Although many readers might dismiss a slip-and-fall injury as their own fault, the law holds differently in some situations. Specifically, property owners are generally required to protect invited guests or customers from dangerous conditions on their property. If an owner knew about a hazard but failed to correct it, any injuries suffered by guests could result in premises liability.
Of course, there are fact situations that require certain showings. If a property owner claims ignorance of the dangerous condition, the applicable standard for imputing the owner with constructive knowledge is whether a reasonable person would have discovered the condition. For example, this imputation might attach to a commercial property owner or landlord who failed to routinely maintain the property.
In a state that has severe winters, like New Jersey, even snow and ice hazards might result in a premises liability claim. Commercial property owners must take reasonable actions after a storm to remove ice and snow before inviting customers back on their property. The same is also true for other weather conditions, such as severe rainstorms that leave surfaces wet and slippery, or precipitation that leaves surfaces uneven or with holes.
Although the prospect of filing a premises liability claim against a big corporation like Wal-Mart or ShopRite may seem intimidating, our law firm has done just that. In fact, we have brought successful claims against those entities arising from their negligent maintenance of sidewalks, walkways and parking lots. Victims of slip-and-fall injuries may suffer serious injuries that require long-term physical therapy or other treatments. The compensation obtained from a successful premises liability claim may help in those situations.