Have you been injured in a slip and fall scenario in the Cherry Hill area? The legal precedents governing these cases are fact-specific and somewhat nuanced. This, understandably, results in a considerable amount of misinformation floating around the general public regarding why and how these matters are settled. Here’s a quick and easy overview dispelling five of the most common slip and fall myths.
1. You Don’t Have a Legitimate Claim
Accidents happen on a daily basis. However, if you slipped, fell, or were otherwise injured on someone else’s property, and the owner of said property was negligent in ensuring the safety of the premises, you may have a legitimate slip and fall claim. The area of law governing the disposition of these types of cases involves a legal theory referred to as “premises liability.” Premises liability shifts the legal responsibility to the owner or possessor of the property on which an injury occurred if certain elements are met. Generally speaking, it is in situations where the injury was directly correlated with a dangerous condition that the owner knew or should have known existed. Do not let an owner talk you into believing you do not have a legitimate legal basis to obtain damages; contact the trusted legal counsel of Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo
2. A Sign Extinguishes the Owner’s Duty of Care
It is a common misconception that merely posting a caution or warning sign enables a property owner to escape all liability in a premises liability claim. While it may be more challenging from a legal perspective to substantiate the owner’s negligence if a sign was present, it does not, on its own, dictate the validity of your slip and fall claim. For example, one of the most commonly seen signs in businesses are the yellow “CAUTION: WET FLOOR” signs. However, factors, including just how visible the sign is to visitors, may mitigate the defendant’s attempted defense. At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, our lawyers pride themselves in meticulously preparing for litigation and crafting effective trial strategies tailored to your individual case.
3. The Insurance Company Is on Your Side
A quick and relatively straight-forward settlement may sound appealing in the aftermath of a slip and fall accident – but keep in mind: the insurance company does NOT work for you. Their priorities are starkly different from yours. What you might perceive as a friendly and cooperative interaction with an insurance representative is, in reality, little more than an attempt to minimize financial compensation. The quicker you can be talked into a settlement agreement, the greater likelihood there is that you are accepting a reimbursement significantly less than what is fair or equitable given the specific circumstances that led to your hardship. Leave the negotiations with insurance companies to the skilled and experienced attorneys at Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo. We’ll ensure your rights are protected and you get the settlement amount you deserve.
4. Slip and Fall Claims Last Forever
Whether you choose to file an insurance claim or take your case to court in the form of a personal injury lawsuit, you need to keep the applicable New Jersey statute of limitations in mind when it comes to successfully navigating slip and fall litigation. A statute of limitations is a legally-mandated time cap on your right to have your case heard in the New Jersey judicial system. If you try to file your claim after the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court will likely dismiss your case entirely. According to the guidelines set forth in N.J.S.A § 2A:14-2, you must formerly file your slip and fall case with the court within two years of the incident if you are seeking personal injury damages. If, alternatively, you are seeking damages for property damages arising from a slip and fall case, N.J.S.A § 2A:14-2 dictates that you must file your claim within six years.
5. You Can’t Recover Damages Because You Were Partially at Fault
One of the most commonly asserted defenses from property owners in slip and fall litigation is that the injured party was partially or entirely at fault for the accident. The defendant may attempt to claim that the hazardous property condition was, or should have been, obvious. Even if you were partially to blame for the injuries you incur on the property of another, it is not a complete bar to the recovery of damages. New Jersey has adopted the “comparative negligence” approach when it comes to situations in which the responsibility for an injury is shared between the defendant and plaintiff. Specifically, N.J.S.A § 2A:15-5.1 states that an injured party’s own negligence will not operate as a bar to recovery against other parties if the injured party’s portion of the blame does not exceed 50 percent. This means that the amount of damages you receive will be reduced proportionately based on the amount of blame the court assigns to you. For example, assume the jury finds that you are ten percent at fault for your injury and your damages amount to $10,000. That means the property owner will owe you $9,000: your $10,000 total damages less the ten percent share of responsibility, or $1,000.
At Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo, our personal injury attorneys can assist you in obtaining a favorable resolution to your slip and fall claim in the Township of Cherry Hill. Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of personal injury. The firm received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.
Our New Jersey personal injury attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience, having successfully handled thousands of personal injury cases throughout New Jersey. Petro Cohen’s personal injury attorneys, Barry Cohen, Susan Petro, Rich Gaeckle, and Mike Veneziani, handle all of their cases with the commitment and dedication you should expect from your legal representation, fighting for full and fair compensation.
We are ready to help you with your slip and fall case. You can rest assured with this experience and winning track record you are going to have a skilled New Jersey lawyer who will work hard to ensure you received the settlement you deserve. For more information or a free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys, call or contact us at 888-675-7607 or online.