We receive many inquires from potential clients regarding injuries sustained from slip and falls on snow and ice. This winter, with its abundance of snowfall, has prompted more inquires than usual. Not every such injury, of course, warrants bringing a personal injury claim. The mere fact that someone falls and hurts him or herself while walking on a sidewalk, walkway, parking lot, etc. due to snow and ice, does not automatically mean he or she has a claim worth pursuing. Whether a person can successfully bring a claim is very fact sensitive. Among these facts to consider is the type of property on which the person fell. The law in New Jersey is different in this area for single family homes, two-family dwellings, three-family dwellings, and publically or government owned buildings.
Almost all potential clients are surprised to learn that governments are generally immune from liability for negligent snow removal under either the weather-immunity provision of the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A. 59:4-7, or the common-law immunity for public entities snow-removal activities.
As always, if you or someone you know was badly injured as a result of a slip and fall, feel free to call us for a free consultation. If you think you may have a potential claim, we always recommend photographing the location of the fall as soon as possible. The photographs (which can easily be taken from a cell / smart phone), should capture the condition and also the general area of the location of the fall in relationship to the rest of the property.