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A primer on premises liability

The field of premises liability in New Jersey and across the nation addresses all types of accidents that occur on location. Most of these relate to the owner's failure to address minimal care standards in order to keep visitors at the premises safe.

Some of the injuries might include slip and fall accidents, but more serious complications can include attacks while at a resort or a broken nose after a hockey puck bounced off the protective fiberglass between the players and spectators. These cases of premises liability are just some of the cases that could result in a lawsuit.

The courts will often assign responsibility based on the knowledge the owner had about the condition of the premises. If the owner was not aware of a problem, they might not be held liable. They should also warn anyone coming on the property of the problem and should understand the danger to the person. In addition, the level of liability is affected by the person on the property. If they are invited, then the owner has a greater obligation to them than if they are trespassing.

The Carnival Cruise that went badly wrong with minimal supplies, only five working toilets for everyone and terrible conditions for all aboard received extensive media coverage. Even so, the passengers might not be able to seek compensation for their pain and suffering if they signed a waiver prior to travel.

A personal injury lawyer may be able to evaluate whether it is possible to file a premises liability lawsuit on the behalf of a client who has signed a waiver of liability or agreed to the conditions for an activity.

Source: American Bar Association, "Destination Disasters: Who’s at Fault?", Kathleen Balthrop Havener, August 05, 2014

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