By Andrew R. Bronsnick
When you’ve been injured in an accident on someone else’s property in New Jersey, you may have a right to bring legal action to recover damages for your losses.
The Duty Of Owners And Property Managers
In New Jersey, as in other states, the owner or person exercising control over property has a duty to monitor and maintain the premises so as to minimize the risk of injury to persons legally visiting the property. That duty is not absolute, however—it’s only a requirement that the owner or property manager take reasonable measures. There’s no specific standard for reasonableness under the law, though. That will typically be determined by a jury.
The duty of an owner or property manager varies, based on the characterization of the injured person. A person who is on the premises at the explicit or implied invitation of the owner/property manager is called an “invitee” and is owed the highest duty. There are typically two types of invitees—business invitees and public invitees. With respect to invitees, owners and property managers must generally inspect the premises in a reasonable manner to ensure safety.
A person who enters the premises for his own purpose, but with the permission of the owner/property manager, is known under the law as a licensee. A person visiting a private residence would be considered a licensee. There’s a duty to licensees to either fix a known safety risk or provide reasonable notice of the danger.
A trespasser is a person who enters the premises without the express or implied consent of the owner. As a general rule, there is no duty owed to a trespasser.