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Did you trip or slip and fall on someone else's property?

It can be embarrassing to take a tumble, but more than your pride could be hurt. In New Jersey and elsewhere, serious injuries can happen when you trip or slip and fall. If that fall took place on someone else's property, it might not have been your fault.

New Jersey property owners, both public and private, are required to maintain their properties in order to prevent dangerous hazards for invitees. During the winter months, snow and ice present a problem if sidewalks, parking lots and entryways are not kept clear. Even if you are careful, you could hit a patch of ice or snow, fall and suffer serious injuries.

Throughout the year, other hazards need to be identified and corrected by property owners and managers. For instance, if the lighting is not adequate or a walkway is uneven, you might not see an obstacle and fall. In a public place that sells or serves food, spills create a hazard.

You might be watching where you are going, but you more than likely do not expect to encounter such spills. In other cases, merchandise could fall off shelves. Whether you were on the property in the course of your job duties or for personal reasons, you might be entitled to restitution for your injuries.

If you fell during your work duties, workers' compensation benefits are available, but that does not mean that a third party property owner should not bear some liability if appropriate. If you suffered serious injuries in a trip or slip and fall accident on public or private property, it might be a good idea to talk to an attorney. Medical bills, lost wages and other damages add up quickly, and if your fall could have been prevented by the property owner or manager, you might be entitled to receive restitution to help with your current financial losses, along with those you might incur in the future because of your injuries.

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