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Slips and Falls in Snow and Ice in New Jersey

In the aftermath of winter storm Jonas, you may have a lot of questions about who’s responsible when you slip and fall on steps, sidewalks or parking ramps. What about indoor surfaces that are wet and slippery from people tracking in snow? Here’s an overview of the responsibilities of property owners in inclement weather conditions.

In New Jersey, as in all 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 legally on the property. Others can have liability as well, including property managers, landlords and even tenants. Such persons must take “reasonable” steps to monitor property for any dangerous conditions, and if any are discovered, either remedy the problem or properly warn potential visitors of the risks involved. Property owners will generally be held responsible only for those dangers that they actually knew about, or about which they should have known by exercising “reasonable” care.

How does that apply to snow and ice? The answer is somewhat different, depending on whether the property is residential or commercial.

For residential property in New Jersey, there is no duty to remove, ameliorate or warn about any “natural” accumulation of snow or ice. However, a property owner may incur liability if any action taken actually makes the condition worse. For example, a homeowner who pours hot water on ice or snow to try to melt it may be liable for injuries if the water turns to ice and someone slips on it.

With commercial property, because the owner invites people on the premises for a profit, there is a greater duty to prevent injury. A commercial property owner has a duty to either remediate any known or reasonably anticipated danger, or to warn potential visitors of the risk.

Contact the New Jersey Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the 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.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-537-8570.

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