The summer season in New Jersey means that boardwalks and beaches on the Jersey Shore are in full swing. With so many people visiting the shore, accidents on the boardwalk or beach are almost certain to occur. 

Common Boardwalk and Beach Accidents

Beaches and boardwalks in New Jersey may have all kinds of potential hazards, including:

  • Slip and fall or trip and fall injuries, including on wet or sandy ramps, debris, or broken, loose, or uneven boards
  • Laceration and puncture wounds caused by stepping, sitting, or falling on nails, needles, broken glass, metal shards, or other sharp objects
  • Drowning injuries, including brain damage from lack of oxygen, when a swimmer gets caught in a riptide or other dangerous water
  • Spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries from falls when sitting on boardwalk railings, or after getting caught in heavy surf 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Boardwalk or Beach Accident?

Depending on the circumstances of a boardwalk or beach accident, parties that may have liability for injuries suffered in those accidents include:

  • Local municipalities that are responsible for maintaining boardwalks and beaches, including staffing beaches with lifeguards
  • Property owners along the boardwalk or beachfront, who may have liability for accidents caused by dangerous conditions on the premises they own or lease
  • Other beachgoers or boardwalk visitors may be liable for injuring people due to dangerous hazards they leave behind (such as broken glass or needles) or due to dangerous, reckless, or violent behavior towards fellow patrons

Proving an Injury Case After a Boardwalk or Beach Accident

To succeed in an injury case following a boardwalk or beach accident, you will need to establish another party’s liability under the law. Parties can have liability for accidents that are caused by man-made conditions, such as alterations to the conditions of property or unrepaired damage or wear and tear. However, parties usually not be held liable for boardwalk or beach accidents that are caused by natural hazards, such as ocean hazards, unless the hazard is foreseeable, not obvious to a visitor, and the liable party failed to warn the visitor of the hazard. For example, a local government may have liability for a beach accident when it had responsibility for notifying beachgoers of riptides or ocean conditions but failed to do so, or failed to post warnings of shark activity or other animal hazards. 

Other man-made hazards, such as loose or uneven boards or upturned nails in boardwalks may result in liability where the condition of the boardwalk posed a hazard of an accident or an injury and the condition was either created by the party/parties responsible for the boardwalk or the condition existed long enough that diligent maintenance would have discovered and removed the hazard.

Finally, because boardwalks and beaches are owned and controlled by local, state, and federal governments, pursuing an injury claim is especially different due to legal immunities and special notice requirements applicable to the government. This makes it critical to speak to a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options if you were hurt in a boardwalk or beach accident. 

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to an accident 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 The Epstein Law Firm represent clients injured because of accidents in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.

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.