When you suffered injury on someone else’s property, as a result of their carelessness or negligence in maintaining the property, you have a right to pursue compensation for your losses through what is known as a premises liability claim. Under New Jersey law, property owners and managers have certain duties to persons who enter their property. Those duties vary based on the status of the visitor.
The Property Owner’s Duty
A property owner/manager has a duty to maintain the premises so as to minimize the risk of injury to persons legally on the property. This duty requires that the property owner/manager take reasonable steps to monitor the premises, in order to become aware of potentially dangerous situations. This duty is not absolute—a property owner does not have to guarantee that a visitor won’t get hurt. The actions of the owner must simply be reasonable, as determined by a jury.
Once a property owner either knows, or should know, of a potential safety risk, that person must either fix the problem, properly notify visitors of the potential risk, or take reasonable measures to prevent people from obtaining access to the part of the premises where the dangerous condition exists.
The Visitor’s Status
A property owner/manager has no duty to someone not legally on the property—a trespasser—unless the visitor is a child. Property owners may not create artificial conditions on land that attract children, and will be liable for any injuries, if they do.
A visitor may be an invitee—someone on the property at the express invitation or request of the property owner. If so, the property owner has the highest duty to ensure the safety of that visitor—the duty to use reasonable care to prevent injury. However, if the visitor has permission from the owner, but is there for his or her own personal benefit, he is considered a licensee. The duty to a licensee is only to warn of dangers the owner knows about and that the visitor could not be expected to discover.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you if you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact us online or call us at 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.