Property Managers and Premises Liability in New Jersey

When a tenant rents an apartment, home, or business property from a landlord or property manager, they expect to stay safe on the premises.

Property Managers and Premises Liability in New JerseyUnfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and accidents happen. When a tenant is injured due to the negligence of a property manager to keep the property up-to-date in structural and functional safety features, they have a right to seek damages in some cases. So what are the circumstances in which a property manager is liable for an injury that happens on their property, and when is the care and safe-keeping of a space the responsibility of the tenant? Read on to learn more about the obligations and liabilities of property managers in premises liability cases.

When is a property manager likely to be liable in New Jersey?

If a property has shared spaces, its maintenance and upkeep are the responsibility of the landlord or property owner. As such, if an injury occurs in a common area such as a lounge, pool area, or parking lot, a tenant can file a personal injury claim against the landlord and expect to receive compensation. Usually, such injuries that happen in a common area occur as a result of a landlord’s negligence. Unless there is regular upkeep, dangerous situations can exist, such as icy entrances, slippery stairways, and malfunctioning appliances such as communal cooking items or laundry machines. In all of these cases, it is the landlord’s legal responsibility to ensure that such fixtures are operating safely. While generally, landlords are off the hook when it comes to areas that are the exclusive domain of a tenant, common areas are definite liability centers. Yet common areas aren’t the only spaces in which landlords have a legal duty to maintain premises. Even a landlord’s own management of small but essential details, such as where and how they keep master keys,  can cause havoc that leads to a break-in or other accident, rendering them liable for failure to maintain the premises. Read on to learn about other areas in which premises liability falls in the court of a landlord or property management serving as their agent.

Smoke Alarms and Other NJ Emergency Equipment

Emergency equipment is one of the most essential fixtures in any private or business rental. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by landlords and property managers, and tenants are left to find out that their preventive and emergency equipment is malfunctioning in highly inopportune and dangerous times. Things like smoke detectors and fire extinguishers have regular maintenance requirements that it is the duty of a landlord or property manager to schedule. If you are a tenant, take your safety into your own hands by inquiring as to the last time that the emergency equipment was serviced. If you are the victim of an accident that occurred due to malfunctioning equipment of this kind, contact our firm right away; you likely have the right to recover damages to your person and property caused by your landlord’s negligence.

Safety Features on Doors and Windows in NJ

Maintenance of Safety Devices Few things are more expected by a tenant than having a safely secured home or business environment, and few things are more terrifying than becoming aware that this is just not the case. It is the legal responsibility of a landlord to ensure that all exterior doors have proper locks and work well. If there is a common outer door shared by tenants, safety features must be in place to ensure that only invited guests enter the premises, and go where they are invited only. Having malfunctioning elements of a security system such as a buzzer that doesn’t work or worn locks and bolts create a scenario in which a person can break their way in; as such, regular maintenance and checks are necessary. Individual units must be checked regularly, at least at the beginning and end of a tenant’s tenure in the space – and more regularly if the tenant requests it – to ensure that doors, windows, and screens have locks that properly work and have not slipped out of place. A landlord is responsible for reviewing that any security features on doors or windows in accordance with municipal safety regulations, as well as things such as bars on doors and windows, are steadily attached while still ensuring that they are up to fire code, allowing for exit in the case of a fire or other emergency.

Did rental conditions jeopardize your and your family’s safety? Contact our Personal Injury Attorneys for a free confidential consultation at our Trenton office.

If you have been in an accident due to landlord or property management negligence, it’s essential that you have an attorney on your side. To recover damages due to your rental property accident, you’ll need the knowledge and requisite legal experience to successfully correlate your injuries with the negligence of the party responsible for maintaining property safety.

The attorneys at Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, have handled numerous cases in successfully representing clients and making sure their rights are protected and guaranteed. Our firm has worked side by side with clients from Burlington, Ewing, Princeton, Willingboro, Mount Holly, and Surrounding places. It will be our pleasure to talk to you during an initial consultation.

Call 609-528-2596 as soon as you are able after an incident to discuss your options and what can be done on your behalf. We can help.

