Property owners have the responsibility to maintain their property and correct any dangers in a timely manner. If you slipped on spilled juice in a grocery store and fell, were attacked in a dark gas station parking lot or suffered any other injury due to another’s negligence, we can help. Premises liability cases can often give victims of this negligence a chance to recoup any losses they’ve incurred due to pain and suffering.
At Gold, Albanese & Barletti L.L.C., our Morristown and Red Bank premises liability attorneys have decades of legal experience helping personal injury victims and their families. We are a trial-tested law firm that will not back down until our clients receive the full and fair compensation they deserve. Such compensation can cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.
Legal Responsibility and Premises Liability
Determining who is legally responsible in a premises liability case hinges on what type of property the injury occurred on as well as the status of the injured party and the owner of the property.
Type of Property
Public Property – When it comes to public property, the public entity who controls the property is only liable if the injured party can prove the the following:
- That the property was in dangerous condition.
- This condition caused the injury.
- The public entity involved knew of the dangerous condition.
- That an employee of the public entity created or allowed the creation of the dangerous condition.
- That the actions and/or omissions of the public entity were clearly unreasonable.
Do note that the owner of residential property that abuts public property can, in certain circumstances, be liable for injuries causes by the condition of the public property.
Private Property – Unlike with public property, the actions and/or omissions of an owner or occupier of private property do not have to be unreasonable for them to be found liable for injuries caused by dangerous conditions on the property. They must act in the manner of a reasonable person to ensure the property is safe, though this depends on the status of the individual that was injured.
Status of the Injured
Invitee – Invitees are people who are invited to someone’s property for the benefit of the owner. A common case of an invitee is a customer shopping at a grocery store. Whoever owns or possesses the property has a duty to enact an ordinary standard of care by making the premises reasonably safe. The owner or possessor must take actions to warn invitees of potential dangerous conditions and make those conditions safe after they discover such hazards.
Social Guest – A host does not need to make their property safer for guests and does not need to inspect the property in order to uncover any hazardous conditions that exist. However, if the host knows or should know of a dangerous condition they are obligated to warn guests about the conditions or make a reasonable effort to render the conditions safe
Licensee – A licensee is someone who is permitted to enter a property without an actual invitation from the owner. Example of licensees are solicitors. Licensees are owed a warning about dangerous conditions, including those they may not be likely to observe. The owner must also take steps to make such conditions safe, however they cannot be held liable for hidden defects they could not reasonably predict or foresee.
Trespasser – Under most circumstances, a property owner cannot anticipate a trespasser and therefore cannot warn them of a dangerous condition, in which they would usually not be liable for the trespasser’s injury. However, the owner or occupier of a piece of property cannot engage in acts to willfully harm trespassers. In other words, you are not allowed to booby-trap your property.
There are separate rules if the trespasser is a child. The owner/possessor of a property can be held liable for injuries sustained due to an artificial condition by a trespassing child if the following occur:
- The owner knows or should know there is a likely chance that children will trespass on the property where a hazardous condition exists.
- The owner knows or should know that the condition could result in death or serious injury.
- The child did not or could not discover the condition or did not realize the risk that the condition presented.
- The owner failed to protect child trespassers and did not take reasonable actions to remove the dangerous conditions.
We Are Familiar With A Wide Variety Of NJ Premises Liability Cases
We represent individuals throughout New Jersey who have cases involving:
At the Law Offices of Gold, Albanese & Barletti L.L.C., we have experience with all types of premises liability cases and we are prepared to help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.