Slip & Fall Accident Attorneys Freehold, NJ
Slip and Fall: FAQ
After you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you are likely to have a wide variety of questions about how you should proceed with your case, whether you may have the right to compensation, the potential value of that compensation and simply what will happen if you decide to pursue a case. New Jersey’s statutory scheme does provide a basic framework for some of the more procedural aspects of the case, but slip and fall accident cases are primarily fact-driven.
The FAQ outlined here provide basic guidelines for what could happen in your case. Despite this, because of the fact-sensitive nature of slip and fall accident cases, the answer to any one of these questions can vary dramatically based on your specific case. Contact the skilled team of slip and fall accident lawyers at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza, P.C. for more detailed and individualized legal advice.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Answers Questions on Slip and Fall Accident Cases in Monmouth County and Throughout New Jersey
FAQ: Who can be held financially responsible for my slip and fall accident?
Property owners can be held financially responsible for injuries sustained in slip and fall accidents caused by dangerous conditions on their property. Property owners have a duty to maintain safe conditions, but this will vary depending upon whether the owner invited people onto their property for their own financial gain, whether the injured party was invited onto the property as a social guest, or whether the injured party was trespassing illegally on someone else’s property. In some cases, third-party independent contractors who have been hired to maintain safe conditions can be held liable if they fail to do so. If the property owner has leased business premises to the owner of a business establishment, that lease can often be held responsible.
FAQ: How much compensation can I recover to pay for my medical expenses?
Medical expenses are considered economic damages in a personal injury case. You are entitled to recover the full value of economic damages that can be quantified (in other words, proven and documented). Other examples of economic damages include rehabilitative costs and the income that you lost while you were recovering from your injury. Non-economic damages may also be available, and these include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress and even loss of consortium or support if the slip and fall accident resulted in the death of a loved one.
FAQ: Will I have to go to trial to recover compensation following my slip and fall accident?
Because we have substantial experience handling slip and fall cases, we are often more easily able to evaluate what a case is worth from a financial standpoint. Insurance adjusters do this for a living, so will, in many cases, arrive at a similar figure. The difference is that the insurance company will try to offer a compensation package that is much less valuable than the actual value of your case. We negotiate to reach an agreement that is fair. In some cases, when the property owner or insurance company refuses to settle and pay compensation that fully compensates for your injuries, it does become necessary to go to trial. The reality is that most of the time, everyone would rather avoid trial and a settlement offer is agreed upon in negotiations.
FAQ: Can a property owner be held liable for damages if they fail to comply with state or local building codes, and that contributed to my slip and fall accident?
Yes, failure to comply with applicable rules and regulations can be cited as evidence that the property owner was negligent in maintaining the property up to the standards mandated by law. Failure to comply with a building code or other legal standard is not, however, a necessary condition of establishing your right to compensation—in many cases, property owners can be held liable based on a negligence standard even if they do not violate any law.
FAQ: Can I recover damages if I was partially at fault for my slip and fall accident?
Yes. New Jersey’s comparative fault law allows an injured party to recover compensation so long as they were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. If you are found to be partially responsible but were not more than 50 percent responsible, your compensation award will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you were found to be 30 percent responsible for the accident and the compensation award was set at $100,000, you would be able to recover $70,000.
FAQ: I was injured in a slip and fall accident while at a neighbor’s party. I know they can’t afford to compensate me, but is there any way I still recover compensation for my medical expenses?
As an invited guest, you are considered to have been a “licensee” in the eyes of the law, meaning that your neighbor owed a duty to keep the property relatively safe and warn of known dangerous conditions. It is their homeowner’s insurance company that would provide compensation for any damages that was caused by their failure to maintain the property or provide adequate warnings.
FAQ: My child was injured in a slip and fall accident after wandering onto a neighbor’s property to look at a pond that they installed. What is the attractive nuisance doctrine?
The attractive nuisance doctrine is a legal concept designed to hold property owners responsible for injuries sustained, particularly to children, because they are attracted to something that the property owner has placed on the property. This rule basically holds that the property owner should anticipate that certain conditions are likely to attract entry onto their property, where dangerous conditions can cause accidents and should be responsible for taking steps to ensure that this does not happen. For example, your neighbor could have installed a fence to keep children from wandering onto the property to inspect their pond. This doctrine can apply in a variety of ways, including with respect to storekeepers who install displays or other items designed to attract attention and subsequently fail to maintain the areas around that display in a safe condition.