New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
Proudly serving all of New Jersey
Compensation for Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip-and-fall accidents are associated with minor bumps and bruises and even bad comedy acts, but the reality is that slip/trip-and fall-accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries. You know this because you or someone you love has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, and now you’re facing ENORMOUS medical bills and other difficulties as a result. Even worse, the accident could’ve been entirely prevented if it wasn’t for another party’s negligence. One question lingers in your mind: Why should I have to pay for someone else’s mistake?
The answer is: You shouldn’t.
Exercise your right to pursue compensation for your injuries with help from the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. Our firm has focused on personal injury law for more than 25 YEARS. Let us put our experience into action to get you the settlement you deserve. Your case may be worth MILLIONS of dollars. Take the first step towards a better future and call us today at (609) 240-0040 to receive a free, comprehensive, case evaluation.
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Our New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Verdicts and Settlements
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Why Should You Have an Attorney?
After most slip-and-falls, insurance companies will get involved because that is their job. At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we will handle all communication with insurance companies for you. Generally, you should never have to speak to the lawyer for another party, an insurance provider, or the property owners.
Evidence and medical records can play important roles in a slip/trip-and-fall case. An attorney will work diligently to help you gather witness testimony, evidence from the scene, and medical documents to highlight the severity of your injuries. While every case’s circumstances will vary, you could be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, medical expenses, and other damages.
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An experienced New Jersey slip/trip-and-fall lawyer can help you understand the scope of compensation you may be entitled to, rather than settling for the lower amount offered by insurance companies.
Understanding New Jersey Premises Liability
Premises liability laws in New Jersey make property owners responsible for the proper maintenance, security, and construction of a piece of land, building, residence, or place of business.
These responsibilities extend to the piece of property itself, as well as its sidewalks, parking lots, and other areas. They include ensuring that all sections are safe and contain warning of possible hazards. If lighting is poor, stairs are broken, floors are left wet, or snow and ice aren’t cleared from a sidewalk, an unsuspecting visitor or passerby can be put in harm’s way.
A property owner may be held legally accountable for economic and non-economic damages if a person is injured or killed because they failed to uphold these duties.
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Steps to Take After a Slip-and-Fall Accident
If you are unable to move after your fall, do not try to move. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. File a report with the property owner or manager, and keep a copy of the report. If possible, take photographs of the dangerous condition that caused your fall. Obtain contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the incident. It is also crucial that you get prompt medical attention, which will give you the best chance of a speedy and complete recovery. Make sure that you document all of your losses, including all medical bills, hospital visits, and number of workdays missed, etc.
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Do You Have a Valid New Jersey Slip/Trip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
Injury claims involving slip/trip-and-falls are complex and involve numerous factors beyond what we can cover here. However, in order for a New Jersey premises liability claim or lawsuit to be successful, with the assistance of your legal team, you need to prove:
- You took reasonable care to avoid being injured but were injured anyway.
- The injury took place on the defendant’s property.
- The defendant knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The defendant did not fix the hazard within a reasonable amount of time.
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What Are Top Causes of Slip/Trip-and-Falls?
Even a fall that appears minor could cause serious injuries to a person who is elderly and frail, or has preexisting issues with brittle bones. Women who are pregnant can also suffer serious injuries to themselves as well as to their unborn children. Everyone should be vigilant when encountering the most common culprits of slip-and-fall incidents, which are:
- Wet surfaces: Everyone is aware that an entryway could be damp and wiping one’s feet on a mat is always prudent. But no one expects to slip in a hallway because water is leaking from a pipe. Other issues, such as a spilled liquid, should be cleaned up immediately and warning signs should be placed in the area to warn patrons. Wet surfaces outdoors can sometimes be impossible to avoid. Rain or sprinklers can cause sidewalks and steps to become wet. But there is also responsibility on the part of the owner to make certain that walkways are kept in good condition and do not hold puddles of water for a long period of time. This can cause moss to grow and create yet another slip-and-fall culprit. In addition, responsible property owners should consider the materials used in areas that are prone to retaining moisture. Smooth tile or stone is not a good choice for these areas, as it provides little traction when wet. Textured tile or brick as well as textured concrete will provide much more secure footing for pedestrians when conditions are wet.
- Dangerous staircases: Staircases are one of the most common places for a slip-and-fall to occur, and the injuries tend to be more severe. All staircases should have a hand railing that meets or exceeds the local building code and safety standards. In addition, the surface of the stairs should provide adequate traction if conditions are known to be wet. Property owners are also responsible for providing adequate lighting to allow for safe travel on the stairs, and for maintaining stairways in a safe and functional condition. Any defect or damage to the stairs should be repaired quickly and warning signage should be posted until the damage or issue is corrected.
