Liability of Owner of Commercial Property for Defects, Snow and Ice Accumulation and Other Dangerous Conditions in Abutting Sidewalks.
The law imposes upon the owner of commercial or business property the duty to use reasonable care to see to it that the sidewalks abutting the property are reasonably safe for members of the public who are using them. In other words, the law says that the owner of commercial property must exercise reasonable care to see to it that the condition of the abutting sidewalk is reasonably safe and does not subject pedestrians to an unreasonable risk of harm.
The concept of reasonable care requires the owner of commercial property to take action with regard to conditions within a reasonable period of time after the owner becomes aware of the dangerous condition or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have become aware of it.
AT THE ACCIDENT SCENE
1. Stop . . . do not leave the scene of the accident. CALL THE AMBULANCE, tell them where the accident occurred and (ask for medical help if needed).
2. Notify the property manager or owner, if possible. Insist they observe where you fell. For example, if you fall on an icy sidewalk at the store/ business, notify the manager.
3. Get names and addresses of all witnesses. Witnesses will be a tremendous help to you in any subsequent court action if there is any question of liability involved. Get the names and addresses of as many witnesses as possible. If they refuse to identify themselves, jot down the license plate numbers of their automobiles. Do not discuss the accident with the witnesses. Do not give the witnesses' names to anyone but the police, your attorney or your insurance company.
4. While waiting for ambulance, write down- Accident Information Date __ Time __ Location __ Weather __ Road conditions __ Damage __
5. Summary of accident __
6. Diagram of accident location
7. Call an ambulance. If you have any reason to suspect you were injured in the accident, go to a hospital immediately or see a physician promptly. You'll want it on record that you sought treatment right away, not in a week or so.
8. Write down name of Police Officers, Department and Badge Number, Ambulance crew, etc.
9. Do not assign or accept blame for the accident. - The scene of the accident is not the place to determine fault. Discuss the accident only with the ambulance and medical personnel, your attorney and with representatives of your insurance company. Give the other party only your name and address. - Be cooperative with the police.
10. Have immediate photos taken of accident site.
11. Call a personal injury attorney immediately, not a real estate attorney. Call Kenneth A. Vercammen- Trial Attorney (732) 572-0500 When you need help the most, we will be ready to help you.
12. Never give a signed statement to the claims adjuster representing the property owner's insurance company. The same goes for a phone recording. They may be used against you in court to deny your claim. Speak with your personal injury attorney first.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED BY SLIPPING ON SNOW OR ICE
It is important that you --
1. DO NOT discuss your case with anyone except your doctors and attorney.
2. DO NOT make any statements or give out any information.
3. DO NOT sign any statements, reports, forms or papers of any kinds, .
4. DO NOT appear at police or other hearings without first consulting with your attorney. INFORM YOUR ATTORNEY PROMPTLY of any notice, request or summons to appear at any hearings.
5. Refer to your attorney anyone who asks you to sign anything or to make any statement or report or who seeks information concerning your case.
6. Direct your doctor and other treatment providers not to furnish or disclose any information concerning your case to any entity other than your insurance company without YOU AND YOUR ATTORNEY'S WRITTEN PERMISSION.
7. You may have insurance coverages such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield or Major Medical which require prompt attention. However, be sure to have your treatment providers send bills immediately to all of your insurance companies.
If there was a condition of this sidewalk that was dangerous in that it created an unreasonable risk of harm for pedestrians, and if the owner knew of that condition or should have known of it but failed to take such reasonable action to correct or remedy the situation within a reasonable period of time thereafter as a reasonably prudent commercial or business owner would have done under the circumstances, then the owner is negligent.
No one plans on being injured in an accident, whether it is a car accident, fall down or other situation. Speak with a personal injury attorney immediately to retain all your rights. The stores are responsible for the maintenance of their premises, which are used by the public. It is the duty of the store to inspect and keep said premises in a safe condition and free from any and all pitfalls, obstacles or traps that would likely cause injury to persons lawfully thereon.
If the unsafe condition is alleged to be snow and ice, N.J.S.A. 40:64-12 and any ordinance adopted by the municipality might be charged as a factor, the jury should consider the reasonableness of the time the defendant(s) has (have) waited to remove or reduce a snowor ice condition from the sidewalk.
What actions must the owner of commercial property take with regard to defects / snow / ice accumulation/ dangerous conditions? The action required by the law is action which a reasonably prudent person would take or should have taken in the circumstances present to correct the defect / snow / ice accumulation/ dangerous condition, to repair it/remove it or to take other actions to minimize the danger to pedestrians (for example, to give warning of it) within a reasonable period of time after notice thereof. The test is: did the commercial property owner take the action that a reasonably prudent person who knows or should have known of the condition would have taken in that circumstance? If he/she did, he/she is not negligent. If he/she did not, he/she is negligent.
3. If you are injured, after seeking medical treatment and advising the store/mall, CALL KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN, ESQ. 732-572-0500 for an Appointment.
More Info At: http://www.njlaws.com/fall_down_injuries_on_snow.htm
If you are injured, after seeking medical treatment and advising the store / mall, CALL KENNETH A. VERCAMMEN, ESQ. 732-572-0500 For an Appointment.