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Does New Jersey make your business responsible for icy sidewalks?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2022 | Premises Liability

Owning a business comes with a lot of responsibility. So does owning real estate. There are even obligations that apply to businesses that own property in New Jersey and not necessarily individual property owners. 

For example, if your business has facilities that abut sidewalks, your business could face a big insurance claim or even a civil lawsuit because somebody slipped and fell on an icy section of sidewalk. Does your business really have a responsibility to clean the ice and snow from your sidewalks for pedestrians? 

Yes, New Jersey expects commercial landowners to maintain sidewalks

There have been numerous court cases about slip-and-fall incidents in New Jersey, and the rules for businesses are now quite clear. You are responsible for removing accumulated snow and ice from your sidewalks and even your parking lots. If you fail to do so, you can very well face financial claims from anyone who gets hurt on your sidewalk. 

Investing in professional services to remove that snow or having your employees address snow and ice as it accumulates can help your business limit its liability and reduce the risk of profit margin destroying personal injury claims against the company. You may also want to consider investing in security cameras that capture your sidewalks so that you will have verifiable footage of any alleged fall that does occur on your property. 

A premises-liability claim over a slip-and-fall could cost your company money. Although the insurance company may pay the losses someone claims from that fall, what you pay for coverage will increase after a major claim. Defending against it could save your company money and help protect your reputation. 

Understanding the unique rules that apply to your business in New Jersey can help you defend against premises liability insurance claims or lawsuits.