New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident Attorneys
Compensation for Slip/Trip-and-Fall Accidents
Slip/Trip-and-fall accidents are associated with minor bumps and bruises and even bad comedy acts, but the reality is that slip/trip-and fall-accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries. You know this because you or someone you love has been injured in a slip/trip-and-fall accident, and now you're facing ENORMOUS medical bills and other difficulties as a result. Even worse, the accident could've been entirely prevented if it wasn't for another party's negligence. One question lingers in your mind: Why should I have to pay for someone else's mistake?
The answer is: You shouldn't.
Exercise your right to pursue compensation for your injuries with help from the experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. Our firm has focused on personal injury law for more than 20 YEARS. Let us put our experience into action to get you the settlement you deserve. Your case may be worth MILLIONS of dollars. Take the first step towards a better future and call us today at (609) 240-0040 to receive a free, comprehensive, case evaluation.
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Why You Should Have an Attorney
After most slip/trip-and-falls, insurance companies will get involved because that is their job. At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we will handle all communication with insurance companies for you. Generally, you should never have to speak to the lawyer for another party, an insurance provider, or the property owners.
Evidence and medical records can play important roles in a slip/trip-and-fall case. An attorney will work diligently to help you gather witness testimony, evidence from the scene, and medical documents to highlight the severity of your injuries.
While every case's circumstances will vary, you could be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, medical expenses, and other damages.
An experienced New Jersey slip/trip-and-fall lawyer can help you understand the scope of compensation you may be entitled to, rather than settling for the lower amount offered by insurance companies.
Understanding New Jersey Premises Liability
Premises liability laws in New Jersey make property owners responsible for the proper maintenance, security, and construction of a piece of land, building, residence, or place of business.
These responsibilities extend to the piece of property itself, as well as its sidewalks, parking lots, and other areas. They include ensuring that all sections are safe and contain warning of possible hazards. If lighting is poor, stairs are broken, floors are left wet, or snow and ice aren’t cleared from a sidewalk, an unsuspecting visitor or passerby can be put in harm's way.
A property owner may be held legally accountable for economic and non-economic damages if a person is injured or killed because they failed to uphold these duties.
Steps to Take After a Slip/Trip-and-Fall Accident
If you are unable to move after your fall, do not try to move. Wait for emergency personnel to arrive. File a report with the property owner or manager, and keep a copy of the report. If possible, take photographs of the dangerous condition that caused your fall. Obtain contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the incident. It is also crucial that you get prompt medical attention, which will give you the best chance of a speedy and complete recovery. Make sure that you document all of your losses, including all medical bills, hospital visits, and number of workdays missed, etc.
Do You Have a Valid New Jersey Slip/Trip-and-Fall Lawsuit?
Injury claims involving slip/trip-and-falls are complex and involve numerous factors beyond what we can cover here. However, in order for a New Jersey premises liability claim or lawsuit to be successful, with the assistance of your legal team, you need to prove:
- You took reasonable care to avoid being injured but were injured anyway.
- The injury took place on the defendant's property.
- The defendant knew or should have known about the hazard.
- The defendant did not fix the hazard within a reasonable amount of time.
There are a number of things that can make a public or private property hazardous to visitors. Cracks in the sidewalk, poorly lit parking lots, broken steps, uneven pavement, torn or bunched-up carpeting, and wet floors are all common examples of hazards that can lead to a slip/trip-and-fall or trip-and-fall accidents. Whenever these hazards exist, it is the responsibility of the property owner or manager to either fix the problem right away or to at least place warning signs around the dangerous area to caution visitors or guests. Failing to make repairs, to clean clutter, or to clean up spills is a form of negligence that can make a property owner liable for injury accidents.
Causes of Slip/Trip-and-Falls
Some of the most common and preventable hazards that cause slip/trip-and-fall accidents are:
- Missing or flimsy rails on a stairways
- Unmarked steps or ramps
- Wet or slippery floors
- Uneven or broken stairs
- Icy or snowy sidewalks or parking lots
- Uneven, weak, or cracked floors
- Loose or uncovered cables
- Inadequate lighting
- Overcrowded walkways
- Potholes or unmarked bumps in a parking lot
Injuries Specific to Slip/Trip-and-Fall Accident
Slip/Trip-and-fall accidents often result in contusions, minor abrasions, and perhaps some degree of embarrassment for the victim. However, slip/trip-and-fall accidents are no laughing matter. They can result in serious injuries that require immediate medical attention. Here are some of the injuries commonly seen in slip/trip-and-fall accidents:
- Sprains and strains: A sprain is when a ligament is stretched or torn, and a strain is when a muscle or tendon is injured. These painful and debilitating injuries can occur, for example, if a victim twists an ankle while slipping or lands on his or her wrist during the fall. These types of injuries often require expensive physical therapy that may not be covered by health insurance.
- Fractures: In the sudden and powerful impact of striking the ground, any bone can be broken. Hands placed out to stop a fall can easily suffer fractures, hips may break if the victim lands directly on them, and, most devastatingly, vertebrae may break in the fall. The elderly are particularly at risk of suffering bone fractures in a slip/trip-and-fall, but anyone can sustain a fracture on a hard surface such as tile, hardwood, or concrete. Bone fractures are painful; can significantly limit a person's functioning; and can affect other parts of the body surrounding the fracture, such as the nerves, blood vessels, and tissues. Victims of multiple bone fractures in their arms and legs may never fully regain strength and mobility in the limb, even after receiving physical therapy or other treatment.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Anyone who loses consciousness or feels confused or nauseous after a slip/trip-and-fall accident should seek immediate medical attention. Whether a person sustains a skull fracture, a concussion, or cerebral contusion (brain bruising), traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause irreversible damage. It may take a person years to relearn how to carry out tasks, such as speaking and walking, which were easy before the slip/trip-and-fall. Even when a TBI is minor, extensive recovery time and medical care are necessary.
- Spinal cord trauma: Victims who twist their backs or who fall awkwardly may sustain damage to their vertebrae and spinal cord. Broken vertebrae can easily lead to spinal cord damage, as bone fragments may pierce the cord or causing serious damage. A person coping with a spinal cord injury may be facing complete or partial paralysis, and/or loss of feeling in areas below the injury location.
- Neck damage: Both by colliding directly with the floor during a fall, or by enduring whiplash during a fall, a victim's neck can suffer major injuries. Vertebrae in the neck may be broken, the spinal cord may be damaged, or the soft tissues in the neck may strain or tear, all of which can require multiple medical treatments and cause major long-term complications.
New Jersey Injury Attorneys - We Care About Our Clients
At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., we pride ourselves in being empathetic toward our clients, getting to know their stories so we can better represent them in a slip/trip-and-fall claim. As a Princeton legal team that has served New Jersey for decades, we have what it takes to fight for the money and closure our clients deserve.
We see beyond the physical pain and realize the emotional toll a serious injury can take. Treating every case differently, we apply our many years of experience and knowledge to building an effective case, specific to each client's situation. For a free consultation with a New Jersey slip/trip-and-fall attorney, call (609) 240-0040 today.
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