Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers – Liability In New Jersey Slip and Fall Cases

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Archive for April, 2020

Invitees, Licensees, and Trespassers – Liability In New Jersey Slip and Fall Cases

If you are injured in a Bergen County slip and fall it is important to know if the property owner is liable. When you ask yourself “do I have a slip and fall case?” first you must know if you are an invitee, licensee, or a trespasser.

Invitees are visitors who are on the property conducting business. For example, an electrician who comes to the home and conducts business on the premises may qualify as an invitee. Licensees are those who have been given permission or an invitation to enter a property. Licensees are typically friends or family members who have been granted access to the property.

Property owners in New Jersey may be liable for injuries to business invitees and licensees. The owner may be held liable if they knew of a possible danger, and did not fix it or warn the visitor of the risk. This can be interpreted in rather broad terms.

New Jersey property owners may be liable if the visitor did not know or should not have known about the existence of the danger. Property owners must actually perform checks for dangerous aspects of their property before an invitee enters the property, while this duty does not exist for licensees. 

Bergen County property owners are generally not liable for injuries suffered by those who are trespassing at the time of the incident; however, there are some exceptions. One important exception to this rule is if the property owner has reason to believe there are regular trespassers on his land (such as children crossing property on way to school). So, even trespassers can have certain rights to sue.

There is generally a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injury cases in New Jersey. There are exceptions to that rule that can shorten the time. To discuss your slip and fall case with a Bergen County attorney, contact The Morano Law Firm at 201-598-5019 or today.

Making a Legal Will in New Jersey During Social Distancing

How Do I Make a Legal Will in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, COVID-19 may have made people think about their estate plans. Despite the many challenges of the coronavirus, the legality of signing a will and testament remain the same.

Legal Requirements for New Jersey Will:

For a person to make a valid will in New Jersey, the following requirements must be met:

  • A person executing a will must be at least 18 years old.
  • He or she must be “of sound mind.” (not declared incompetent in court proceeding)
  • A will must be in writing.
  • A will must be signed by the person making it (the “testator”) and by two people who witnessed the testator sign the will, or witnessed the testator acknowledge his or her signature or the will itself. (If physically impossible, the testator may direct someone to do it

How to Make a Will During Social Distancing

Making a will In New Jersey during the COVID-19 – Coronavirus pandemic may still be an item in flux. As always, you should consult an attorney. Still, the most important aspect remains the witness signatures. A notary or lawyer signature is important, but, under current law the witness signatures must be “in writing” are what are truly important. Of course, these requirements may become relaxed especially if simply trying to probate a will that is not being challenged.  

The Competence Requirement

Every state requires competence for a will to be held as legal. This requires a person executing a will to be of “sound mind.” The two requirements to be considered of sound mind are to (1) understand the meaning and purpose of the document and (2) understand the nature and extent of the property at issue.

Oral Wills vs. Holographic Wills

Oral wills are not valid in New Jersey but, wills written in the handwriting of the testator may be. A handwritten will is referred to a s a Holographic will.

If you are interested in pursuing a will, power of attorney or living will contact The Morano Law Firm at 888-NJLAW17 (655-2717) or 201-598-5019. Always consult an attorney when pursuing an estate plan.

UPDATE: New Jersey Assembly Bill A.3903 was signed on April 14, 2020 enacting Remote Notarization in light of the pandemic.