- Icy or snowy sidewalks: Everyone in New Jersey understands that ice and snow are going to pose a certain risk to pedestrians. As such, extra care should be taken when walking in icy conditions. But depending on the city’s codes, it is also the legal obligation of property owners to clear walkways and paths of snow and ice. Snow should be removed within a reasonable time period, and salt or other chemicals should be used eliminate ice on walkways.
- Uneven surfaces: It is every property owner’s responsibility to maintain his or her property in a condition that is safe for foot traffic. This means that cracked concrete or tile floors, torn carpets, or uneven wood floors must be corrected as soon as possible. Until the surface is repaired, visitors must be warned about the damage and potential tripping hazard.
- Cluttered walkways: Property owners have a legal responsibility to maintain walkways inside and outside a building in a clutter- and debris-free manner. This includes removing packages, equipment, and furniture that could cause a tripping hazard in a walkway, as well as trash or debris.
There are a number of other things that can make a public or private property hazardous to visitors. Whenever hazards exist, it is the responsibility of the property owner to either fix the problem or to at least place warning signs around the problem area to caution visitors or guests. Failing to make repairs, to clean clutter, or to clean up spills is a form of negligence that can make a property owner liable for a victim’s injuries.
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Seniors Are in More Danger from Falls
One out of five falls suffered by senior citizens results in serious injury, such as fractured bones or head injuries. Older adults’ bones tend be less dense, and heal at a slower rate, which could result in less mobility for a longer period of time. After one fall, an elderly person is at a dangerously increased risk of a second fall.
Many senior citizens relocate to an assisted living facility when they are unable to safely live alone. It is the responsibility of these facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, to provide safe living conditions for all people who pass through them. Unfortunately, dangerous conditions are neglected on a frequent basis, and elderly patients are injured as a result. Common slip, trip, and fall hazards in assisted care facilities include:
- Weakened patients not receiving assistance in moving around
- Slick floors and debris
- Poor lighting
- Incorrect bed height
- Improperly fitted or maintained wheelchairs
Your elderly loved one should not have to suffer due to the negligence of a care facility. We may be able to help you hold the facility accountable and get your loved one justice.
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What Injuries Are Specific to Slip-and-Fall Accidents?
Slip/trip-and-fall accidents often result in contusions, minor abrasions, and perhaps some degree of embarrassment for the victim. However, they can also result in serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, such as:
- Sprains and strains: A sprain is when a ligament is stretched or torn, and a strain is when a muscle or tendon is injured. These painful and debilitating injuries can occur, for example, if a victim twists an ankle while slipping or lands on his or her wrist during the fall. These types of injuries often require expensive physical therapy that may not be covered by health insurance.
- Fractures: In the sudden and powerful impact of striking the ground, any bone can be broken. Hands placed out to stop a fall can easily suffer fractures, hips may break if the victim lands directly on them, and, most devastatingly, vertebrae may break in the fall. The elderly are particularly at risk of suffering bone fractures in a slip/trip-and-fall, but anyone can sustain a fracture on a hard surface such as tile, hardwood, or concrete. Bone fractures are painful; can significantly limit a person’s functioning; and can affect other parts of the body surrounding the fracture, such as the nerves, blood vessels, and tissues. Victims of multiple bone fractures in their arms and legs may never fully regain strength and mobility in the limb, even after receiving physical therapy or other treatment.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Anyone who loses consciousness or feels confused or nauseated after a slip-and-fall accident should seek immediate medical attention. Whether a person sustains a skull fracture, a concussion, or cerebral contusion (brain bruising), traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause irreversible damage. It may take a person years to relearn how to carry out tasks, such as speaking and walking, which were easy before the slip/trip-and-fall. Even when a TBI is minor, extensive recovery time and medical care are necessary.
- Spinal cord trauma: Victims who twist their backs or fall awkwardly may sustain damage to their vertebrae and spinal cord. Broken vertebrae can easily lead to spinal cord damage, as bone fragments may pierce the cord. A person with a spinal cord injury may be facing complete or partial paralysis, and/or loss of feeling in areas below the injury location.
By colliding with the floor or other hard surfaces during a fall, a victim can suffer major injuries, many of which require multiple medical treatments and cause major long-term complications. If a property owner or manager could have prevented your injury through reasonable care, there’s no reason you should be stuck paying for it.
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New Jersey Injury Attorneys – We Care About Our Clients
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we pride ourselves in being empathetic toward our clients, getting to know their stories so we can better represent them in a slip/trip-and-fall claim. As a Princeton legal team that has served New Jersey for decades, we have what it takes to fight for the money and closure our clients deserve.
We see beyond the physical pain and realize the emotional toll a serious injury can take. Treating every case differently, we apply our many years of experience and knowledge to building an effective case, specific to each client’s situation. For a free consultation with a New Jersey slip-and-fall attorney, call (609) 240-0040 today.
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