The New Jersey Premises Liability Laws
In New Jersey, as in all other states, there’s a duty owed by owners or controllers of real property to anyone legally visiting the real property. That duty applies to landlords, tenants, property managers and others with the authority and power to maintain the property. The duty is not an absolute one—the responsible party must only take reasonable steps to minimize the risk of injury.
The duty includes an obligation to reasonably monitor the premises in order to learn of all potentially dangerous situations. The owner or controller may respond in a number of ways:
- The condition can be fixed
- The owner may prevent access to the part of the property where the risk of injury exists
- The owner may provide notice of the risk of injury, but the notice must be reasonable
The Status of the Visitor
The owner’s duty will vary, based on the legal status of the visitor.
- Trespassers—If the visitor is trespassing—on the property without right or authority—there is generally no duty, unless the trespasser is a minor and there is some “attractive nuisance” on the property, such as a swimming pool
- Licensees—A licensee is someone who is legally on the property, but who is typically there for his or her own benefit. That includes a party or dinner guest. With respect to licensees, the owner is not required to inspect the premises, but must address any known dangerous conditions.
- Invitees—An invitee is someone who has come on the property for the benefit of the owner or controller of that property. An example would be a customer entering commercial premises. The owner/controller of property owes the highest duty to an invitee, and must take reasonable steps to discover any dangerous conditions and either remedy them or warn visitors.
Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper
To learn your options when you have been injured because of someone else’s carelessness, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.
We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.