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Business owners and lessees have a legal duty to their customers and others lawfully visiting their premises to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Private property owners and lessees may also be held legally responsible for personal injuries which occur on their property. Premises liability cases include but are not limited to:
- Accidents in commercial and residential building
- Elevator accidents
- Inadequate security leading to assault, rape or murder
- Inadequate and defective maintenance of building and property
- Sidewalk accidents
Although some premises cases, such as so-called “slip and fall” cases, can seem simple, New York and New Jersey law favors the premises owner. Simply because a person is injured on another person’s property or on the premises of a commercial establishment, it does not guarantee that a lawsuit may be successfully brought.
An injured plaintiff must prove that the property owner or lessee either caused the defective or unsafe condition or they knew or should have known that there was a defective or unsafe condition on the property. Furthermore, a plaintiff must prove that this condition was a substantial factor in causing the injury. Another important factor that usually arises in these cases is the degree of responsibility for the accident by the injured party, also known as contributory or comparative negligence, which could reduce a recovery or prevent one in its entirety.
Prompt and thorough investigation of these claims is mandatory. This usually includes an immediate inspection of the accident location including scene photographs and witness interviews before evidence is lost or destroyed. Trained investigators are retained to immediately secure all available evidence and try to answer a host of pertinent questions including the length of time the unsafe condition existed, prior complaints, prior accidents, and building code violations. It may even be necessary to utilize experts in various disciplines such as an engineer or an architect to properly investigate and evaluate your case.
If necessary, our law office will also retain expert accountants and financial analysts because many premises liability cases have their own set of associated losses including lost wages, the cost of care and many other monetary costs. In order to accurately assess what these costs will be for the remainder of a victim’s life, we use financial professionals to derive fair resolutions for injury victims.
Please call the lawyers at Gencarelli Law Firm, LLC at (201) 549-8737 or Email our Attorney to schedule an appointment for a free consultation.