Frequently Asked Questions About Fall Accidents in New Jersey
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Slip and fall accidents can often leave victims feeling embarrassed and responsible, on top of being injured. However, there are a number of questions that one should ask immediately after suffering from a slip and fall accident, particularly if they are seriously injured and are going to need medical attention, no matter how extensive.
A: First of all, if you are injured, seek immediate medical attention, particularly if you have an existing medical condition that could be exasperated as a result of the slip and fall (e.g. if you've recently had a hip replacement or other medical procedure that you have not fully recovered from). It should be the responsibility of the building owner or acting manager of the area to accommodate you with medical attention, regardless of whether or not the slip and fall was entirely your fault to begin with. Finally, make sure that you get the contact information of any witnesses to your accident so that they can give their perspective on what exactly happened.
A: The causes of slip and fall accidents can vary. Some more common causes are:
- Improperly maintained walkways: These can include overly smooth surfaces, such as recently waxed floors; ill-maintained staircases, particularly those that lack handrails and are in a state of disrepair; poorly lit paths that do not allow for substantial enough visibility to safely navigate through a particular corridor
- Structural damage to buildings: These can include leaking pipes or roofs, which can cause accidental slippage and lead to injury; loose or damaged carpeting that can lead to unexpected slips and falls; loose floor tiles that can shift and cause a person to lose his or her balance
- Loose materials: These can include any object that does not belong where it is placed, and is not serving a specific purpose in being located there. An example of such an obstruction would be a wooden palate in a store of some kind, left unattended and haphazardly strewn about in an aisle where a person could easily trip over it, particularly since it is low-lying to the ground and difficult to avoid without seeing it.
- Lack of warning signs: If a dangerous condition does exist, then it is the responsibility of the property owner or building manager to properly warn patrons of the potential danger. Proper signage, such as those announcing wet floors, is essential in maintaining safety standards. For any hazard that is accessible by patrons of a particular location, it is imperative that the hazard be duly pointed out, and then promptly taken care of and corrected to ensure that the risk of accident is minimized as much as it possibly can be.
Should I inform someone of my slip and fall accident, or should I simply carry on with my business so as not to inconvenience anyone?
A: It is of the utmost importance that you bring the hazardous condition that caused your injury to the attention of the property owner or facility manager. Even if you are not immediately injured, or simply don't want to draw attention to your accident, it is still important that you inform the proper authority of your accident so that, at the very least, others will become aware of the hazard and avoid the same mishap that you did.
A: It is important to realize that clumsiness is not always the cause of a slip and fall accident. Immediately after your accident, try to assess the scene to determine if the incident was solely your fault. For example, if you slip on a wet puddle caused by a leaky pipe or air conditioning duct, and the owner of the premises in which the accident occurred knew about the problem, possibly placing a bucket or some other apparatus underneath the leak, then the building owner can be held liable for your accident for failing to correct the hazardous condition.
Was the dangerous condition that caused your slip and fall existing long enough that someone should corrected the problem?
A: Again, it is the responsibility of property owners to ensure that their facilities are free of hazards, and that those visiting and/or working on the premises are adequately protected from said hazards. In the event that an injury is caused by a known problem, possibly one that the property owner has been meaning to take care of, then the property owner is liable for your injury for failing to promptly fix the hazard, or at the very least warn those exposed to the problem of potential danger.
A: You should contact an experienced Princeton New Jersey slip and fall attorney at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. immediately for a free consultation of your case, and help expose the negligent behavior that led to you accident. If a property owner is at fault, we will make sure they are held accountable.
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