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Personal Injury/Negligence: Slip and Fall Accidents

Let a New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyer Help Recover You Compensation

9 million slip and falls or trip and falls accidents reportedly occur each year. Approximately 95,000,000 work days are lost due to these accidents, costing approximately $3.5 million in lost revenue per hour. These statistics don’t begin to describe the impact of a slip and fall on someone’s life, which can be huge! These accidents can cause the loss of employment, the loss of mobility, enormous medical bills and permanent pain, suffering and disability. Slips and falls are not a big joke; they are a big problem! If you suffer an injury, be sure to contact a New Jersey slip and fall attorney to protect your rights. 

Needlessly dangerous conditions on premises often cause devastating injuries.  HCK works with engineers, architects and similar experts to identify how such hazards should have been prevented.  HCK attorneys utilize these experts to secure money damages as restitution for the firm's clients.  The laws in NJ and PA impose certain obligations upon land and business owners and on residential hosts to make their premises reasonably safe.  Each case is unique and typically requires prompt investigation.  HCK also utilizes professional investigators to obtain essential information, including witness statements.

Establishing Liability After a Fall in New Jersey

Fault, also called liability, in a slip and fall or trip and fall case, is very important in deciding whether the injured person will receive money for their injury. Liability in slip and fall cases usually will be determined by the specific facts of the case. These include:

1) how long the unsafe condition existed;

2) whether the owner had time to discover and fix the problem;

3) whether the steps taken to repair the unsafe condition were appropriate or adequate; and

4) whether the injured person’s carelessness contributed to the accident.

These issues can be complicated to unravel, and an experienced New Jersey slip and fall lawyer from Helmer Conley & Kasselman can help protect your rights as an investigation proceeds.

Even more complicated than the issues above are the special laws that apply for trespassers or children or accidents at the workplace or on government property. Property owners usually owe less to trespassers unless the trespassers are children. If a property owner has set up an attraction that may also be dangerous (such as swimming pool), the owner may be liable for not building a fence or a locking gate to keep out children

What if I fall while I'm at work?

If an accident happens on the job, then usually worker’s compensations laws of strict liability take over unless the property was owned by someone other than the employer. If the accident occurs on government property, then federal or state laws allowing for tort claims will usually have to be followed. These usually involve strict guidelines for filing claims. Consulting  with an attorney can assist individuals who have work-related slip and fall accidents in understanding whether they have a workers compensation claim, a liability claim or both.

What if the property owner could have prevented the accident?

Depending on the location and other circumstances, such accidents can implicate several persons, businesses and other entities, including public entities, including the following:  the owner of the building or land where the incident happened, retail store owners, apartment complex owners, condominium operators of common areas, the tenant of the building, the property maintenance company, a contractor responsible for repair or maintenance such as a snow/ice removal contractor or parking lot pothole repair service.  Most commonly, a commercial building owner has a duty to alert a snow removal contractor in a timely fashion to apply sodium chloride to a hazardous patch of ice and to plow snow to allow for safe ingress and egress.  

Another common scenario involves liquids on the floors of retail stores, creating a slipping hazard.  In those cases, the retailer has a variety of responsibilities to either eliminate the danger, partition the danger and/or minimally warn of the hazardous condition.  Yet another common circumstance involves decks, steps and ramps which are dangerous for lacking railings or edge cues (painted edges of concrete), as required by construction standards and local codes.  Even residential hosts have obligations to make their homes reasonably safe for their guests.

What Kinds of Losses Can Be Compensated from a Trip or Slip & Fall Accident?

Premises accident victims are entitled to restitution in the form of money as compensation for their pain, suffering, disability, impairment, lost earnings, medical costs, and damage to vehicles/property.  Victims are also entitled to compensation for their loss of enjoyment of life, including their diminished activity level.  These losses can devastate an individual and a family.

When lost or reduced wages are implicated, HCK consults with leading vocational and economic experts to identify the full impact of those losses upon household finances. 

Injuries after a Slip and Fall

Injuries in accidents involving tripping, slipping and falling often include:  

  • Tears to the ligaments or tendons of the knees
  • Fractures or displacements to the wrists or hands
  • Fractures or displacements to ribs or hips
  • Fractures or displacements to shoulders
  • Fractures or displacements to legs or ankles
  • Damage to the discs of the back or neck (bulges/herniations/nerves)
  • Concussion, traumatic brain and other head injuries 

Important Actions After an Accident Involving a Trip or Slip & Fall

The following actions are very helpful in pursuing a legal action on behalf of trip/slip and fall victims:

  1. Insist on completing an incident report specifying the precise location of the fall
  2. Write in the incident report that you request to see all store surveillance/security video of the events leading up to and including the fall
  3. Request a copy of the incident report
  4. Photograph and/or videotape the area of the fall, immediately afterwards
  5. Write down the name, email and residential address and phone number any witnesses 
  6. Keep the footwear and clothing worn at the time of the fall because it is evidence and do not wear again

Breaking Down the Insurance Claim Process

The insurance company for the individual or company which owns the property will start an investigation immediately after a slip and fall or trip and fall occurs. Insurance companies often see their responsibility as ensuring that injured people receive as little compensation as possible.  These compares often have policies companies to handle slip and fall or trip and fall claims, especially in the early stages of the claim that are very difficult on the victim. If you have a NJ injury lawyer by your side, you will probably feel more confident that someone is looking out for you, and that any decisions that you make about your claim are in your best interest, and not the insurance company’s.

A qualified New Jersey slip and fall attorney will help you understand your claim and set realistic expectations about what compensation you should expect. Some clients expect too much, and some expect too little. Contact Helmer Conley & Kasselman, and a qualified attorney will help you understand what you are entitled to and what you should expect, as well as define the path to help you get there.

HCK Accepts Personal Injury Cases on a Contingency Risk-Free Basis

HCK has decades of experience securing six and seven-figure jury verdicts and settlements for victims of trip and fall and slip and fall accidents.  Our team includes certified civil trial attorneys, which is a credential held by only about 2% of all New Jersey attorneys.  Equally, our lawyers and staff understand that your injury is personal to you.  HCK treats you as they would treat their own family member.  Victims are able to hire HCK in personal injury cases on a risk-free contingency fee basis, which means that the law firm takes the financial risk in presenting your case.

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