What can I do if I’m a nurse for a university and work at a state prison and injured myself when I fell on ice?

I was walking to my assigned area on the walkway and fell flat on my back on black ice. The walkway was dark and the ice was totally not salted. So far, I have been out of work because of restrictions. I’ve also been unable to do household chores, tend to my animals or bowl (I just bought a new bowling ball). Do I have any recourse?

Asked on March 1, 2015 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether they were negligent, or unreasonably careless, in not salting the area or taking other precautions. That in turn depends on whether they knew or had reason to know that there was a dangerous ice condition (since if they did not know and would not have been expected to know, they did nothing wrong by not acting) and further, if even if they did know, there was sufficient time to have taken some additional action to clear the ice (since they'd only be liable if they had an opportunity, but failed to make use of it); and even further, if they did not take action--such as salting--whether what they did was reasonable or not. As to that last point, they are not required to be perfect and make sure the area is ice free, they are just required to do what is reasonable to protect people. Therefore, there are factual questions about whether you would have a viable claim or not. You are advised to discuss the situation in detail with a personal injury attorney (many provide free initial consultations, and you can inquire into that before making an appointment) to evaluate if you have a worthwhile case.


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