You consult a New Jersey fall and slip lawyer because of an accident at a business. Say you live in Passaic County. You were a customer at a local establishment. However, the floor was wet, which caused you to slip and fall.
As a result, you suffered a severe back injury. You missed work for a month. That resulted in lost wages. You endured great pain. Indeed, the doctor tells you that you will need surgery, to reduce the risk of permanent back pain.
Naturally, you want compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of quality of life. You also need compensation for your lost wages and any medical bills not covered by insurance. So you ask the fall and slip lawyer what exactly do you need to prove to win your case.
The fall and slip attorney replies that, of course, you need to prove that the fall caused an injury. That seems easy enough under the circumstances.
But the fall and slip lawyer also informs you of additional requirements. You must prove that there was a dangerous condition on the premises that caused the fall. No problem, you think. The wet floor was obviously a hazard.
No problem, you think. The wet floor was obviously a hazard.
“However,” the fall and slip lawyer continues, “we also normally must prove that the business actually knew about the hazard before you fell. Or that the danger was there long enough, so the business should have known about it.”
“I was just a customer on a self-service buffet line at a restaurant,” you respond. “My friends who were there with me saw how wet the floor was. It was obviously a beverage on the floor. But how can I possibly prove how long the floor was wet?”
FALL AND SLIP LAWYER EXPLAINS DUTY OF SELF-SERVICE RESTAURANTS
“Not a problem,” responds the fall and slip attorney. “The law has a special rule for self-service establishments that have an inherent danger of spills. In such cases, the victim need not prove that the establishment, had, or even should have had, notice of the hazard.
“Rather, such self-service establishments are responsible for maintaining safe conditions in their self-service lines. This is known as the ‘mode of operation’ rule. As long as you or a witness can testify about the presence of the spilled beverage, we can bring a case.”
Relieved to know that you have a fighting chance to win, you hire the fall and slip lawyer. He will file the case.
By the way, if you ever fall on someone else’s premises and can’t identify what you fell on, do not despair. Similarly, if you fall at a nonself-service business, don’t lose hope. An experienced fall and slip lawyer can often find ways to prove what the hazard was, and that the business knew, or should have known, about it.