With the holidays right around the corner, New Jersey residents are preparing for the biggest shopping period of the year. Of course, our most popular shopping days are accompanied by some of our worst weather, including heavy snow, ice, and stiff winds. On the really awful days, window shopping can become a dangerous affair.
Every year, New Jersey residents suffer slip and fall accidents due to extreme weather situations. When snow or rain falls in winter months, it often turns to ice overnight and creates slippery conditions on public and private walkways.
Another problem is that the snow and sleet can get tracked into businesses where it melts, creating hazardous puddles that often go undetected until it’s too late. Unsuspecting customers who expect that they are safe once they make it indoors are susceptible to serious injury when a place of business doesn’t properly maintain their premises.
New Jersey has a host of municipal and county laws governing the removal of snow and ice after a storm. For example, here in Princeton, Sec. 19-2 of the “Code of the Township of Princeton, New Jersey, 1968” regulates the removal of snow and ice on sidewalks and bicycle paths, as follows:
Snow and ice on sidewalks and bicycle paths to be removed or covered by owner or occupant of bordering premises. The owner or occupant of premises abutting or bordering on sidewalks and bicycle paths along public streets in the Township shall remove or cause to be removed from the sidewalks and bicycle paths in front of or bordering upon their premises all snow and ice within forty-eight hours after such snow shall have ceased falling thereon or after such ice shall have formed thereon.
The specifics differ from city to city. For instance, Bridgewater has an ordinance that calls for snow removal from sidewalks in 24 hours. The fines differ as well. Edison residents face a $250 fine if they wait longer than 12 hours before removing snow. Somerville residents, on the other hand, can be fined up to $1,250.
The laws don’t apply only to sidewalks. New Jersey residents are expected to remove all the ice and snow from their car, especially the hood, windows, and roof, before they begin driving. Failure to do so can lead to fines up to $75 for each offense. If ice or snow flying off a car causes property damage or injury to others, motorists face fines up to $1,000 for each offense.
New Jersey laws are clear. It is the responsibility of property owners to make sure that their businesses, homes, and property are safe from ice and snow after a storm. If you or a loved one has suffered a slip and fall or other kind of accident because of someone else’s negligence, you should seek out the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The committed attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. have successfully tried many New Jersey slip and fall cases, and we are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. Call (609) 240-0040 today to receive a free consultation.