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If you have a serious accident in a store or business due to their negligence, they may be responsible for your injuries. If they are, they have to pay for the damages their negligence caused after you file a premises liability claim. Learn more about what this case entails and how a quality Marlton personal injury lawyer can get you the compensation you deserve.
Premises liability refers to the responsibility of a property owner to create reasonably safe conditions for customers, contractors, and employees. If they are negligent and someone is injured while on their property, the personal injury claim against them is known as a premises liability claim.
In a premises liability claim, the claimant must prove that the property owner’s negligence caused their injury. A personal injury lawyer can walk you through your case to determine if the property owner either knew about the dangerous situation, should have known about it, or didn’t take steps to maintain the property and keep it safe.
By working with a Marlton, NJ lawyer that specializes in premises liability cases, you can build your claim and fight to receive compensation for injuries or losses as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Here are a few examples of cases that we have seen in New Jersey related to unsafe retail environments.
In 2016, a man in Wallington was struck by a half dozen two-by-fours at Home Depot as he reached for lumber on the shelf. The victim, Patryk Molawka, claims the lumber was dangerously stacked and created a hazard for employees and customers. The lumber struck his head, left hip, shoulder, neck, and lip. The result has been endless medical bills and permanent damage that has left him unable to work. He is seeking damages to account for this lost income.
A few years ago, a truck driver from Keasbey was delivering milk to a ShopRite store in Emerson. He had warned the staff about the unsafe loading dock, along with other drivers who did not feel safe unloading their cargo at the store. As he unloaded a dolly of 20 cases of heavy dairy products, the platform shifted.
The cargo fell on him, and his foot got stuck in the gap between platforms. The result was a fractured ankle that required surgery. He missed 16 weeks of work and then an additional seven weeks after the surgery. Even today, years later, it still hurts when he walks long distances, he has to work fewer hours, and he had to give up soccer — his favorite hobby.
We represented this man for the lost wages, long-term trauma, pain and suffering, and the cost of his medical bills and surgery. The store knew of the dangerous situation through multiple warnings but did nothing to fix it. We successfully resolved his claim, getting him the money he needed to pay his bills and get his life back on track.
Disclaimer: Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.
To file a successful premises liability claim, you or your attorney have to meet three broad criteria. A claim must show liability, prove damages, and be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
Liability is the legal term that describes who is responsible for your accident. For commercial properties, determining liability isn’t as simple as it sounds. If your injury happened in a building, the liable party is generally the store renting it. However, liability can become more complicated if the injury occurs outside of a building. Your lawyer will guide you through your options, determining the best person or organization to file a claim against.
There are certain rules protecting landlords from liability, which is why they are often not part of these cases. The rules are based on a presumed lack of control of the property when it is leased. For example, if you are injured in a store in the mall, it might be better to file a claim against the store itself instead of the mall owner. However, this is not always the case, which is why it’s important to have an attorney who is familiar with premises liability review your claim.
Damages refer to the cost of your injury. Most premises liability cases seek damages in the form of medical bills and lost wages, but an experienced attorney claims all of your damages, including pain and suffering, long-term medical impacts, and incidental expenses as a result of the injury. To file a claim, your lawyer needs to prove that your damages exceed the compensation the commercial property offered you at the time of your injury.
By hiring an experienced retail liability lawyer, you’ll have a better chance of getting all the damages for your injury, making your road to recovery easier.
One of the first things your lawyer will need to know is when the accident happened. This immediately gives them an idea for how fresh your memories are, where you are in the recovery process, and how long you have to file a claim.
In the state of New Jersey, plaintiffs typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a slip and fall injury claim. However, depending on where the injury occurred, you may have as little as 90 days to file a claim. This is why it is important to know when the accident happened. This is known as the statute of limitations, and once it expires, you typically cannot file a claim, even if you were seriously injured.
While most businesses take their responsibility towards their customers safely, it cannot prevent all instances of negligence. If you’re injured on a commercial or government property, taking the following steps will help ensure you get the treatment you need. If you file a claim, these steps can also help your lawyer build the best possible case.’
Regardless of the cause or location of the accident, make sure you report it to the site manager, department head, or owner. This gets the record of the injury in writing and allows the company to take action to help you. Once informed of an accident, the company has a responsibility to preserve evidence, including video, of your accident. If you do not inform them that there was an accident after it occurred, this data can be lost or deleted by mistake.
Documenting the process is an important part of your claim. You don’t want to make it seem like you hid the injury or that it wasn’t important enough to mention.
From the second, you are injured, document evidence against the property owner or company. This includes photographs of the location and the dangerous environment, pictures of your injury, your experiences working with the organization, and the healing process. Even if you think you will remember small details, write them down. Your memory may get fuzzy after several months, and it helps to have a written record of what happened.
After reporting an accident to the owner of the property you were injured on, they have a responsibility to preserve evidence. However, it’s always a good idea to have your own memories of what happened written down as well.
Also document all your expenses, medical bills, and other issues related to your injury. This will become the basis of your claim and evidence in your case.
Seek out the right people to talk to about your injury. Start by asking the nearest employee and work your way up to management. Ask for their names and the best way to contact them. If someone else witnessed your injury, ask for their information as well.
Never wait more than 72 hours to see a doctor after an accident. This includes a premises liability injury, a car accident, or any other instance where you get hurt. Even if you think you are okay, you may have unseen injuries that your doctor needs to treat.
Seeing a doctor immediately after an accident can also help your case. It highlights the severity of your injuries and proves that you sought medical treatment as a result of the accident. The longer you wait, the more the defendant can claim that your injury wasn’t caused by their negligence.
Console and Associates has 25 years of history helping clients in South Jersey file their personal injury claims. If you are injured because a business or organization was negligent, don’t wait to call us. We are a top-rated South Jersey law firm that you can trust. Request a free consultation to review your claim and see if you have a case.