey slip and fall attorneys have found that victims hurt in slip and falls like yours often suffer the same kinds of injuries.
Some of the most common slip and fall injuries include:
- Brain injury or head injury
- Broken wrist
- Back injuries, including herniated discs
- Elbow injuries
- Hip injuries
- Knee injury
- Tailbone injuries
The Sites of Slip and Fall Accidents
Where do slip and falls happen? They can occur anywhere a safety hazard is left to put people who visit the environment at risk. But there are certain places where these accidents seem to happen more often than others – and places where a claim is more likely to be successful.
Common sites of slip and falls include:
- Schools. From nursery schools to colleges, schools with poorly maintained premises can be the sites of slip and falls. Public schools have additional legal protections that private schools do not, which can make them harder to sue for a slip and fall. If you get hurt on a school premises,
- Grocery stores. Grocery store slip and fall injuries often involve spilled merchandise, leaking refrigerator and freezer units, or water and squished fruits in the produce aisle.
- Retail stores. As with grocery stores, spilled merchandise is often the cause of slip and falls in retail stores. Fortunately, Console & Hollawell has handled high-value slip and falls in retail stores.
- Restaurants. Spilled drinks, grease splatters, and wet restroom falls tend to lead to restaurant slip and falls.
- Gas stations and convenience stores. Slippery entryways and icy parking lots are often the cause of slip and falls at gas stations and convenience stores, like Wawa and 7-11.
- Hotels, casinos, and entertainment venues. Resorts, theaters, and other entertainment venues have the same responsibility as other businesses to keep premises safe.
- Apartment complexes and private residences. When you suffer a slip and fall on private property, like someone else’s home or a landlord’s property, you’ll pursue a claim against the relevant homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Parking lots. A property owner’s responsibilities don’t end when you step outside the building. Parking lots, curbs, and sidewalks and walkways must also be kept free of dangers – including snow and ice buildup.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall
The most important thing you must do after a slip and fall is see a doctor. But nearly as important is protecting your legal rights by hiring a New Jersey slip and fall lawyer.
Once you have a doctor to treat you and a New Jersey premises liability lawyer to handle your case, this will all get easier. From then on, your most important job is simply to work toward recovery.
- Go to your doctor appointments.
- Follow your physician’s recommendations.
- Get the rest your body needs.
Let us handle everything else.
It’s normal to have questions after a slip and fall accident. After all, this is a whole new situation for you. There are legal and medical terms that you’re not familiar with. Your injury affects your life 24 hours a day, seven days a week – so significantly that you can never just ignore it.
Over the two decades our NJ slip and fall attorneys have practiced personal injury law, we’ve come to expect certain questions from slip and fall victims in situations like yours. We’re happy to give you the answers to the most basic questions, to hopefully help you make the right decisions about your slip and fall accident claim. But if you have questions we haven’t answered, or if you’re ready to discuss your case specifically, then it’s time to take the next step and talk to one of our lawyers directly.
What Is a Slip and Fall?
The term slip and fall has found its way into public consciousness, but what does it actually mean?
The definition of a slip and fall seems simple, at least on the surface. It’s an instance where you slipped and then fell to the ground. In some cases, you might have tripped over something rather than slipped on it.
When you’re looking at a legal claim, though, the meaning of a slip and fall gets a bit more complex. Simply falling doesn’t entitle you to pursue a slip and fall claim. There are certain elements you need to have a claim.
Here are some guidelines for making a slip and fall claim:
- Someone else must be at fault.
If you fell without slipping on or tripping over some sort of safety hazard in the environment, you most likely don’t have a case. The purpose of a slip and fall claim is to seek compensation from the person or organization at fault for injuring you. But if there’s no dangerous situation and no one at fault, there’s no one to seek compensation from.Similarly, you can’t pursue a slip and fall claim when you got hurt on property you own, like your own home.
- You must have suffered damages.
Even if you slipped or tripped and fell on a safety hazard someone else created, you only have a claim if you suffer documented physical injuries. That means not only that you got hurt, but also that you saw a medical professional for evaluation and treatment.You see, when you pursue a slip and fall case, the other side isn’t eager to give you money – not even when you clearly deserve it. If you’re trying to “tough it out” and go about your life without seeing a doctor, you’ll have a hard time convincing the insurance company of the person whose carelessness caused your accident that you’re actually hurt.That’s one of the reasons that when you bring your case to our NJ slip and fall lawyers, we’ll make sure you’re getting the right medical care you need to get better. Otherwise, you could be hurting your health and any chance you could have to pursue a claim.
