When is a Store Liable for a Slip and Fall in the Parking Lot?
Personal Injury Lawyer Fighting for Slip-and-fall Victims throughout New Jersey
In New Jersey, all businesses owe certain duties to protect their customers and employees against the risk of premises-related injuries. This includes not only injuries occurring inside of supermarkets, convenience stores, clothing boutiques, home improvement stores, and other retail outlets, but injuries occurring outside of these stores as well. As a result, store owners have a duty to prevent many types of parking lot accidents, including those involving slips and falls.
Five Key Questions for Establishing a Store’s Liability After a Parking Lot Slip and Fall
Not all parking lot slip-and-fall accidents give rise to store owner liability, but many do. If you slipped and fell in a store parking lot, here are five questions that will help determine if you have a claim for compensation:
1. Why Were You on the Premises?
The first question that needs to be answered is: Why were you in the parking lot? While there is a good chance that you have a claim based on your status as an “invitee” (i.e., you were in the parking lot because you were shopping at the store), if you were trespassing you could have a more difficult time recovering your losses.
2. What Caused You to Slip and Fall?
Next, what caused you to slip and fall? Was it an issue with the parking lot itself? Did the store owner fail to adequately remove ice or snow? As we mentioned above, store owners are not necessarily liable for all parking lot injuries, and you will need to be able to show that your injury resulted from a failure on the part of the store owner.
3. Did You See a Doctor?
Third, did you see a doctor? If not, you should see one as soon as possible. You will need to be able to prove not only (i) that you were injured, but also (ii) that your injuries are consistent with a fall sustained at the time you were on the store’s premises. Your medical records should also describe the extent of your injuries, your long-term prognosis, and the treatment you will need in order to make a full recovery.
4. Is There Evidence to Support Your Case?
Fourth, along with your medical records, what other evidence is available to support your personal injury case? Did you take photos? Are there security cameras in the parking lot? Did anyone see you fall? If you weren’t able to collect any information at the time of the accident, your attorney may still be able to collect the evidence you need through an investigation.
5. Was Your Accident Relatively Recent?
Finally, when did you slip and fall? Under New Jersey law, you only have two years to assert a slip-and-fall claim. If you wait too long to file your claim (or if you accept a settlement from the store’s insurance company), you could end up waiving your right to just compensation.
Did You Fall in a Store Parking Lot? Find Out if You Have a Claim for Compensation
If you fell in a store parking lot in Bergen County, Hudson County, Teaneck, or Union City, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C. for a free consultation. To discuss your case with an experienced Bergen County personal injury lawyer, call (201) 928-0300 or contact us online now.