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From Injury to Justice: The Essential Steps in Filing a Premises Liability Lawsuit

March 14, 2024

From Injury to Justice: The Essential Steps in Filing a Premises Liability Lawsuit

When you sustain injuries due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, such as a slippery supermarket floor or a defective stair at a neighbor’s home, the path forward might seem daunting. In New Jersey, premises liability laws provide a clear process for injured individuals to seek and obtain compensation. This detailed guide, brought to you by the dedicated attorneys at Garber Law, P.C., walks you through the necessary steps of a premises liability lawsuit, emphasizing the comprehensive legal support we provide at every stage.

Understanding Premises Liability in New Jersey

Premises liability laws mandate that property owners and occupiers maintain a safe environment on their property. These laws apply to various property types, from residential to commercial, and cover a range of potential hazards.

Key Legal Principles

  • Duty of Care: Property owners are legally obligated to ensure their premises are safe.
  • Knowledge of Hazard: It must be proven that the owner was aware—or should have reasonably been aware—of the hazardous condition and did not address it.
  • Causation: There must be a direct link between the negligence and the injury sustained for a claim to be valid.

Step 1: Seek Immediate Medical Attention

The first and foremost concern after an injury is to seek medical help. Not only is this critical for your health, but medical records play a pivotal role in your legal case. These records create an indisputable link between the incident and your injuries, serving as foundational evidence in your claim.

Step 2: Document the Incident

Thorough documentation is your strongest ally in a premises liability claim:

  • Photographs of the Scene: Take detailed photos of the exact location where the incident occurred, focusing on any conditions that contributed to your injury.
  • Witness Information: Collect names and contact details of anyone who witnessed the incident. Their accounts can significantly strengthen your case.
  • Preserve Evidence: Keep any damaged clothing or personal items as they were at the time of the accident. These items can be crucial in demonstrating the severity and circumstances of the incident.

Step 3: Report the Accident

It is essential to report the incident to the property owner or manager immediately:

  • Incident Report: Ensure that the accident is officially documented by the property manager or owner. Obtain a copy of this report for your records, as it serves as proof that the incident was acknowledged by the responsible party.

Step 4: Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney

Navigating the complexities of New Jersey’s premises liability laws can be daunting. Consulting with a seasoned attorney can provide clarity and strategic direction:

  • Legal Guidance: An attorney will explain your rights and the pertinent legal provisions, helping you understand the merits of your case.
  • Case Strategy: Your attorney will craft a tailored approach, considering all aspects of your case, including potential negotiations with insurance companies and preparation for trial if necessary.

Step 5: Investigation and Evidence Collection

Your attorney will undertake a thorough investigation to bolster your claim:

  • Revisiting the Scene: Returning to the scene can uncover additional evidence or discrepancies in the property owner’s account of events.
  • Surveillance Footage: Your lawyer will seek out any available video evidence that captured the incident, providing an unbiased account of what happened.

Step 6: File the Lawsuit

Once sufficient evidence is gathered, your attorney will formally initiate legal proceedings:

  • Filing a Complaint: A detailed legal document will be prepared, stating your injuries and how the owner’s negligence caused them.
  • Defendant’s Response: Typically, the property owner will counter the allegations, possibly claiming that you were at fault to some degree.

Step 7: Discovery Phase

This phase is crucial for both sides to exchange information and prepare for trial:

  • Evidence Exchange: Both parties will disclose their collected evidence, which might include witness depositions, document productions, and interrogatory answers.
  • Consultation with Specialists: Professionals in safety and medical fields may be called upon to provide insights that support your claim, shedding light on the negligence and its impact on your health.

Step 8: Negotiation and Settlement

Most premises liability cases are resolved through settlement before reaching trial:

  • Negotiation Process: Your attorney will engage in negotiations, aiming to secure a fair settlement that covers all your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Step 9: Trial

If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial:

  • Court Presentation: Evidence will be presented to a judge or jury, who will then determine the property owner’s liability and the compensation you’re entitled to.

Contact Garber Law, P.C. Today to Schedule a Free Consultation About Your Premises Liability Case

Navigating the path from injury to justice requires a deep understanding of legal processes and strategic litigation skills. At Garber Law, P.C., we are committed to guiding our clients through each step of their premises liability lawsuit with diligence and personalized legal representation. If you’ve been injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, contact us to learn how we can help you achieve the justice and compensation you deserve.

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Settlements and verdicts may vary and are based on the many factors of your case, etc.
(The below information may not apply to your settlement and verdict).

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Settlement During Trial for a Leg Amputation











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    Mr. Garber is amazing! He walked me through my lawsuit every step of the way and answered all of my questions. Not only is he a great lawyer, but he was very caring about my feelings and health throughout the whole process. Thank you, Mr. Garber, for everything you’ve done for me, especially for winning my case!

    Kim C.

  • Working with the firm was my best decision. They were extremely helpful and knowledgeable and definitely worked hard for their clients. I would highly recommend them.

    Linda S.

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    Mr. Garber is simply the best. Very knowledgeable, honest, and helpful throughout the whole process. He has been practicing law for many years and is a true professional in the courtroom. Joel Wayne Garber will fight hard for what you deserve.

    Joseph P.

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