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Slipping and falling due to a wet surface, icy walkway, broken stairs, or other dangerous conditions can lead to serious and long-lasting injuries. Our Marlton Slip and Fall Lawyers may be able to help if you or a loved one was injured in a fall on someone else’s property. An experienced Marlton injury attorney can investigate whether the property owner failed to keep their premises safe and is therefore liable for your personal and financial losses.
A fall on a dangerous surface or other property hazards can cause someone to suffer catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord damage, brain trauma, back injuries, and broken bones. Muscle strain, soft tissue injuries, lacerations, contusions, and concussions are also common in these types of claims.
If someone tripped and was injured in an accident that could have been preventable, the injured party should consult with our Marlton Slip and Fall Lawyers to discuss what compensation may be available. The plaintiff could recover several different types of damages, including:
If the judge finds that the property owner’s actions were so gravely negligent that they constitute an egregious lack of care, they might award the plaintiff punitive damages in addition to the aforementioned compensation. Punitive damages can punish the wrongful actions of a defendant as well as discourage others from similar acts of negligence in the future.
While “slip and fall” is the most common term used for falling accidents on or inside the privately owned property, a lawful visitor does not necessarily need to slip on a wet surface and subsequently fall to have grounds for a claim. Any hazardous condition stemming from property owner negligence that leads to someone slipping or tripping and falling could justify litigation, as a Marlton trip and fall attorney could explain in further detail.
For example, if a shop has frayed carpeting, loose or broken tiles, or anything else that presents tripping or slipping hazard on the floor, an unsuspecting patron who suffers a bad fall because of that hazard may be able to file suit. Likewise, a stairwell with broken steps or guardrails could lead to someone losing their footing and suffering serious harm as a result. In some cases, even a lack of proper lighting or clearly marked walkways could lead to an actionable slip and fall injury.
Of course, property owners and managers rarely just accept financial liability for an accident that occurs on their land, especially if that accident leads to life-altering and expensive injuries. Unfortunately, one of the most common ways in which defendants try to absolve them of liability for a slip and fall is by pushing that liability onto someone else, most commonly the injured plaintiff.
In short, a court can limit the amount of compensation available to a civil plaintiff if it finds that the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing or exacerbating their own damages. Specifically, any plaintiff found 50 percent or less to blame for their injuries would be subject to a proportionate reduction of their final damage award. Any plaintiff found more than 50 percent at fault would be unable to recover anything at all.
A defendant may argue that a plaintiff was wearing inappropriate footwear, not paying attention to their surroundings, engaging in horseplay, or even creating the hazardous condition that led to their own injury. Representation from a skilled Marlton fall attorney is often crucial to disproving these kinds of accusations after someone fell and was injured.
The viability of a slip and fall claim in Marlton depends on whether the plaintiff can show that the property owner was negligent in maintaining their premises. This includes proving the landowner owed them a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused them to experience injuries and losses.
For instance, a property owner owes the most significant duty of care to an invitee or someone who the property owner has invited onto the premises for their personal gain, such as a customer at a shopping mall. A property owner has a duty to invitees both to check for property hazards and make them known to prevent injury. Conversely, a far lesser duty is owed to trespassers who are on the land without the owner’s consent.
If the property owner was responsible for the property hazard, should have discovered it by exerting reasonable care but failed to do so, or was aware of the hazard but neglected to rectify it, they could be liable. A Marlton slip and fall attorney could help someone injured in a trip and fall determine whether the owner is responsible for their losses and might owe them compensation.
New Jersey Law states that there is a two-year timeline following the incident date in which an injured person can file a slip and fall claim (for most cases). If they wait and try to file their case after the two years have passed, they would be prevented from collecting compensation.
Importantly, there are a few caveats to this strict legal deadline under certain circumstances. For instance, the two-year filing period does not technically start until the plaintiff discovers—or reasonably should have discovered—their injuries, so there may be some leeway of anywhere from a few days to a few months depending on the circumstances.
Likewise, since minor children cannot represent their own best interests in court, the statutory filing period for any personal injury claim in which a child is the injured party may be paused—or “tolled”—until the child turns 18 years old. Well-versed Marlton slip and fall lawyers could clarify further what the deadline for legal action would be in particular injury cases.
If you believe that a property owner’s negligence caused you to sustain an otherwise avoidable injury, it may be prudent to speak with a Marlton slip and fall lawyer. Time is of the essence when determining if a trip and fall case is viable as physical evidence including photos, video surveillance, and the condition of the property can change. An attorney could provide an honest review of your case and determine whether you are eligible for financial recovery. Contact our skilled team of Marlton slip and fall lawyers today to discuss your case for free.
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