Sidewalk Falls in Monmouth County, NJ
Walking on a sidewalk should be simple and safe, but a surprising number of accidents occur on sidewalks in Monmouth County, often caused by unsafe or dangerous conditions that could have been avoided if the responsible party had maintained the sidewalk appropriately. When a sidewalk slip and fall or another accident causes significant injuries, there are a number of parties who may be held responsible for those injuries under New Jersey law. It is important to understand potentially liable parties in a sidewalk accident case and the types of damages you may be able to recover with a successful sidewalk injury claim. If you or someone you know has been injured by a fall on a sidewalk in Monmouth County, New Jersey, contact our knowledgeable legal team to discuss your case. Our Monmouth County slip and fall attorneys are here to help. With local offices in Wall Township, we serve clients in Middletown, Freehold, Howell, Long Branch, Holmdel, Manalapan, and all communities in the Monmouth County area. For an absolutely free consultation, call 732-825-6120 or contact us online today.
Proving Negligence for a Sidewalk Fall in Monmouth County
If a sidewalk is improperly maintained and someone suffers an injury as a result, certain parties may be held liable for the harm that is caused. The party that is responsible for a sidewalk fall will typically depend on where the sidewalk is located and what is adjacent to the sidewalk.
If the sidewalk fall occurs on a sidewalk that is adjacent to a commercial property or commercial establishment, the commercial establishment or commercial property owner may be responsible for the sidewalk fall. In New Jersey, a commercial property owner has a duty to maintain the sidewalks that are adjacent to their establishment. Though many individuals may mistakenly believe that all sidewalks are maintained by the city, county or state, when a commercial property is adjacent to the sidewalk the commercial property owner must maintain the sidewalk. This means that the commercial property owner must not only fix any known defects in the sidewalk, they must also inspect the premises to make sure that dangerous conditions do not presently exist. If the commercial property owner either fails to inspect the adjacent sidewalks and or fails to fix any known defects in the sidewalk, the commercial property owner may be responsible for any injuries that occur.
The City, County, or State
If a dangerous condition exists on a sidewalk and it is not adjacent to a commercial building, then the maintenance and repair of a sidewalk may be the responsibility of the city, county or state. In these cases, either the state of New Jersey, Monmouth County, and/or the local town or city where the sidewalk is located may be responsible for a sidewalk fall. If a public entity controls the sidewalk where you were injured, you must bring your claim under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act. The act includes very specific and timely notice requirements, including putting the government entity on notice within 90 days of the accident.
Homeowner Caused a Slip and Fall on a Sidewalk
Under New Jersey law, residential homeowners ordinarily do not have a duty to inspect and or fix sidewalks that are adjacent to their homes. Therefore, they are not ordinarily responsible for sidewalk falls that occur outside their homes. However, if a homeowner causes a sidewalk defect by a specific action they take or fail to take, and as a result of that defect an individual is injured, the homeowner can be responsible for the injuries that result.
How to Best Prepare for a Sidewalk Injury Claim
There are certain steps you can take to bolster your sidewalk accident claim in the event that you are injured in a slip & fall or trip & fall. Here are a few important things for you to do after your sidewalk accident:
- Seek medical attention: You should also see a doctor about your injuries and get copies of medical records so that everything is properly documented. Of course, the most important thing for you to do is ensure that you get properly checked out by a qualified medical professional so that you can recover from your injuries.
- Take photos of the sidewalk: It is imperative that you take photos of the accident scene before the municipality fixes the defective sidewalk. You need to make sure that you have proof of the dangerous condition that caused your sidewalk mishap. If you make the mistake of waiting or failing to photograph the accident scene, it could be too late.
- Take photos of your injuries: Also, take dated photographs of your injuries in the immediate aftermath of the sidewalk accident. You should also take photos of your injuries as they heal, or get worse, over time. This evidence is likely to prove useful if there is a dispute about the extent of your injuries during settlement negotiations or at trial.
- Consult with an attorney: An experienced personal injury attorney can advise you on your options and help you determine your next step, in addition to helping you gather evidence and effectively litigating your claim for compensation. In the process of evidence gathering, your attorney may find that there is a history of slip and fall accidents on that sidewalk. If the municipality was aware of the dangers posed by that stretch of sidewalk and failed to take appropriate action to fix the broken sidewalk, it could boost the strength of your accident claim. Talking to a qualified lawyer is especially important when filing a claim against a municipality or other governmental entity because the legal process in these kinds of cases can be extremely demanding and complicated.
Consult a Monmouth County Attorney after Falling on a Sidewalk
Getting knowledgeable legal advice is vital if you or a loved one has been injured on a sidewalk in Monmouth County, NJ. Determining exactly who may be held liable for the dangerous sidewalk can be difficult and requires a seasoned attorney lawyer who is familiar with this area of the law. Our firm has extensive experience with sidewalk falls and other types of personal injury claims in Manasquan, Marlboro, Neptune, Ocean Township, Hazlet, Aberdeen, Tinton Falls, and throughout Monmouth County. We can be reached 24/7 to assist you, so call us today at 732-825-6120.