Every year, slip-and-fall accidents account for around a million ER visits. These accidents happen on all kinds of property, including private, commercial, and municipal. It is always distressing when a person is seriously injured because someone else was negligent, but it is especially disturbing when the responsible party is a government entity that the injured person pays taxes to fund. Victims of slip-and-fall accidents on municipal property have several complex issues to contend with, more so than victims of other kinds of slip-and-falls. The Law Office of Andrew S. Maze experts have compiled this guide to the specific nuances of municipal property slip-and-fall cases in New Jersey.
Slip-and-fall accidents, including those that occur on municipal properties, are governed by premises liability regulations. Premises liability is a legal concept that says property owners are liable for injuries that occur on their property when those injuries result from the property owner’s negligence. So, if a property owner, including a municipality or other government body, is negligent in the maintenance of their property and their negligence causes a slip-and-fall accident, they can be liable for damages.
However, the burden of proof in premises liability cases falls on the victim, known as the plaintiff, and their legal team. Plaintiffs must show that they were allowed to be on that property, that the property owner was negligent in their duty to deal with unsafe conditions on their property, and that this negligence caused the injuries. Conditions that can lead to slip-and-fall accidents include wet floors, uneven flooring or sidewalks, loose flooring material, bulging carpet, unsalted icy areas, potholes, the presence of loose debris or trash, cords blocking walkways, poor lighting, and more.
New Jersey Municipal Property Slip-And-Fall Regulations
Municipal property slip-and-fall accidents in New Jersey are governed by some specific rules that do not apply to other premises liability cases. The most notable difference between a municipal property slip-and-fall lawsuit and other premises liability cases is the difference in the statute of limitations. If you are ever injured on municipal property in New Jersey, you must submit a written notice to the public entity responsible for your injuries within just 90 days of the date of your slip-and-fall, or you will lose your right to seek compensation. Meanwhile, New Jersey premises liability cases involving private or commercial property owners generally have a statute of limitations of two full years.
Your injuries, and the dangerous condition of the property that caused them, must also meet the legal requirements outlined by New Jersey legislators under Title 59 for your claim to be successful. “Public entities” regulated by Title 59 include cities, towns, boroughs, townships, villages, counties, county-level agencies, the State of New Jersey, New Jersey Transit, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, police departments, and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.
Steps to Take If You Are Injured By A Municipal Property Slip-and-Fall
- Seek immediate medical attention to aid your recovery, and get medical reports to document your injuries.
- Document the conditions that caused your injuries and your injuries themselves with photographs, medical reports, witness statements, and other documents to provide evidence for legal actions and insurance claims.
- Contact the Law Office of Andrew S. Maze so that you can get the legal consultation you both deserve and need to protect your legal interests.
- File the written notice of your injury with the public entities responsible for your injuries within 90 days to preserve your right to seek compensation.
Contact the Law Office of Andrew S. Maze
Launching a slip-and-fall injury lawsuit is always a complex legal undertaking, especially when the target is a government body. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of a municipal, private, or commercial property owner, please contact the Law Office of Andrew S. Maze immediately. Let our experienced and compassionate team of legal experts assess your situation, help you explore your options, and represent your needs.