What to do if Injured on Someone Else’s Property
April 24, 2019
When a person is injured on someone else’s property, the injured person may be able to successfully assert a premises liability claim against the property owner for his or her injuries. The success of these claims depends on the strength of the evidence presented to show that the property owner’s negligence caused the injury. Accordingly, it is important to know how to preserve evidence to support your premises liability claim against the property owner if you are injured while on their property.
Ways to Preserve Evidence of an Accident on Someone Else’s Property
In order to prevail on a premises liability claim in New Jersey, injured people must prove the following elements of the claim by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) that the property owner owed the injured person a duty of reasonable care to safeguard against unsafe or defective conditions on the property; (2) that the property owner breached that duty by fixing the condition or warning others of the existence of the condition; (3) that this breach caused the injured person’s injuries; and (4) actual damage resulted. Proving these elements requires the injured person to take the following steps:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Seeking immediate medical attention after you have sustained an injury on another person’s property is perhaps the best course of action you can take to preserve a potential premises liability claim against the property owner. Doing so allows you to establish a record of the injury, which generally makes it easier to prove that a condition on the property caused the injury and not some other circumstance, and it allows for a doctor to properly diagnose the extent of the injury.
Take Notes of the Incident
Immediately after the incident that causes injury occurs, you should take notes of the incident if your injuries permit you to do so. Taking notes of the incident allows you to better recall the facts surrounding the injury when you are called to testify about it months or years later when the claim is actually being litigated. Moreover, when taking notes, it is important for discovery purposes to obtain the names and contact information of all those who witnessed your injury. This way, you will be able to contact and call witnesses in support of your claim at trial.
Photograph the Scene and Collect and Video Footage
If your injuries permit you to do so, it is also important to take photographs of the conditions of the property immediately after or as close in time after the incident causing your injury occurs. Doing this will enable you to preserve evidence concerning the safety of the conditions, or lack thereof, of the property at the time the injury happened. Moreover, some property owners like store owners use security cameras in their property to ensure that no crime occur there. While this footage is typically used for security purposes, those injured in an accident may request that the footage be turned over to the opposing party for the purpose of establishing liability on the part of the property owner.
Keep all Medical Bills and Expense Records
Depending on the injuries sustained, keeping all medical bills, medical records, and expense records related the injury may be out-of-reach for them. Accordingly, if your injuries permit, it is prudent to keep a journal or diary of when and where you received medical treatment as well as any medical bills of other expenses, like lost wages, that accrued because of the injury. Keeping these records allows petitioners to establish the full extent of damage they have suffered as a result of being injured on someone else’s property.
Contact a Morristown Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Premises Liability Case in New Jersey
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a hazardous condition someone else’s property in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Hoyt & Hoyt, PC represent clients injured because of hazardous conditions on someone else’s property in Morris Township, New Brunswick, Newton, Mount Olive Township, and throughout New Jersey. Contact us at (973) 292-2299 or email us to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 67 East Park Place, 5th Floor, Morristown, NJ 07960, as well as an office in New Brunswick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.