March 2020 - Steps to Take After A Slip & Fall Accident
Icy walkways, cracked or uneven sidewalks, wet spills, and broken or missing steps are some examples of hazards that can lead to slip and fall accidents causing serious or permanent injury. Aside from physical injuries, these accidents can also result in mounting medical bills, lost or reduced wages, and even the possibility of a permanent job loss. You may be entitled to compensation for damages depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident.
It’s a myth that you can’t recover damages if you were in any way at fault. New Jersey takes a comparative negligence approach to slip and fall accidents, meaning that unless you are more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The compensation received would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you.
You must act quickly, though. New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Also, accidents on public property require you to first file a Notice of Tort Claim with the entity responsible for that property within 90 days of the accident, otherwise you compromise your ability to file a lawsuit later. Before filing:
- Take photos or video of the accident scene and your injuries; record details of what happened; get contact information for witnesses.
- Immediately report accidents on public property to the management or responsible entity and take note of statements made by the property owners or anyone claiming knowledge of conditions resulting in your fall.
- Get medical attention promptly and follow all doctors’ orders. Ignoring these orders can aggravate your injury and expose you to allegations that your injury isn’t as serious as you claim or that it resulted from something other than the accident in question.
- Keep copies of all medical records and receipts relating to your treatment, including prescriptions and transportation costs to and from your doctor or therapy sessions.
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” so most importantly be careful!