If you've spent any amount of time in the State of New Jersey during the winter months, then it's likely that you're already familiar with the blanket of snow that falls on the state multiple times each year; you may also be familiar with the hazard that this snow and resulting ice can pose.
So, what should the victims of injuries caused by falling on snow and ice do after their fall, and what legal options exist for compensation? Our experienced team of slip and fall accident lawyers chimes in below.
When they're not preventing you from getting to your destination, whether on foot or by car, snowfalls can seem harmless to those who haven't experienced them. And yet most NJ residents have already learned, likely by experience, that snow generally means not only trouble but potentially serious danger.
This is due to the fact that unshoveled snow can hide the hazards that lay underneath. A broken sidewalk that could have easily been traversed in normal conditions becomes a tripping hazard. Similarly, a pothole to be walked around can produce serious foot injuries such as sprains or even ankle fractures if its not visible to pedestrians.
Comparatively, the ice that forms when snow melts and then refreezes is arguably more dangerous than the snow itself. Indeed, when a layer of ice forms on the ground, it does not matter which type of shoe one wears, you will have a hard time keeping your footing. Even worse, after losing your balance and falling down, you'll land on a rock hard surface, one which is particularly known for the injuries it produces in victims.
The most important thing to be concerned with right after suffering a fall is to consult with a medical professional. Even if you believe your injury was minimal, you should always talk to a doctor.
This is mainly due to the fact that injuries can develop over time. An arm injury that is not too painful in the hours following the incident can actually be a fracture that requires immediate medical intervention. The sooner this kind of injury is treated, the sooner it will heal. Otherwise, complications may arise, including situations in which the physical function of the limb is lost simply because it wasn't properly treated within the critical time frame.
After a medical professional has treated the injury, you should start collecting any kind of evidence that could help your case. It is true that there may simply not be any kind of legal standing for you to be compensated for your fall. However, in the case that there is, time may be of the essence.
You may lose track of witnesses who can corroborate the incident, or the hazardous conditions themselves may go away as the weather changes. Getting pictures of the accident scene and some sort of statement from others who were present can and will have an effect on the strength of a claim.
After you've covered all of the previous bases, the final step is to reach out to an attorney. More specifically, you want a legal representative who has experience with these types of cases.
Our legal team has been fighting for victims of falls due to ice and snow in New Jersey for decades, and they can do the same for you. If you're unsure as to whether you have a valid claim, complete the form on this page or give us a call to find out if you do. Our team will review the circumstances surrounding your fall for free and at no obligation to you. Additionally, they'll be able to break down all of the legal avenues for compensation that you may be able to pursue.
You may still be wondering how a New Jersey attorney for falls on ice or snow can help you be awarded compensation. We delve into just this topic next.
If a legal representative can argue that your fall was the result of another person's negligence, then it is likely that you'd be able to recover a monetary award that covers your medical bills, among other damages.
You won't be filing a claim or suing the property owner who failed to shovel the snow on the sidewalk in front of their business, for example. Instead, you would present a demand against the insurance company that they hired to protect them in case these incidents happen. If your attorney builds a strong case establishing that the snow or ice should have been taken care of given the circumstances, then the insurance provider will likely be willing to reach an agreement to avoid going to court for the matter.
The lawyer you choose to represent you will then calculate the damages that the injury caused you. We already mentioned medical bills; these are usually completely paid by a settlement. Moreover, physical pain, emotional anguish, suffering, and even lost wages may also be taken into account.
These are just some examples of the points that make the strongest slip and fall claims. What's likely to make the biggest difference is the knowledge and confidence with which your lawyer fights for your compensation. Our team has achieved millions of dollars in slip and fall claim settlements. They know how to go up against the insurance providers and get the compensation you deserve.
For additional legal resource, visit our next page: Who Is Responsible For A Slip And Fall in New Jersey?