Who is liable in a slip and fall?
New Jersey law requires the owner of a property to provide "reasonably safe conditions" for people coming on to the property. If an owner is aware of a hazardous condition and does not attend to it, the owner will likely be liable if someone injures themselves as a result.
When determining if an owner is liable, courts will consider the following factors:
- Was the owner aware of the hazardous condition?
- Were there signs to warn about the presence of a dangerous condition?
- Did the owner lay salt or use barriers to help prevent people from slipping?
- Was the owner attempting to resolve the dangerous situation in a timely manner?
For instance, if a property owner is aware that the entry way to the building is icy and chooses not to lay salt or put up a warning sign, a person who slips would likely be able to seek damages for any injuries resulting from the fall. However, if a person is texting and does not notice caution tape, a fall would likely be the person's fault.
The next time you're walking into a store, make sure to keep an eye out for any warning signs that might alert you of a slippery surface. If you do suffer an injury this winter, consider hiring a personal injury attorney to discuss your options.