Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do everything I can to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear about your friend's injuries. The answer to your question is "maybe." In order to prevail on a premises liability claim against the township, your friend will need to prove that the existence of the ditch constituted an "unreasonable dangerous condition." That is, that the ditch constituted a danger of foreseeable harm and that the existence of that danger was unreasonable because it could have been remedied in a cost-effective and generally feasible manner.In other words, if there was absolutely no other way to plan the street but to include the open ditch, or if covering the ditch would have been so costly compared to the risk that someone wouldn't see it or would accidentally fall into it that f ailing to cover it was "unreasonable," he may have a claim.As I hope you can see, to provide a more definitive answer would require analysis of many specific facts, including the history of accidents at this location (which would put the city on notice of the unreasonable risk of harm), city planning documents which may explain why the ditch was not covered or put where it was, and more.If your friend's injuries are serious--and they seem to be--he would be extremely well served to locate and consult with a local personal injury attorney. There may very well be a claim here, but it just requires further investigation.You friend can locate an attorney here: http://lawyers.findlaw.com/lawyer/practicestate/premises-liability-plaintiff/new-jersey If there is a claim worth pursuing, the attorney should agree to assist your friend on a contingency fee basis. If you don't know, a contingency fee arrangement is one in which the attorney receives a portion of the client's settlement or award as his payment, typically 1/3 of the total amount. If there is no recovery, the attorney does not get paid. The client never pays until the settlement or award is obtained (except perhaps to cover the filing costs for his claim). Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes and kindest regards.
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