Who Is Liable? What Must You Prove to Recover Compensation?
You’re visiting at someone else’s apartment in New Jersey, and you slip and fall on a broken sidewalk, icy or snow-covered steps, or because of wet or damaged flooring. Who can you bring legal action against to recover monetary compensation for your losses? What must you prove?
Premises Liability in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the owner or person in control of residential property owes a duty to persons legally visiting the property to take certain actions to minimize the risk of injury. When you have been injured because of a property defect, you can generally bring legal action against the owner of the rental property, as well as anyone who had control or authority over the premises. That may potentially include the tenant, as well as a third-party property manager.
What Is the Duty Owed to Visitors in New Jersey?
New Jersey still imposes different duties on a landlord, tenant, property manager or other person in control of rental property, based on the “status” of the visitor. As a general rule, there is no duty owned to a trespasser, other than the duty not to intentionally or reckless cause harm.
Legal visitors on residential property are typically categorized as either invitees or licensees.
An invitee is anyone who enters property for the benefit of the owner or person in control. For example, a person who comes on property to conduct business with the owner is an invitee. Invitees are owed the highest duty—the person in control must reasonably monitor the premises for potential dangers and must either fix any dangerous condition or reasonably warn visitors of the potential danger.
A licensee, on the other hand, is a person who enters property for a social or non-business purpose, such as a social guest. The owner of property does not need to actively monitor property for hazards, but must either repair any known dangers or reasonably warn licensees of unsafe conditions.
Contact the Law Office of Howard D. Popper
At the Law Offices of Howard D. Popper, we can help protect your rights. For a free initial consultation to discuss your options after any type of personal injury, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787 to set up an appointment. We have offices in Morristown and Newton.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingent fee basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.