Consumers nationwide, including New Jersey, rely on property owners at shopping malls, retail outlets and other commercial properties to address known hazards that could cause injuries to shoppers, visitors and workers. The number of premises liability lawsuits that are filed in New Jersey courts each year shows that injured shoppers accuse many property owners and tenants of business premises of being negligent. Such personal injury claims involve neck and back injuries, often caused by slip, trips and falls.
Premises liability laws require storeowners to provide reasonably safe premises by addressing hazardous conditions and injury risks. Typical hazards include spills and fallen or randomly placed objects, broken railings and stairs, malfunctioning escalators, poor lighting, and inadequate security. Shopping injuries seem to be more prevalent during peak shopping seasons.
Along with slip-and-fall accidents, typical shopping injuries include body and head injuries caused by falling objects from poorly stacked retail displays or out-of-reach merchandise. Also, injuries come from shopping carts and trampling in overcrowded stores. Parking lot hazards include cracked surfaces, potholes, and accumulations of ice and snow.
Premises liability is a complicated field of law, and most New Jersey victims of shopping injuries retain the services of an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate for them. Legal counsel can explain the requirements for a viable negligence claim, such as the storeowner’s knowledge of dangerous conditions, along with the frequency of property inspections to identify dangers. Documented proof of damages suffered by the plaintiff, which would not have occurred but for the negligence of the property owner, can be presented, and a lawyer can provide the necessary support and guidance in pursuit of maximum damage recovery.