Slip and Fall
If you have recently suffered a severe injury because of a slip and fall, our legal team of New Jersey injury attorneys may be able to help you recover damages. Please take a few moments to look over the information on this page to learn more.
- What is a “slip and fall” injury?
- What should I do first?
- What can I expect if I contact an attorney?
- Who’s responsible for my injuries?
- How do I prove that my landlord is negligent?
- What compensation am I entitled to?
- How long will my case take?
- Do I have to file a lawsuit?
- How long will it take me to receive my money?
- What are the attorney’s fees?
- How do I get started?
What is a “slip and fall” injury?
A “slip and fall” injury is any injury that occurs when you slip, trip or fall on someone else’s property because of a dangerous or hazardous condition. For instance, you fall because:
- You trip over a foreign object in the middle of the walkway
- You slip on a slippery surface like a wet floor
- The ground you step on is defective, such as a stair breaks underfoot or there is a concealed hole in the ground
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What should I do first?
Here’s a short checklist of what to do if you’ve been the victim of a slip and fall injury:
- Seek medical help immediately. Even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, see your doctor as soon as possible.
- File an incident report. Notify the manager or landlord and file a report of what happened as soon as possible. Make sure you get the contact information of any witnesses.
- Take pictures. Because ground and floor conditions can change, it is important to take pictures of the exact conditions that caused your injury as soon as possible. You should also take detailed pictures of your injury.
- Consult with a lawyer. It’s important to discuss your case with a lawyer before you fill out any insurance forms, sign any checks, or meet with an insurance company representative – particularly the business owner or landlord’s insurance company. You can request a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers by filling out the Free Case Evaluation form on the top right side of this page.
- Start a journal. The best way to keep track of what the injury is costing you is to start a daily journal describing how the injury is affecting you and your immediate family. You should also write down all your expenses, notes, lost wages, and any other relevant details.
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What can I expect if I contact an attorney?
Once you request a Free Case Evaluation, a New Jersey attorney will contact you to discuss the details of your case. These include:
- interviewing you to learn your side of the story
- determining which persons (landlords, businesses, owners) are responsible
- evaluating how extensive and severe your injuries are
- estimating the amount of your loss
If both you and your lawyer are satisfied that you have a viable case, your lawyer will begin building your case. This includes:
- collecting all available information including the police report and other documents
- interviewing all witnesses
- reviewing your medical records including doctor reports and hospital records
- finding an appropriate expert witness such as a safety engineer, who may inspect the property for violations
Your lawyer does this so that he or she can re-enact the scene before a judge or jury. It is critical to have all the information available so you can paint as clear a picture as possible of what actually happened. [ back to top ]
Who’s responsible for my injuries?
Simply hurting yourself because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property is usually not enough to win a lawsuit. When evaluating who is responsible, the court will consider:
- How long the dangerous condition has existed
- Whether the owner had time to discover and fix it
- If the owner took steps to fix the problem, was it appropriate?
- Were you doing anything careless that may have contributed to your injury?
How to prove the owner was responsible? To prove the owner was responsible, you must show one of the following:
- the owner or an employee knew about the dangerous condition before the incident occurred and did nothing about it (like posting a warning sign)
- OR the owner or an employee caused the dangerous condition to be underfoot (by spilling something and not cleaning it up)
- OR the owner or employee should have known about the dangerous condition because a “reasonable” person taking care of the property would have removed or repaired during regular maintenance checks
Considering your own carelessness In almost all situations, you must also consider whether your own carelessness contributed to the accident. Some questions to ask include:
- Why were you there? Would the owner have expected you to be in the area around the dangerous condition?
- What were you doing? Were you distracted? Were you doing anything reckless or risky that may have contributed to your fall?
- Were there any warning signs that the area was dangerous?
- Would a careful person have been able to spot and avoid the dangerous condition?
Joint responsibility In many cases, the property owner and the injured person can both be held responsible to varying degrees. The property owner is responsible for keeping the property safe, while each person has the responsibility to watch where they are going and avoid, when possible, any dangerous conditions that may cause them harm. [ back to top ]
How do I prove that my landlord is negligent?
Before you moved in, your landlord probably had you sign a lease outlining how much rent you’d pay per month and other terms. In many cases, the lease includes a clause stating that the landlord is required to make repairs, but only after the tenant notifies them of the problem and gives them reasonable time to fix it. In order to prove that your landlord is negligent, you must prove that the landlord violated his or her obligations as outlined in that lease. That means that you must prove that your landlord is deliberately ignoring your requests to repair the dangerous or defective condition. The best way to do this is to send them a letter documenting the problem so there is a written record that you did inform them. If they still don’t respond, consult with an attorney. [ back to top ]
What compensation am I entitled to?
The exact amount of money you can recover can’t be determined without analyzing all information related to your injury including your medical bills, loss of income, and the severity of your injury. Each case involves a different set of circumstances, and therefore different amounts of money. New Jersey law allows recovery for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, the value of any clothes damaged, mental anguish, emotional distress, psychological injuries, and disfigurement. [ back to top ]
How long will my case take?
While we handle all cases as quickly as possible, the length of time varies from case to case. It is important to realize that once you settle your claim, you cannot go back for more money if you realize later that your injuries are more severe than you thought. Therefore, it is crucial to collect as much information as possible about your injuries before presenting your case before a judge. [ back to top ]
Do I have to file a lawsuit?
Not necessarily. Many minor cases are settled without filing a lawsuit. However, if you have suffered an injury that required medical attention and rehabilitation, an attorney can help you recover the expenses you incur as well as compensation for pain and suffering by presenting a strong case supported by irrefutable evidence. An attorney will also interact with the land owner and his or her insurance company on your behalf as well as locate safety experts to testify if your case goes to trial. [ back to top ]
How long will it take me to receive my money?
That depends on a number of factors such as how serious your injury is and whether your case is settled or goes to trial. If you have a serious injury, it’s best not to settle until you receive sufficient medical treatment and rehabilitation so you can better estimate how much your injury will cost you in the long run. [ back to top ]
What are the attorney’s fees?
If we accept your case, there are no out of pocket fees or costs to you. We are reimbursed a small percentage of the amount we recover for you – so if you don’t get paid, neither do we. [ back to top ]
How do I get started?
Please fill out the Free Case Evaluation form on the top right side of this page and we will respond within 24 hours. If you wish to speak with someone immediately, call our client-intake specialist, Ken Cooper, at (856) 308-5426.