WHAT CONSTITUTES NEGLIGENT SECURITY IN NEW JERSEY?

Negligent security is a branch of premises liability which refers to the failure to provide a safe environment for patrons or visitors.

WHAT CONSTITUTES NEGLIGENT SECURITY IN NEW JERSEY?Hotels, motels, bars, clubs, parking garages, offices, stadiums, malls government buildings such as galleries and museums are examples of locations where negligent security is likely to occur. Burned out lights in a building´s perimeter or a parking lot, blind spots not captured by security cameras, and faulty door locks can all lead to a criminal taking advantage of the security lapse and causing you injury and loss of property.

WHAT MUST BE PROVEN IN ORDER FOR A NEW JERSEY NEGLIGENT SECURITY CLAIM TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

  1. Was there a reasonable knowledge of the danger by the property owner? A history of police visits can be taken into account.  A bar rife with a crime in the past must take measures to ensure the safety of its patrons to prevent them from becoming future victims of a repeating pattern of violent crime.  A mall parking lot with several dark areas due to burned out lights could rapidly become a preferred spot for thieves looking to line their pockets and steal your hard-earned money or worse.
  2. Was there adequate security? This is determined on a case by case basis. The number of well-trained security staff, sufficient security cameras, and surveillance equipment, as well as trained staff to monitor camera activity. In large, outdoor spaces such as mall parking lots or grocery stores, proper lighting and scheduled rounds by security guards to deter violent crime are also the responsibility of property owners.
  3. Was there action taken or not taken which directly led to your personal injury?

Repetitive visits by police due to violent crimes, poorly trained security staff, poorly trained or insufficient staff, or employees of any kind who are deficient in their responsibilities can all lead to a negligent security situation.

What are the drawbacks to filing a negligent security case?

These cases are sometimes complicated to prove as the evidence can frequently rely heavily on limited testimony.  If you have been injured as a result of negligent security, it is of the utmost urgency that you seek professional medical attention as soon as possible.  This is not only to have vital documentation of your injuries but also to assure your physical well being directly following the incident.  Follow up visits or physical therapy should also be documented as well.

What is the key to proving negligent security?

What is the key to proving negligent security?Finding a property owner negligent means demonstrating that there were foreseeable circumstances of an existing dangerous situation and the problem was never addressed. It is also invaluable to show that the victim was on the property legally and was not participating in any illicit activities.  Frequently property owners place all of the blame directly on the attacker, contending that the only liable person was the one who committed the crime.  While the assailant is most assuredly primarily responsible, owners are required to provide a safe environment for their guests to protect them from unsafe conditions or violent actions by a 3rd party.

Foreseeable circumstances include the type of business and its security needs.  For example, a jewelry store or check cashing office would require better security inside and around its facilities.  Also, if a business is close to an ATM where robberies could take place would require extra vigilance. A supermarket that has experienced an increase in violent crime in its dark parking lot could be found negligent.

How can our New Jersey negligent security lawyers help you?

We will work aggressively to collect, preserve, and analyze all evidence in your case.  This includes:

-An immediate site inspection.

-Preservation of evidence.

-Photographing and video recording the scene.

-Gathering past criminal reports linked to the property.

-Working with law enforcement.

-Obtaining witness statements.

What kind of damages are allowed in a negligent security case?

Pain and suffering

– Emotional harm

– Medical bills

Lost wages

– Future care services

– Physical therapy

– Lost wages

– Wrongful death damages

Contact a Mercer County Personal Injury Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson we have extensive experience recovering full and fair personal injury compensation for clients and their families in towns across Trenton, Princeton, Lawrence, Hamilton, New Brunswick, and all of Central New Jersey and the surrounding communities.

Our team of attorneys strongly believes in working closely with not only his clients but their families as well. This is because he understands just how stressful an incident like negligent security and the resulting damage can be, and how it can affect the financial security of the family as a whole.

To speak with our legal team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your injuries resulting from poor or negligent security measures, or any other kind of accident caused by the reckless or negligent actions of a third party, your options for making a personal injury recovery, and how exactly we can help you and your family, please contact us online, or through our Trenton, NJ office at 609.528.2596.