Hurt on Someone Else’s Property
In New Jersey, as in other states, the owner of residential or commercial property has a duty to maintain the premises so as to minimize the risk of injury to anyone lawfully on the property. This duty extends to homeowners who have workers or social guests, as well as businesses that have customers, vendors or other visitors. If you suffer injury on another person’s property, and you can show that the owner did not take reasonable steps to protect your safety, you can pursue damages for any resulting losses, such as income or wages, medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, or loss of companionship or consortium.
The Duty of Property Owners
The law requires property owners to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of legal visitors. This does not mean that a landholder must guarantee the safety of anyone on the premises—only that their actions be reasonable.
So what does this mean?
- First, a property owner must take reasonable measures to monitor the premises, so that any potentially dangerous conditions can be discovered and remedied. What is considered reasonable may vary, based on where the property is located, as well as what types of activities are conducted on the property, and what types of potential hazards exist on the property. For example, a property owner in New Jersey, which normally has snow and ice during winter months, must customarily monitor property to ensure that snow or ice accumulation does not pose an unreasonable risk, or has been appropriately addressed. The owner of a grocery store may need to have practices in place to quickly discover slippery floors or other potential hazards. A property owner with a pool must take reasonable measures to ensure that access to the pool is properly secured.
- Second, if a property owner either knows about (or, acting reasonably, should have known about) a dangerous condition, the property owner has a duty to either fix the problem, or to provide reasonable notice of the potential risk to anyone visiting the property. The property owner may prevent access to the dangerous area, but must take reasonable measures when doing so. Any warning must be reasonably designed to provide adequate notice to anyone exposed to the potential danger.
Contact the New Jersey Personal Injury Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr
We have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than four decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.