New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Lawyer
Slip and fall accidents may appear minor at first, but they can be deceiving. They are more than just falling and getting a bump on the arm or a scratched-up knee. Depending on their location and circumstances, these accidents could have a significant impact on a victim, including long-term disabilities and even death.
Everyone needs to be cognizant of their surroundings and avoid areas that look hazardous or dangerous. In addition, property owners bear the responsibility to maintain their premises and make sure it is safe and clear of any hazards.
It is estimated that more than one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, more than 17,000 people die in the United States annually because of these injuries. Slip and fall accidents make up 15 percent of all job-related injuries, resulting in between 12 to 15 percent of all Workers’ Compensation expenses.
If a victim sustains a major injury because they slipped and fell on someone else’s property, they can file a claim against the owner of that property for their negligence. Those that find themselves in these situations should reach out to a lawyer who can help with their legal case.
What are Common Causes of Slip and Fall Accidents?
There are several places where slip and fall accidents can take place, meaning that people should be particularly wary of these situations. Common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
- Wet Floors: When there are surfaces covered with water or other liquids, a person can lose their footing and fall.
- Torn Carpet: A carpet with a tear in it can inadvertently get snagged on a person’s foot, resulting in them falling. If they are unprepared for the trip, they may have insufficient time to brace for any subsequent impact.
- Uneven Floors: These include a misplaced tile or the lack of a plank in a deck. They can be treacherous to walk across and should be immediately repaired.
- Broken Stairs or Handrails: Ascending stairs can be difficult in certain instances, but it becomes more so when the stairs themselves are broken or there is a missing handrail. The person runs the risk of falling and suffering major injuries.
- Poor Lighting: When someone cannot see where they are going, regardless of how well an area is maintained, they are going to run into problems and may hit an object.
- Liquid Spills: While common in warehouses and other commercial properties, they should be cleaned up quickly since they can also lead to slippery surfaces and slip and fall accidents.
- Unmarked Wheel Stops: There are concrete blocks in parking lots that prevent vehicles from going too far forward. If they are not properly labeled and a person is not paying attention, they could accidently trip and fall over them.
- Potholes: Large chunks of the road can break away in the extreme heat and cold of the seasons. Potholes are giant and inconsistent holes in the ground, which are hazardous for walking pedestrians.
- Snow and Ice: During the winter, not everyone clears up their snow and ice as thoroughly or as quickly as they should. If a victim happens on another person’s property and they fall because the owner failed to clear up the snow or ice, they could be liable for injuries.
If there are hazards on a private property, owners of that property or those who manage the property should work to clear the problems as soon as possible to avoid any issues.
What Injuries can I Sustain in a Slip and Fall Accident?
The severity of an injury someone sustains due to a slip and fall accident can range from minor to severe. There is limited correlation between the circumstances that lead to an accident and the severity of an injury. Other more common injuries include:
- Brain injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back, hip, and knee injuries
- Foot and ankle injuries
- Broken bones, sprains, and strains
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soft-tissue injuries
After a slip and fall accident, a victim should seek immediate medical help. Regardless of the injury, seeing a doctor will ensure that if any injuries were sustained, they are diagnosed and treated immediately. This will limit any long-term problems.
Victims should also report the incidence to the owner of the property or fill out an accident report. Doing this establishes evidence of the accident and provides added documentation in case a victim wishes to seek a claim later. If the accident occurred at work, it should be reported to a supervisor. Failing to do so could delay any Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Regardless of where the accident took place, a victim should collect evidence at the scene, including taking pictures of conditions or circumstances that lead to the fall. This will preserve this scene should it undergo any changes before the victim can file their claim.
What Compensation can I Receive for My Accident?
In New Jersey, if a person is injured due to a slip and fall accident, they are entitled to certain compensation from the person or entity that is held liable for the accident. If the injury took place at work, the victim is eligible to collect Workers’ Compensation, which will help pay for their injuries.
Hiring a lawyer will help a victim build a case and obtain the settlement they deserve. The compensation that victims are eligible to receive include:
- Medical Expenses: Any medical costs incurred because of an accident are eligible. This includes doctor visits, treatments, and tests.
- Lost Income: Suffering a major injury can prohibit a person from returning to work immediately. They may exceed their sick days and must take time off without pay. A person can seek compensation for lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: This is a more arbitrary amount as it calls for a monetary award that will compensate a person for their troubles.
- Loss of Consortium: When people are hurt, it could have an impact on their physical or mental prowess. This can leak into a person’s marriage and have an impact. If that is the case, a victim might be able to seek compensation.
- Wrongful Death: There are accidents that are so traumatic that they cause the death of a person. In those instances, the family of the deceased can seek compensation for that loss, which includes any financial burdens that result from the death.
- Punitive Damages: In certain instances, the person liable for the accident can be assigned punitive damages. These damages will serve as a punishment to the responsible party.
If a person is hurt in New Jersey and is seeking damages, they should be aware that the state follows the comparative negligence rule. That means that all parties that bear responsibility for a slip and fall accident are required to contribute to the overall compensation awarded.
The amount is based on the percentage of responsibility a court finds with a person. If the victim is found to bear partial responsibility, they will not have to contribute, but the overall amount that they receive will be less. If someone is found to be more than 50 percent responsible, they are not eligible for any of the award.
When Should I File My Slip and Fall Accident Lawsuit?
For those looking to file a claim to recoup financial losses due to injuries, victims have two years from the date of the accident to file their claim. For those who sustained property damage during their fall, such as a watch or a cellphone, they have six years to file a claim. These are only if a person broke a piece of property and had to pay to have it repaired.
In either case, if a person fails to file their case within the respective timeline, the case will be dismissed. Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible guarantees that a person will not miss this important deadline. A lawyer can start work immediately and determine the best course of action. If they decide that filing a claim makes sense, they will have the time to do it within the timeframe.
Burlington County Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Defend the Rights of Slip and Fall Accident Victims
A slip and fall accident can have a severe impact on your life. You could be facing mounting medical bills for a catastrophic injury. The Burlington County slip and fall lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman can help you with your case. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Burlington County and the surrounding areas.