When Must You Take Legal Action? What If You Were Partially to Blame for the Accident?
In New Jersey, as in other states, property owners and managers have a duty to anyone legally on the premises to monitor and maintain the building and grounds so as to minimize the risk of accident and injury. If you’ve been hurt in a slip-and-fall on wet floors, icy pavement, broken steps, or other unsafe property condition, you may have a legitimate claim for damages. There are, however, a couple of issues you need to consider first.
You Must File Your Legal Claim in a Timely Manner
There’s a window within which any claim for damages must be filed with the court. It’s governed by a law known as the “statute of limitations.” In New Jersey, unless the defendant is a government entity, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury. If the slip-and-fall happened on state or local property, you must file your claim within 90 days of the accident. There are limited situations where the statute of limitations may be suspended, such as when the nature of an injury makes it impossible to discover for some period of time.
You Must Determine the Extent to Which You Caused the Slip-and-Fall
It’s not uncommon for both parties to have some degree of responsibility for causing an accident. You might slip on a wet floor while running in an enclosed space when there are signs advising against such conduct. In New Jersey, courts follow the principle of “modified comparative negligence.” The court will determine the degree to which both parties are responsible. If the plaintiff (the injured party) is more than 50% liable, there will be no recovery. If the plaintiff is less than 50% liable, his or her damage award is reduced by the determined degree of liability.
Contact the Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Attorney Mark Cintron has worked as a prosecutor and has extensive courtroom experience, so he’s always ready, willing, and able to protect your interests before a judge or jury. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.