If you slip and fall on ice in New Jersey, you should know your rights as a victim. All property owners have an obligation to keep their premises reasonably safe, in spite of the conditions. Obviously, the longer the ice has been there, the more liable a person can be for allowing the ice to be there. You have an obligation to be careful when walking on ice and avoid the ice when possible. In New Jersey, homeowners have a certain responsibility to keep their premises safe. Store owners have an even higher standard to keep their premises safe because you are actually a customer who is there for the benefit of the store owner. The law affords you additional protection if you slip and fall on ice on a commercial property.
Typically, in New Jersey, you have a two-year statute of limitations in accident cases. That means you have two years to file a lawsuit in connection with anything from slip and falls to motor accidents. There are, however, other limitations that apply when you are dealing with personal injury cases. For instance, if you’re dealing with a political entity such as a state, county, or municipality, you have something called the Tort Claims Act.
The Tort Claims Act requires you to put that entity on notice within, generally, ninety days. That period of time can be extended on occasion, but the courts rarely will grant the extension because, many times, they are paying out tax money and feel the court is there to protect taxpayers as best they can. If you do it properly and file your tort claim notice, within the period provided by the act, you then have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit for your slip and fall accident. Then that lawsuit is handled just like it is with regard to those entities as it is with regard to any other private person. There are some differences in the standards that have to be proven, but essentially it is the same.
In New Jersey, If you’re injured in a slip and fall accident, who pays your medical bills depends on what party is responsible. If the slip and fall accident was your fault, then you’re responsible for your medical bills. If it was the fault of the property owner, then they are responsible. Regardless, if you have private medical coverage, your private medical insurance should pay for your medical bills.
You have to keep in mind, though, if payments are made by your private insurance, they may have a right to recovery against you and any recovery you make for what that private medical insurance pays out. Ultimately, that lien can be made part of your claim against the person responsible for the condition that led you to fall and become injured. In all cases, you will have to prove negligence. That means that the individual owner or controller of the property knew, or should have known, of the dangerous condition on the property, and either did not warn you of that in time for you to take evasive action or did not make the area safe. Speak with an attorney at Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C. in order to receive the best outcome to your legal matter.