How the Results May Differ Based on Why the Person Was on the Premises
In New Jersey, as in other states, the owner (or person exercising control over premises, such as a tenant or property manager) of residential or commercial property has a duty to maintain the premises in such a way as to minimize the risk of injury to individuals visiting the property. The duty is not absolute, though. The owner must generally take reasonable steps to monitor the property for potentially dangerous conditions, and then must fix those problems, reasonably warn visitors of the potential dangers, or take steps to prevent visitors from having access to that part of the property where the risk of injury exists.
The duty owed by owner/person in control varies, however, based on the reason why the injured person is on the property:
- Trespasser—If the victim is on the property without permission, he or she generally has no recourse for injuries suffered. One notable exception applies to children and what is known as an "attractive nuisance." If there’s something on the property that would naturally attract children to the land—a pool or playset, for example—an owner may have liability even if the child entered without permission.
- Licensee—A licensee is anyone who comes on the property with the implied or express permission of the owner or person in control. This may include a party guest or anyone coming on to property for his or her own benefit. A property owner is liable for injuries to a licensee only to the extent that he knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and would reasonably have been expected to acknowledge and fix it.
- Invitee—An invitee is a person who comes on property for the benefit of the property owner. Shoppers and employees are generally considered invitees, as are individuals who enter land open to the public. The duty to an invitee is the highest, requiring that the property owner use reasonable and ordinary care to keep the property safe, making regular inspections and warning of non-obvious and dangerous conditions.
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, including people who have sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident. 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 (201) 535-0323 to set up an appointment.