Now that businesses in the state of New Jersey are beginning to reopen, it is crucial to remember the importance of keeping your property safe for visitors. Failure to do so can cause the grounds of a business to become hazardous and threaten the safety of those who come onto it. This can lead to an accident and serious injuries. When this happens, the injured party can pursue legal action against a property owner under premises liability law. Continue reading to learn more.
What are the Three Legal Classes of Visitors?
When discussing premises liability law, there are three classifications of visitors:
- Invitee: A person who comes onto a premises at an express invitation or the invitation of an employee. This does not have to be in writing. The invitation is to transact business for a mutual benefit.
- Licensee: A guest for personal reasons instead of business or commercial purposes. This may be inviting a guest over to your home for dinner. In terms of businesses, individuals who come onto the property are almost always invitees, not licensees.
- Trespasser: Persons who come onto a property without being invited and are normally in violation of trespassing laws. This may be a customer who refuses to leave when asked or a burglar. While business owners do not have a legal duty to keep trespassers safe, they cannot purposely cause harm to them.
What are Common Causes of Injury Claims?
There are a variety of ways that a personal injury accident can take place on a business’ property, including the following:
- Slippery surfaces: Rain, snow, ice, spills, wet or waxed floors, etc. can cause slip and fall accidents.
- Faulty stairs and escalators: Broken railings, slippery steps, and mechanical failures can cause stairwell and/or escalator accidents.
- Falling merchandise: Objects that fall off shelves can cause injuries to employees and customers.
- Physical obstacles: Any poorly placed electrical cords, protruding furniture, floor mats or door moldings, door stops, fallen merchandise, etc., should be taken care of immediately upon notice so they do not cause injuries.
- Inadequate lighting: Without proper lighting, hazards that would be visible to visitors, such as curbs, physical obstructions, steps, potholes, etc. can cause accidents.
- Parking lots: Accidents can be caused by concrete car stops, potholes, misdirected cars, uneven pavement, poor signage, construction, criminal activity, etc.
- Sidewalks: Broken, cracked, or uneven sidewalks can cause harm to pedestrians. While business owners are not responsible for government-controlled sidewalks, they may be responsible for sidewalks adjacent to their business.
- Food poisoning: Customers can be made sick due to poor food handling, poor storage, or the transmission of disease from employees at food-service locations.
Contact our Firm
We understand the impact a serious injury can have on an individual’s life. If you have been injured in New Jersey due to another party’s negligence, please do not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can assess your situation and guide you through your legal options. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.