Slip and Fall in an Ongoing Storm
With winter approaching, a recent court case highlights the challenges in getting compensation for slip and fall injuries which are more common during adverse weather.
Slip and fall accidents can happen anytime of the year, but they are particularly common during the fall and winter months in New Jersey. Wet and rainy conditions soon give way to snow and ice, increasing the hazards on public sidewalks as well as at local businesses. Slip and fall injuries can result in major medical expenses and lost wages. Our New Jersey premises liability attorneys explains a recent court case highlighting some of the challenges in seeking compensation.
Who is Liable for Slip and Fall Accidents During Adverse Weather?
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that studies show the likelihood of suffering a slip and fall accident increases by roughly 70% over the winter months. Rain, snow, and icy conditions make slip and fall accidents create hazardous conditions inside stores, restaurants, and office buildings, as well as outside on sidewalks in front of businesses. If you suffer a slip and fall, it is important to take the following steps:
- Notify the property owner or manager immediately, so that an accident report can be filed;
- Make note of any witnesses at the scene and get their contact information;
- Use your cell phone to take pictures or videos of the conditions that led to your accident and the surrounding area;
- Get medical attention as soon as possible and follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding follow up care.
Property owners have a duty of care to maintain the premises and warn visitors of potential risks. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for damages you suffer as a result. Unfortunately, when it comes to ongoing storms, this can prove challenging.
Recent New Jersey Court Case Addresses Issue of ‘Ongoing Storms’
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled against awarding compensation to a man who slipped and fell outside a business during a winter storm. While property owners have a duty to take steps to reduce the risk of personal injuries, the law generally states that snow and ice must be removed at the conclusion of a storm and that they are not liable for conditions while it is ongoing. However, they can be held responsible for injuries suffered during ongoing storms in unusual circumstances or if there were pre-existing conditions. Examples of this include:
- When snow or ice accumulations were not cleared from a previous storm;
- When a water pipe bursts, causing water to pool and freeze in certain areas;
- When the sidewalk was uneven and treacherous to begin with or some other pre-existing hazard existed.
Let Our New Jersey Premises Liability Attorney Review Your Case
At Leonard Legal Group, let us help you get the compensation you need to recover from slip and fall injuries. We can review the circumstances surrounding your case and advise you on your rights in filing a claim. To request a consultation, call 973-984-1414 or contact our Morristown premises liability attorney online today.