Potential Unsafe Conditions that May Make a Property Hazardous

June 18, 2024

Dangerous Conditions May Lead to Injuries in New Jersey and Injured Victims May Have Grounds to Pursue Legal Action when Negligent Property Owners Let their Properties Be Unsafe 

Recognizing the signs of neglected maintenance is not just about aesthetics; it’s a crucial step in ensuring property safety in New Jersey. Property issues can lead to severe accidents, from cracked and broken windows to leaking roofs, slips, and falls. Residents and visitors must learn to look for and identify these signs of danger to protect themselves and others from potential harm.

When Properties Become Unsafe Due to Neglected Maintenance

Freehold Unsafe Property Conditions Attorneys One of the most noticeable indicators of an unsafe property is when maintenance is generally lax, or property care needs are entirely ignored. You can spot overlooked maintenance in many forms, from broken windows, crumbling walls, leaking roofs, exposed wiring and pipes, and projects left half-completed. When property owners fall short of fulfilling their duties, it signals a broader issue of neglect of the property that can lead to significant safety hazards. Sure, a broken window is not aesthetically pleasing and, of course, produces a risk of injury, but it goes beyond- it creates an unintended point of entry for trespassers, thus adding security risk to the list of adverse effects that this one example of maintenance neglect poses.

If a property has a leaky roof, you may assume, okay, that water damage–but that’s not all. Water damage from leaks can usher mold growth, increasing the risk of mold exposure and related illnesses. Further, the structural soundness of the building or dwelling can begin weakening, which opens residents and visitors to a long list of severe health risks and compromises the building’s overall integrity.

The Dangers Lurking in Unmaintained Properties

Poor maintenance practices, or shady ones trying to avoid spending money on property upkeep by property owners, can significantly contribute to property accidents. Whether carelessness is to blame or trying to skim on safety-related costs when proprietors don’t follow through with property needs, fundamental repairs, and safety precautions, they create room for an environment ripe with accidents, injuries, and liabilities. Further, much of the liability in the event of accident and injury falls on the shoulders of property owners, who, unfortunately, in many cases, mirror incompetence, laziness, or negligence through their actions or lack of action. Owners should be vigilant as they are responsible for identifying the safety weak spots on their grounds, which can include a number of different aspects.

How Poor Lighting Increases Security Risks

A frequent safety red flag with many consequences includes defective or poor lighting. Areas with dim or broken lighting, especially in hallways, stairwells, and parking lots, boost the risk of accidents like slips, trips, and falls. Unfortunately, dark spots on the property can also promote scarier scenarios—criminal activities, as they provide the cover needed by potential offenders looking to commit burglaries, assaults, and other crimes. Assuring that all areas of a property are well-lit can significantly reduce the likelihood of these risks.

How Lack of Security Measures Places Visitors in Jeopardy 

Another safety deficiency is properties that lack sufficient security measures, e.g., surveillance cameras, secure entry systems, and physical barriers like proper fencing, are more inclined to theft-related crimes. They also leave themselves open to other crimes, from vandalism to assaults. Thus, owners must institute such actions, as their failure can place residents in jeopardy.

How Overgrown Vegetation Creates Safety Concerns

Another danger is verdant vegetation, which may not sound menacing or threatening to safety, but it can be—overgrown vegetation yields many safety threats for multiple reasons. Unkempt greenery, like thick brush and untrimmed trees around walkways and buildings, can obscure visibility, conceal critical signage, and invite in criminals with organic hiding zones. Overgrown foliage can barricade emergency exit paths or doors, and often, these natural blockades are not realized until individuals find themselves in an emergency situation needing to flee the building or premises. Further, this type of maintenance issue can lead to car accidents, including pedestrian, roadway, and parking lot crashes. But don’t fret; there is good news! Regular cutbacks of regrowth and other landscaping maintenance can prevent hazards and improve the safety of all individuals on a property.

How Structural Flaws and Deterioration Cause Accidents 

Structural issues are another area that merits consideration and evaluation. Structural soundness-related hazards include unsteady foundations, structural damage, and deterioration. For instance, gaps in the foundation or cracks in walls illustrate significant structural problems that can compromise the building’s stability. Sagging floors or irregular flooring can also be a sign of underlying problems with a building’s support structure.

Broken, loose, or uneven stairs and railings can cause severe and life-changing injuries. Further, looking at supportive items throughout a property and building, items we trust in and use to brace ourselves, like railings and pillars, if not secured properly, can give way to falls, resulting in injuries from sprains and fractures to spinal injuries and even fatalities. Lastly, a damaged roof can produce leaks, water damage, and even the risk of collapse in moderate to severe cases. Regular roof inspections and maintenance are a must to ensure the integrity of the property’s building.

Ways to Keep Yourself Safe when a Property is Hazardous in NJ

Residents and their visitors must practice spatial awareness, meaning they should stay alert and attentive to their surroundings. Staying alert can prevent accidents and potentially save lives. You should be able to trust that your rental or lease is safe; however, property owners are not being vigilant, so you have to be! You can notice warning signs by being more observant and taking appropriate measures to protect yourself. For instance, if half of the parking lot has subpar lighting, thanks to staying aware, you can avoid parking your car there and lessen the likelihood of getting injured or involved in a crime.

Awareness also goes hand in hand with empowerment. If you see something unsafe, you can report that issue or those conditions to your property owner. If the owner fails to act, you can file a claim with appropriate authorities. Prompt reporting leads to swifter resolution and reduction of potential harm. Another benefit of staying informed is making observations and even filing previous safety and maintenance-related reports. These mindful actions and measures can be used to support legal claims. If you or a loved one suffers an accident, your previous knowledge of unsafe conditions can help build a solid case against the negligent property owner.

Regular Property Inspection Benefits for NJ Property Owners 

Explore the Risks Present in Poorly Maintained Properties in Burlington, NJRegular inspections or property assessments are a proactive approach to identifying potential weak spots and safety hazards; inspections can uncover issues that may not be immediately or easily visible. Structural weakness, electrical problems, and hidden water damage are often not immediately observable but can be quickly discovered during inspections. Early detection, compliance with regulations, and enhanced safety are all benefits of carrying out inspections. Property owners can also avoid getting hit, sometimes repeatedly, with hefty or multiple fines by complying with local, state, and federal safety regulations and building codes. Aside from penalties, major legal issues stem from dismissing the importance of regular inspections.

Contact our Unsafe Property Conditions Lawyers in Freehold and Toms River NJ if You Have been Injured 

Consulting with an attorney can be invaluable if you are injured due to unsafe property conditions. A skilled attorney concentrating on personal injury and premises liability law, such as ours at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh, can provide you with the necessary legal guidance and ensure you are taking advantage of legal protections. Our lawyers will also offer resources and legal background on these matters, enhancing the likelihood of a successful case and complete compensation for all damages, pain, and suffering. After all, the property owner you may decide to file a suit against will likely have a legal team to try to divert liability and avoid taking responsibility for their negligence.

Gathering evidence like witness statements, photographs, and maintenance records is required for a strong case. Our premises liability lawyers are also very familiar and experienced with handling insurance company representatives and claim officers; we bring exceptional negotiating skills to the table and will fight on your behalf should you be called into the courtroom. After an accident, medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages can create financial pitfalls.

Our personal injury attorneys will itemize all of these items, losses, and damages to ensure the compensation calculated is exhaustive and just. Contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh for a free review of your case involving injuries on a hazardous property in Colts Neck, Long Branch, Middletown, Howell, Freehold, Manasquan, Wall, Red Bank, Toms River, Point Pleasant, and throughout Southern New Jersey. Call (732) 440- 3950 or access our online option today.