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When you suffer a slip and fall accident, liability is the last thing on your mind. While making sure you are okay and taking care of your medical issues are your first priority, knowing who is liable is critical in allowing you to make a claim to receive compensation for your injuries and the costs associated with them. Slip and fall accidents increase sharply during the winter months. This is especially true in New Jersey. But when you slip and fall, how can you prove who is responsible? Here’s how to prove liability in ice and snow injury cases.

Premises Liability

Under State of New Jersey law, property owners and managers have a legal requirement to keep their premises safe by adhering to “reasonable standards of care” to help reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents on their property. This includes outdoor spaces, such as walkways and parking lots. In winter, the property has a liability to remove snow and ice from any walkway or lot where it could cause an accident or injury.

Commercial properties can include:

  • Hotels and motels
  • Apartment complexes
  • Businesses and stores

If a commercial property hires an outside contractor, or third party to clear ice and snow from their premises, the third party may be held liable for any injuries caused by poor or improper removal of snow or ice. If the injury occurred during a private party renting a commercial space, the party renting the venue may be held liable along with the owner of the premises.

Homeowner Liability

New Jersey liability law does not require single-family homeowners to warn others of dangerous exterior conditions or to remove any snow or ice from their walkways. In most instances, therefore, single-family homeowners are not liable for slip and fall winter injuries on their property. If the homeowner, however, makes icy or snowy conditions worse, then they may be responsible for any injuries which occur.

New Jersey Shared Fault

New Jersey operates what is known as a “modified comparative negligence rule.” What this means is that you hold a party responsible for your claim, but they believe you are also responsible for some of your injuries, that the amount of compensation you receive may be reduced by the amount which is equal to your percentage of the fault, as determined by the court.  If they find you to be liable for more than half of the injury burden, you can claim nothing.

Injured in a Fall Due to Snow or Ice? Contact DeZao Law Today

If you are sustain injuries in an accident this winter, seek expert legal guidance right away. Make sure you speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney today at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. Our firm is here to assist you with your case and help you claim the compensation you rightly deserve.  Call us today at (973) 358-6134 for a free consultation.

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