Belmar Slip and Fall Accident
When you walk onto a neighbor’s property after a snowstorm or through an office lobby when the tile floor has been cleaned, you run the risk of slipping and falling. These can be dangerous accidents that can cause significant harm to you. Although some injuries can be minor, others can be more significant, causing you to rack up major medical bills and forcing you to take time off work.
These are preventable accidents that only occurred because of the carelessness or negligence of another person. Your neighbor may have failed to adequately clear away the snow and ice from the walkway when you came to visit, or the building manager may not have cleaned up the slippery floors or placed enough warnings around it. In those instances, you have a right to file a claim against the homeowner or the manager of the building for the circumstances that led to your unfortunate accident.
When you sustain a personal injury due to a slip and fall accident, you will need to hire a slip and fall lawyer who vigorously defend your rights and offer you advice on how to proceed. They will handle the legal matters while you focus on recovering.
What is a Slip and Fall Accident?
In a slip and fall accident, you lose your footing because of the conditions on the floor or ground. This causes you to lose your balance and fall. The fall is more dangerous because you are not prepared and may not be able to brace yourself for the impact of hitting the ground. The result could be significant injuries.
There are a few common types of slip and fall accidents. Those include:
- Slipping or tripping on stairs: At one point or another, everyone has lost their footing on the stairs. They have either tripped over an untied shoelace or tripped over a dress or coat that got in the way. These are simple accidents for which no one is at fault. However, when the conditions of the stairs are such that it causes you to trip and fall, it does make the manager liable for the accident. These conditions include substances left on the stairs, steps of varying sizes, carpet improperly installed on the steps, and the handrail not designed properly.
- Slipping on ice and snow: Homeowners and property managers have an obligation to clear away ice and snow in a reasonable amount of time after a snowstorm. The exact time of when snow and ice need to be cleared varies depending on the municipalities in which the building is located.
- Broken paths or sidewalks: When a walkway or path becomes damaged or dangerous to traverse, it is the homeowner or property manager’s responsibility to make those repairs so that the path is safe to cross. If they fail to make those repairs and someone slips and falls, they could become liable for those injuries.
- Slippery floors: Similar to conditions when there is ice on a pathway, the manager of a building has a responsibility to ensure that floors are not slippery. People can track water in on rainy and snowy days, leaving slippery conditions on the floor. The manager must keep those floors safe under those conditions.
- Spills: If there is a spill on the floor, the manager must clean up the mess in a timely fashion to prevent anyone from slipping.
- Clutter: When there is debris or equipment left in an aisle of a store or on a sidewalk, it can cause a tripping hazard. It is the manager’s or the homeowner’s responsibility to clear any debris out of the way before there are any problems.
- Insufficient lighting: When there is a lack of lighting in a hallway or in a stairway, it can hinder a person from seeing obstacles in their way or when the steps are starting or ending. The building manager should have provided adequate light so that visitors will not have any problems when going through certain parts of a building.
Although you should always mind your step no matter where you are walking, it is the homeowner and manager of the building who hold the responsibility of making sure all floors, hallways, and staircases are clear and safe for people to walk through. If they fail to hold up their obligation, they could be the target of a lawsuit.
The matter could get complicated if you suffered your accident on government property or public transportation such as a bus, a government building, or a public park. Given these special conditions, it makes it even more important for you to consult with a slip and fall lawyer on your options. For instance, there are certain time limits on when you must file a complaint that can range from 90 days to a year depending on the location of the injury.
What are Common Injuries Associated with Slip and Fall Accidents?
With any slip and fall accident, injuries are possible. The severity of those injuries can range depending on the conditions that are associated with the initial accident. The more common injuries include:
- Cuts and abrasions
- Strained, sprained, or torn tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck and shoulder injuries
- Back injuries, such as herniated, bulging, or ruptured disks
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Head and traumatic brain injuries, such as skull fractures, concussions, and hemorrhaging
What Steps Should I Take after a Slip and Fall Accident?
When you experienced a slip and fall accident, there are several steps that you should take immediately following your accident if there might be a need to file a claim in the future. These steps will make it easier in that circumstance. These steps include:
- Seek medical attention: Whenever you are involved in an accident in which injuries occur, it is always wise to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you do not believe you were injured, it is wise to consult with a doctor to confirm it. There are certain injuries that do not manifest themselves right away.
- Report the accident: Fill out a report about the accident and submit it to the manager of the building. If it is a private residence, report the incident to the homeowner or file a report with the police department. Whatever you submit in writing, make sure you get a copy for your records.
- Take pictures: If you can, take photos of the accident and the circumstances that led to the accident including your injuries.
- Keep records: Maintain a copy of all your records that you collect because of the accident. These records should include medical bills, tests, or any other evidence you collect at the time of your accident.
- Keep your clothes: Do not wash the clothes you wore on the day of the accident, as they may hold evidence such as blood or other substances. Keep the clothes safe in a sealed bag just in case.
- Limit your statements: Do not make any formal statements to the homeowner’s or building manager’s insurance company, nor should you sign anything until you have spoken with a slip and fall lawyer first.
- Do not post to social media: Refrain from making any comments about your accident on social media because insurance companies can and will use your statements against you.
Early in the process, you need to reach out to a slip and fall lawyer who can protect your rights. The property owner’s insurance company will not be looking out for your interest and will be trying to get the least expensive settlement. A lawyer will fight to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.
How can a Lawyer Help in My Case?
Bringing a lawyer in to help you on your case can provide you with the expertise and knowledge that you will need to go forward. There are specific actions that a lawyer will take to help you reach the resolution you are seeking. They can thoroughly investigate your case, including the circumstances that led to it, and speak to the witnesses. A lawyer knows the procedure required to file a formal complaint to begin the legal process.
A lawyer will also negotiate with the insurance company to seek a fair and equitable settlement for you in the case. They will handle all the legal aspects of the matter while you tend to your injuries and work on your recuperation.
A lawyer knows what it will take to win your case and how best to approach it. To win a premises liability claim, the lawyer must prove the following:
- A dangerous property condition existed.
- The property owner/occupier knew or reasonably should have known that the dangerous condition existed.
- The owner/occupier had a reasonable time to address the dangerous condition or warn visitors about foreseeable risks but failed to do so.
- As a result of this negligence, you suffered injuries such as a hip fracture, spinal cord injury, or traumatic brain injury.
Belmar Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers at Ellis Law Defend Your Rights When You Have Been Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident
If you sustained an injury slipping and falling in a neighbor’s yard or in an office or government building, you can collect compensation to recoup the expenses you sustained in relation to your injuries. The Belmar slip and fall accident lawyers at Ellis Law can help you through your case and get you the compensation package that you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 732-308-0200 or complete our online form. We are located in Freehold, New Jersey, and help clients throughout Freehold, East Brunswick, Toms River, Middletown, Jersey City, Neptune, Hudson County, Union County, Essex County, Monmouth County, Marlboro, and Ocean County, as well as Brooklyn, New York, and New York City.