Protecting Yourself from Premises Liability as a Property Owner
Causes of Premises Liability Related Injuries in Morris and Sussex County
Premises Liability Attorneys Serving North Jersey Clients with Offices in Morristown and Newton NJ
The New Jersey Landowner Liability Act states that an individual or business entity can be held liable for injuries from accidents that occur on land that they have control over and a duty of care. For this reason, the care and upkeep of your property should be one of your highest priorities. In the event that you are facing a personal injury lawsuit based on premises liability, it must be proven that there was knowledge of hazardous conditions and a failure or negligence in rectifying these hazardous conditions. Furthermore, it must be proven that this breach of care was the cause of the injuries that took place on the premises. In addition, the plaintiff must prove that this breach of care was the cause of their injury.
A higher standard of care is necessary for those invited or with a right to be on the property while a lower standard exists for someone who may be trespassing. It is important to note that in New Jersey premises liability extends to those who are trespassing.
What should I do if someone is injured on my property?
You must remember that, depending on your policy, homeowner’s insurance or property insurance may not automatically cover you when someone is injured on your property. However, if anyone is injured on your property you are obligated to address the injury and any possible insurance claim immediately. If present when the accident occurred, you should consider the extent of the injuries and determine if emergency care is required. You should also:
- Get in contact with the police to allow both parties to make a statement
- Take photos of both the injuries and of the area where the injury occurred
- Try to collect any witness statements
- Call your insurance agent to discuss the situation and details of your coverage
When it comes to any premises liability issue, whether you are the landowner or the injured party, it is best to be proactive. Contacting an experienced premises liability and personal injury attorney as soon as possible will help you to begin building your case.
Limiting the Risk of Injury and Liability on your Property
As a property owner or possessor, it is necessary to limit the risk of injury, in general, on your property. There are several habits that you should develop as a property owner that will help to greatly reduce your exposure to property liability and personal injury lawsuits.
These habits include:
- Walking around your entire property regularly in order to look for and identify hazards.
- Clean up any spills and repair any hazards immediately.
- Make sure all outside lights are on at night.
- When expecting guest, turn off any sprinklers and pick up loose items.
- In the event of a spill, put up wet floor signs to warn people of wet areas.
Furthermore, there are several prudent investments that should be made in order to protect yourself and your guests. These include:
- Installing fences around your entire property to keep unwanted people and pets out. This will go a long way toward helping to show a court that you cared to protect others in the event of any lawsuits
- Installing cameras on your property in appropriate locations. They are not only great for preventing burglaries but the footage also makes for indisputable evidence in court cases
- Installing sturdy handrails, banisters, and step-ups in places where it may be difficult to navigate
- Posting clear terms and warnings for people on your property
Legal terms for the types of people who may be on a property
There exist different legal terms for different people who may get injured on your property. These terms are important as the status of the person who was injured on your property will be a key issue in any premises liability lawsuit.
The categories are as follows:
A licensee is probably the most common category of person who may be at your home. Licensees are people who you invited onto your property for social purposes. This includes family members, friend, party guests, romantic partners, neighbors, and other invitees.
Perhaps trespassers are the most contested and confusing types of people who you may be liable for on your property. These include uninvited strangers who may be passing through, thieves and others entering for criminal purposes as well as other uninvited people. It is important to note that New Jersey law states that property owners do not have any duty of care toward trespassers except to avoid willfully injuring them.
In the event that anyone, be they invited or uninvited, is injured on your property you should contact a skilled and experienced New Jersey premises liability attorney today.
Contact Premises Liability Lawsuits Attorneys serving in Morristown and Newton NJ
When it comes to any premises liability issue, whether you are the landowner or the injured party, it is best to be proactive. Contact Michael P. Burakoff, an experienced premises liability and personal injury attorney as soon as possible will help you to begin building your case.
Contact us today at either of his convenient locations in Morristown and Newton, New Jersey. Call us at 973-455-1567 to schedule an initial consultation.