Your injuries are only one part of your slip and fall damages. We’ll also seek compensation for things like lost wages if you can’t work while injured, the pain and suffering you experience throughout this ordeal, and other losses you experienced.
Who Is Liable for a Slip and Fall?
Who is at fault for your fall? Determine and proving fault is one of the most challenging elements of a slip and fall claim.
In New Jersey, property owners have a legal obligation to prevent slip and falls by keeping the environment free of safety hazards. So, slip and fall liability – that is, legal fault – falls on the person who owns or is responsible for maintaining the property where the accident occurred. In legal terminology, slip and fall cases fall under a category called premises liability.
Slip and fall claims revolve around proving negligence – in other words, that the person who owns or maintains the property failed to exercise reasonable caution. On public property, commercial premises, and residences where you are invited, the person who owns or maintains the space must keep it safe for you to use.
You had every right to expect a safe environment when you entered a store or visited someone’s home. But the property owner let you down. This person or company let a safety hazard on the premises put your health at risk. The injuries you suffered are a direct result of that failure.
If you have tried to handle this case on your own so far, you have probably seen firsthand how far a defendant will go to deny fault for a slip and fall. The property owner’s insurance company might have told you that someone else is responsible, or even that the accident was your own fault.
As frustrating as this is, it’s not unusual in a slip and fall claim. Often, insurers will only take a case seriously when you have respected slip and fall injury lawyers on your side – and when those attorneys make it clear that they’re not backing down.
How Much Is My Slip and Fall Worth?
Think of a slip and fall personal injury claim as a demand for the money to reimburse you for what you have gone through as a result of your injuries.
Determining the value of a slip and fall claim is more complicated than you might think. So many factors affect the amount of compensation you deserve – and even the amount of coverage available.
Slip and Fall Insurance Coverage
When you pursue a slip and fall claim, you’re naming the individual or company that hurt you in the claim, but you’re actually seeking money from an insurance company. The coverage limits on the policy can affect how much money is available for a slip and fall claim in the first place.
Your Slip and Fall Injuries
How severe your injuries were is one major factor. If those injuries required a lot of medical intervention – like surgery, for example – then your case will likely be worth more than injuries that can be treated with more conservative methods.
How Your Injuries Affect Your Life
How your injury affects your life can also play a role in the amount of compensation you receive. An injury that changes your life drastically and permanently or keeps you out of work for a long time will be worth much more than one that causes occasional pain but doesn’t disrupt your daily routine.
So, how much can you expect your slip and fall payout to be?
Without knowing the details of your situation, no attorney can tell you how much money to expect for your slip and fall case. What we can tell you is that at Console & Hollawell, we’ll fight to get you the most money possible for your claim. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of clients get the compensation they deserve. Our New Jersey slip and fall lawyers have won numerous six-figure settlements for people injured in slip and falls. The compensation we got for our clients has helped them get the care they need, make the most of their recovery, and move forward with their lives. And we’ll do everything in our power to make the same difference in your life.
Talk to a slip and fall lawyer today to learn more.
How Long Do I Have to Pursue a Slip and Fall Claim?
Not as long as you think. You see, in the legal industry, there are important deadlines called “statutes of limitations” that apply to cases like yours. Miss these deadlines, and you’ll lose your legal rights to pursue any kind of claim at all – ever. You won’t get the money you deserve. You won’t have the chance to hold the property owner accountable.
The statute of limitations for a slip and fall claim is just two years. But that’s not two years to find an attorney, or two years to see a doctor. By the time that deadline passes, you must have:
- Gotten medical treatment
- Chosen a lawyer
- Investigated the accident
- Gathered evidence to support both claims of who is at fault and how serious your injuries are
- Filed a slip and fall lawsuit
The good news is that most of these tasks aren’t your responsibility – not once you have a slip and fall personal injury lawyer to represent you.
But too many victims don’t give themselves enough time to get the process started. If you wait until those two years are almost up, you’ll have a hard time finding a first-rate slip and fall attorney willing to take your case. That’s because experienced personal injury lawyers know that it takes time to prepare your claim for success – time they don’t have if your case is too near the statute of limitations.
At Console & Hollawell, we always urge slip and fall victims to get a lawyer involved from the start. When your injuries take months to heal, it’s too easy to lose track of time and put off calling a lawyer until it’s too late.
Warning: Though the general statute of limitations for slip and fall claims is two years, there are exceptions – some of which can shorten the deadlines to just a few months. Until you discuss the details of your case with a lawyer, you’ll never know if the deadlines for your case are shorter than the two-year statute.