Providing Skilled Legal Expertise
for 135 Years
From the shops to the restaurants to the crowded streets and sidewalks of New Jersey, Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. provides aggressive and effective representation to recover compensation for people who have suffered a severe personal injury due to a slip and fall or a trip and fall on an unsafe and dangerous premises, whether the accident occurred on private or municipal property.
Slip and fall accidents are one type of premises liability cases. They typically occur when unsafe conditions cause a person to slip or trip and fall. New Jersey property owners have a legal obligation to ensure that their property is safe and properly maintained. This duty may include a responsibility to make reasonable, periodic inspections of the property and to repair or remedy any dangerous conditions or post an adequate warning about any danger that is not obvious. For instance, a recently-mopped floor can be hazardous to walk on, but it may not be obvious that the floor is wet unless a sign is displayed.
Common causes of slips, trips and falls due to negligence of the property owner include:
Proving the property owner's liability usually requires proving that the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition but did nothing to prevent it. This is not always an easy matter. Take the case of a food or drink spill in a grocery store or restaurant - the spill may be caused by a worker or a customer, and the management may not be immediately aware of it. How long is it reasonable for a spill to stay on the floor before it is cleaned up? How do you prove how long the spill was there before the accident occurred? These questions can be answered, but it may require proving a case with expert testimony and circumstantial evidence. Our lawyers are skilled and experienced in handling such matters and know how to properly investigate and prepare a case of premises liability.
Another important aspect of the premises liability case is determining who the responsible party is. Is it the property owner, the property manager, or a lessee or renter? If the accident occurred on a sidewalk, is the property owner or the city responsible? If a person trips because the sidewalk and curb were uneven, who is responsible?
The court must decide, in slip-and-fall cases, whether the owner knew about a dangerous situation on his or her property and neglected to resolve it. Even if the owner claims no knowledge of the danger, there is also the question of whether given the amount of time it existed and the other circumstances of the case, he should have known about it and fixed it.
Your case may settle outside of court or may be resolved in a court of law by a judge or jury. You could also potentially take action not just against those who own property, but also against tenants or renters who were in control of the space and who allowed unsafe conditions that led to a slip and fall. The personal injury attorneys at Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C. have served the needs of accident victims in complex negligence litigation. If you need advice about your legal options after a slip and fall accident in New Jersey, please call 908-735-5161.
Like other personal injury cases, having the right evidence can make or break a slip and fall case. For instance, if you suffered a bone fracture after slipping on a sidewalk, it's important to get pictures of the area so that we can prove a significant defect was present and contributed to your slip and fall.
Unfortunately, it can be very easy for people to dispose of the evidence, especially things like ice and snow. If there was a construction or design defect, defects can be fixed before victims and attorneys have the opportunity to investigate. The single most important thing you can do is contact us as soon as possible after your injury so we can begin investigating.
The insurance company wants to settle your case as soon as possible – and for as little money as possible. Our personal injury attorneys know how to protect you from the insurance companies and to present your claim in the best way possible to ensure your rights are protected and that you get the maximum compensation available. Call 908-735-5161 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out the contact form on this site. With offices in Clinton Township (Annandale) and Bridgewater, our firm serves clients throughout central and northwestern New Jersey.