Walking outside becomes significantly more dangerous in the Garden State as temperatures drop. Not only will you feel the biting sting of the winter wind in your face, but your risk of slipping and falling increases when there is frozen precipitation on the ground. Icy sidewalks and snow drifts can lead to people falling while walking to work or out for their afternoon walk with their dog.
While you might assume you just have to go to the doctor and cover whatever care you need with your health insurance, that isn’t the only option available to you. You may have the right to bring a claim against the property owner for their negligent property maintenance.
New Jersey has rules related to sidewalk maintenance
For the most part, regulations related to sidewalk maintenance exist at the municipal level. Every city in the state has the right to make its own choices related to sidewalk maintenance. It is common practice for municipalities to initially install the sidewalks and then impose some maintenance requirements on property owners.
Especially when the property adjacent to the sidewalk is a commercial one, the owner or manager has a responsibility to clear the ice and snow that accumulates. Residential property owners typically also have responsibility for maintaining their sidewalks. If they failed to do so, you may have grounds for a premises liability claim.
Homeowner’s insurance could pay your costs
When you rely on your health insurance for treatment, the company will probably pass some of the expenses back to you. You may have to meet a deductible, or they may send you a bill for 20% of the total cost of your care because they assess coinsurance.
Thankfully, if you make a claim against a homeowner’s insurance policy or a premises liability policy for a business, you won’t have those same patient responsibility expenses. Liability coverage will typically provide you with full coverage for necessary medical treatment, lost wages and property damage losses related to a slipping fall that occurred on icy or snowy sidewalk.
Learning more about New Jersey’s property laws can help those who think they have a premises liability claim because of a wintertime sidewalk slip-and-fall.