For New Jersey residents, winter can be a challenge. Ice and snowy conditions can make it difficult for anyone to do their shopping, get to work, or visit friends or family. Moreover, these winter weather conditions are one of the leading causes of slip and fall accidents. Although anyone can be injured in a slip and fall on ice, older Americans are more vulnerable to suffering injuries that are prone to complications and can be difficult to heal. If you have been injured in a slip and fall, it is important to fully understand your legal options.
Depending on what type of property the accident occurred on, there are different rules for establishing liability. Owners of private homes have no duty to remove or warn guests about risks associated with the natural accumulation of winter precipitation, and will not be held liable for accidents that occur due to natural accumulation. However, once a homeowner attempts to remediate the accumulation, and makes the situation worse, they can then be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Owners and occupiers of commercial enterprises, such as stores, restaurants, malls, and apartment complexes, are held to a much higher standard. If the property owner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, and either failed to remediate, or the remediation made it more hazardous, they can then be held liable for any resulting injuries. Owners of commercial properties have a duty to remove snow and ice. The court will also consider whether the victim of the slip and fall accident had a legitimate reason for being on the premises. An illegal trespasser, for example, would not have legal recourse for a slip and fall accident.
Municipalities also have a duty to keep streets and sidewalks in a reasonably safe state. However, it is rare that a municipality is obligated to clear ice and snow from sidewalks in front of private residences or commercial property. Their duty is limited to the sidewalks in front of public buildings or on other public areas.
What to Do After a Slip and Fall on Ice
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, stay on the ground while you determine how seriously you are injured. If you can get up safely, take photos of the accident scene, your clothes, and any injuries that you sustained. Icy conditions can change within a matter of minutes, and it is important to take photos right away. Obtain contact information from any witnesses who saw you fall, and contact an experienced slip and fall lawyer right away.
New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP Represent Victims of Snow and Ice Related FallsIf you were injured in a winter weather-related slip and fall accident, we can help. Contact the New Jersey slip and fall lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP today at 732-777-0100, or contact us online. We provide free consultations to clients statewide from our offices in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, New Jersey.