New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident
(Cherry Hill, NJ)
I had a New Jersey slip and fall accident and I have a question. In a parking lot I slipped and fell and broke my knee cap. I had surgery and won't be able to walk for a few moths and I'll probably have another few months recovery.
Can I get compensation for my injuries? How should I do it? Thanks for any help you can give.
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ANSWER for "New Jersey Slip and Fall Accident":
Sorry to hear about your fall. Knee cap injuries are so painful.
From the limited set of facts you present, the answer is “Yes”. Presuming at the time you fell you were not engaged in criminal activity, were not intoxicated, or were not acting in a reckless manner, your claim to recover your actual damages such as doctor, hospital, and other out of pocket expenses is excellent. Additionally your right to recover amounts for the pain and suffering you endured is excellent as well.
Relying upon the skeletal framework of facts I will do my best to answer your question. I will presume for the sake of our discussion the parking lot was not state or federally owned. If so, there would be an entirely different process to follow.
For this discussion the issues are as follows:
1. Statute of Limitations:
New Jersey has a 2 years statute of limitations. That means if for any reason you are unable to settle your claim within 2 years from the date of the injury you will probably forfeit your right to sue and may be forever barred from recovery through the legal system.
2. Who is Responsible?
You will have to determine who owns the parking lot, and who manages it. Many times, especially with commercial businesses, the land on which a business sits is only leased to them. The entities for which you have a claim are:
a. The owner of the parking lot
b. The management company. How many times have you paid for parking? The people you pay are usually a management company hired by the owner.
c. The business sitting on the parking lot – possibly the one you frequented.
3. Were there Witnesses?
With such a terrible fall there may have been witnesses. Try to find out if anyone wrote a report about the fall. Possibly a security guard, management person, or other representatives of the above three entities.
4. Try to secure copies of all your medical records.
5. Create a journal and write in it every detail of everything you can remember, starting with the date of your injury and through to the present day.
6. Contact each of the entities above and make a demand for actual damages and a substantially larger amount for the pain and suffering you have endured.
7. In the demand letters you should also enclose copies of all of your medical records, including, but not limited to, the Medical Narrative of your treating physician, her Diagnosis, and Prognosis.
8. The negotiations may begin at or around this time. Subsequently litigation may become necessary.
Because of the complex nature of cases involving serious injuries such as yours, it would be so much better if you would discuss your ideas with several experienced Personal Injury Attorneys. Whether you decide to hire them or not, you will have gained greater insight into the legal process.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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