Articles Posted in Slip and Fall Accidents

The winter weather in New Jersey opens up the prospect of sledding, skiing, building snow forts, and other exciting adventures for the whole family. Yet a day of fun – or even a day at work – can turn into a tragedy in an instant if a slip and fall accident occurs. Slip and fall accidents can cause serious injuries, or worse, result in permanent disability or death.

You can help protect yourself and others from slip and fall injuries this winter. Keep these tips in mind:
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With snow and slippery ice on our roadways, sidewalks, and walkways, winter is the season when most people suffer injuries as a result of slip-and-fall accidents. Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their premises are safe for visitors, tenants, and guests.

However, there are also many steps we can take to minimize the probability of such accidents. Here are a few tips:
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In any slip- or trip-and-fall case, or in any personal injury case for that matter, the plaintiff has the burden of proof. In other words, it is the injured victim in these cases who must prove that the negligence of the other party caused his or her injuries, damages and losses. So, if you slip, trip, and fall on a public sidewalk, who is responsible?

A recent report in The Star-Ledger noted a trend that many towns in New Jersey have put ordinances in place compelling homeowners to repair sidewalks in front of their properties. But, when it comes to sidewalks, the law is not set in stone. It remains a legal gray area in New Jersey left to the courts to interpret on a case-by-case basis.

Municipalities can require homeowners to maintain, repair, remove snow, or otherwise keep walkways safe for pedestrians.
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A slip-and-fall accident occurs when a pedestrian suddenly loses traction with the ground, loses balance, and plummets to the ground. No season is riper for causing slip-and-fall accidents than winter, with New Jersey experiencing the perfect cold conditions for such dangers.

Winter slip-and-fall accidents in New Jersey can happen on the job, at a place of business, and anywhere else that may have surfaces that become icy or slippery. Because the damage inflicted by such accidents can be so severe, such as broken bones, brain trauma, and sprains, it is important for property owners of all kinds to lessen these dangers to the best of their abilities.

Slip-and-Fall Protection
Slip-and-fall accidents caused by winter weather can occur both inside and outside, so take measures to prevent accidents in both areas.
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NJ Slip Fall InjuryIf you have fallen while on someone else’s property, take a moment to determine if you have been hurt. If your neck, back, or head is sore, it may be in your best interest to stay put and call for help. It is important for your recovery to seek immediate medical attention and to not risk suffering another injury. If, however, you feel capable of collecting evidence, there are a number of steps you can take following a NJ slip-and-fall injury to protect your legal rights and options.

If anyone witnessed your fall, write down his or her name and number. If you have a phone that can take photos, photograph where you fell and any injuries you may have suffered. If there is a hazardous condition such as a wet surface, take photos of that as well. Take notice of your surroundings, are there warning signs, cones, or tape posted around the hazardous condition? This information will prove useful later.

You will also need to file an incident report with the building management. Tell them exactly when and where the fall occurred. Let them know that you are seeking medical attention for your injuries and that you need a copy of the report. It is then important to go to the hospital as soon as possible.

If you have ever slipped on a wet floor, you know how easy it is for a slip-and-fall accident to occur. While many of these types of incidents only result in a bruise and embarrassment, others can have much more serious consequences. When someone has suffered a broken bone, for example, it will be necessary to determine how the accident occurred and if the property owner could have prevented the accident.

Princeton Trip Fall AccidentWet floors are a common slip-and-fall accident cause. Property owners, or managers, are legally obligated to prevent these types of accidents by alerting guests or visitors about the dangerous condition. For example, wet floor warning signs must be placed around an area that has just been mopped. Spills must be cleaned up quickly and mats should be placed near entrances to buildings.

The condition of the walkway can also increase or decrease the likelihood of a falling accident. Pedestrians are prone to slipping on uneven surfaces or floors that have a sudden dip or rise. Carpeting that is torn or bunched can cause someone to trip and fall. Cracks in the floor must be immediately repaired or surrounded by warning cones or signs. Dangerous staircases are also a contributing factor in a number of the most devastating falling accidents. Broken and cracked stairs should be fixed immediately, railings should be in working order, and visitors should not be allowed on hazardous steps.

If you have slipped and struck your head while walking on someone else’s property, it is important that you report the accident to property management and seek immediate medical attention. Any time there is blunt force trauma to the head there is the potential for a concussion. Slip-and-fall head injuries can be very serious and the symptoms can get worse over time if they are not properly diagnosed and treated.

NJ Slip Fall AccidentDetermining if you have suffered a concussion is not always easy. There are many different symptoms of concussions and you do not have to experience loss of consciousness to suffer one. Some of the most common symptoms include headaches, confusion, amnesia, dizziness, ringing in the ears, nausea, and slurred speech. Anyone who has hurt their head in a slip-and-fall accident and is experiencing any of these symptoms would be well advised to see a doctor right away.

Pursuing compensation for losses suffered in a slip-and-fall accident can be a complicated process. The victim will have to prove that the accident resulted from a hazardous condition, which the owner was aware of and failed to fix. Was the dangerous condition marked with cones or warning signs? Should the property owner or management have known about the hazardous condition? In such cases, a premises liability claim can hold the negligent owner responsible for the accident.

Falls are a part of being a kid. Children are supposed to play in the mud, get dirty, and be clumsy, but this does not mean that falls are not a legitimate danger to their health and well being. Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere and to anyone, regardless of age. If your child is injured in a slip and fall accident as the result of a property owner’s negligence to reasonably maintain or repair their premises, then that owner may be held liable for the injuries your child suffers.

Child Fall Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading cause of non-fatal injuries among children aged 19 and younger is falls. Nearly 2.8 million children are treated in U.S. emergency departments for fall injuries every year, or about 8,000 every day.

Winter in New Jersey means several months worth of wet, icy, and snowy conditions. While no amount of caution can prevent all New Jersey slip-and-fall accidents, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of suffering an injury this winter. Remember to always exercise caution whether you are driving or walking on a driveway or parking lot.

The first thing you can do to help prevent a winter slip-and-fall injury is to select appropriate footwear. In general, the best types of shoes for slick conditions include footwear with rubber or neoprene composite soles that can grip the walkway. Shoes with worn soles and high heels are particularly dangerous to wear on ice.

When walking in the winter weather, it may be in your best interest to choose your route carefully. Paths that are less traveled tend to have the most ice. Therefore, staying on the main roadways or thoroughfares that constantly get cleared may be your best way to avoid accidents or injuries. If you do have to walk over a slippery area, shorten your stride or shuffle your feet to increase your stability.

Hotel owners have a legal responsibility to prevent hazardous conditions on their properties. There are times, however, when a dangerous condition is unavoidable. In such cases, property owners must ensure that visitors and employees are provided adequate warnings about the hazards that are present, such as dangerous spills or debris. In cases where a hotel owner or manager’s negligence results in a slip-and-fall accident, victims can seek compensation for damages by filing a claim.

slipandfall1.jpgA NJ premises liability claim is a civil lawsuit that allows an injured victim of a hotel slip-and-fall accident to hold the property owner accountable for the injuries suffered. It is important to remember that not all injury accidents result in valid claims. The injured victim will have to prove that the owner either allowed a dangerous condition to exist or failed to warn visitors about the hazard.

There are several questions to ask in such cases. Were there signs, cones, or warning tape around the dangerous location? If there was signage, was it placed in a location where visitors could have seen it? Was the property owner or management aware of the potential dangers? Were there complaints filed with management about the conditions that went ignored?