When are New Jersey Property Owners Required to Remove Snow and Ice?
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Oct 30, 2019 in Personal Injury News
If you slip and fall on snow or ice on someone else’s property, the owner may be liable for your damages. New Jersey requires property owners to take reasonable steps to keep their premises safe for visitors, which can include removing ice and snow that have accumulated.
If you were injured in this type of accident, you can contact Lynch Law Firm’s New Jersey slip and fall attorneys for a free consultation. These are complex situations and our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of New Jersey laws and the obligations placed on property owners.
Legal Duties of Residential and Commercial Property Owners
Residential and commercial property owners in New Jersey have different legal obligations when it comes to dealing with snow or ice accumulation. Commercial property owners must take the same kind of action a reasonably prudent person would take to correct the dangerous condition, repair or remove it or take other action to reduce the danger to pedestrians (such as giving a warning).
In contrast, residential property owners do not owe a duty to the public to repair a sidewalk that is in a state of disrepair due to accumulation of rain, snow or frost. However, if the property owner tries to remove the ice or snow and is negligent in doing so, causing the sidewalk to be more dangerous than before, he or she could be held liable for accidents that occur.
Every municipality in New Jersey has the right to establish its own ordinances about duties of property owners for dealing with snow and ice accumulation.
For example, cities give property owners a certain amount of time to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks after snowfall. In some cities, property owners have 24 hours. Failure to comply can result in a fine and could also potentially expose the property owner to liability for any injuries that occur because of a slip and fall.
Local ordinances often require property owners to conduct routine maintenance of the sidewalks, including removing ice and snow. However, some cities and boroughs require the government to remove snow from downtown streets and specific areas of the city where there is insufficient space to store snow.
Proving a Property Owner’s Negligence
There are several factors your attorney may need to consider to determine if a property owner may be liable for your slip and fall injury caused by snow or ice, including whether:
- The property owner had a legal duty to remove the ice or snow or warn about the risk of snow and ice on the sidewalk.
- The property owner knew about the dangerous condition and failed to remove it.
- The property owner should have known about the dangerous condition on the property because it would have been discovered by a reasonably prudent person.
If you have a case, our attorneys can investigate to determine how long the snow or ice was on the property and what the property owner’s legal responsibility was.
Contact a Lawyer for Help with Your Claim
If you slipped and fell on snow or ice and believe that your injuries were caused by negligence, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney.
If we find you have a case, our trusted lawyers at Lynch Law Firm can investigate the situation, gather evidence, communicate with insurance companies, and guide you through every other step in the legal process.
Our lawyers charge no upfront fees and are only paid if your claim is successful. We offer a free consultation to discuss your claim and your legal options.
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