Summer is here, and many Philadelphia residents plan vacations throughout the summer months. For many Philadelphia residents, they drive to beaches in nearby states, such as the New Jersey Shore (Ocean City, Cape May, Avalon, etc.). Many stay at hotels or rent a shore house for the week. Sometimes, accidents happen while Philadelphia residents are on vacation. One type of accident is a slip and fall or a trip and fall accident.
Because the slip, trip and fall accidents happen out of state, injured victims do not know what they should do in terms of their legal rights. This article will address Philadelphia residents’ legal rights if they were injured in a slip, trip and fall accident at a hotel or rental home in New Jersey.
Who is Responsible
If slip, trip and fall accidents happen in hotels or rental homes, the hotel and landlord may be liable for the injuries.
Consider the following scenario: A family rents a second floor beach house in Ocean City for a week. Unbeknownst to the family, one of the steps on the stairway leading up to the unit is broken due to decay. As the mother walks up the stairs, the step breaks and she falls down the stairway. She fractures her shoulder requiring surgery and extensive physical therapy.
One week prior to the mother’s fall, the previous renters told the landlord that the step on the stairway was unstable and seemed like it was going to break due to decay. The landlord was going to fix it, but forgot about it. In this situation, the landlord would be responsible for the mother’s injuries because he knew that the step was broken, but failed to fix it.
When to File Suit
Even though the accident happened in New Jersey, if the mother wants to pursue a trip and fall lawsuit, she would need to file her lawsuit within 2 years of the accident. Like Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for accident lawsuits is 2 years in New Jersey.
Where to File Suit
Sometimes, Philadelphia victims think that because they were injured in New Jersey, they have to file a lawsuit in New Jersey state court. This is not the case.
The law provides that if there is diversity of citizenship of the parties, i.e., all parties are from different states, a personal injury lawsuit can be filed in a federal district court, rather than a state court.
In this scenario, the lawsuit would be filed in the local federal district court because the landlord is from New Jersey and the injured victim is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, the damages the injured party is seeking must exceed $75,000 in order for the lawsuit to be filed in a federal district court. If so, the lawsuit can be filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Visit our Fall Accident Law Library for more information.
About Our Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey Fall Accident Lawyers
Our injury and accident lawyers are licensed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey can handle fall accidents in both states. If you were injured in New Jersey and would like to inquire about your legal rights, call our experienced injury lawyers.
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