Can I Sue If I Fell On The Sidewalk?
- Story Highlights:
Most of us walking along our city, neighborhood or park assume the sidewalk is safe. But a crack in the pavement, or a buckled pavement can not only cause a fall, but can lead to permanent injuries depending on the fall. If you have been a victim of a fall here is what you need to know to be compensated for your injuries.
Common Sidewalk Issues That Causes Accidents
When you are walking along, perhaps deep in conversation with a friend, or simply enjoying the view, the last thing you think will happen is that you fall and hurt yourself. Some of the most common sidewalk issues that can cause serious injury include:
● Cracks: It is common to see cracks in sidewalks. They develop from aging pavement, soil conditions, season changes and even tree roots. Sometimes it is simply a matter of inferior materials used when the sidewalk was built.
● Uneven Pavement: When the concrete or asphalt that is used for the sidewalk separates, uneven sidewalks are the result. Freezing and thawing can raise sections of the pavement. Other culprits include tree roots, and heavy traffic.
● Buckling: Buckling is when large slabs of concrete become broken. This can happen from tree roots or prolonged heat. If you have a wet winter that saturates the soil and then freezes, the soil pushes the concrete up from under the sidewalk.
● Manholes, Grates, And Gas Caps: In many cities, the sidewalks often have metal grates, manhole covers or metal cellar doors. When the metal deteriorates or the edging around them erodes, it can cause uneven walking surfaces and holes. Gas and Utility pipes often have caps that stick up from sidewalks that can be trip hazards.
Other hazards include wet surfaces, loose cobblestones, and debris such as fallen trees.
Who Is responsible If I fall On A Sidewalk?
When you fall on a sidewalk through no fault of your own you can sustain several injuries, some even severe. It is understandable that you want compensation. Here is a guide as to who is responsible for your fall.
In residential neighborhoods, it is the homeowners responsibility to maintain the sidewalk in front of their home. This is under most city ordinances. It is important to know if you fall on that sidewalk it is not the homeowner, but the city that is responsible, but this is where it gets tricky. If the sidewalk was unsafe due to the homeowner, they are a fault. Now if the sidewalk is a private walkway, then the owner is responsible. When it comes to condominiums and apartment buildings, the responsibility falls to the owners.
2. Business Sidewalks:
Depending on where you live, the maintenance of sidewalks in front of businesses is considered public property and is maintained by local authorities. Depending on local law, if you slip on ice in front of the flower shop, either the owner of the flower shop or the city is responsible for your injury.
3. Government Sidewalks:
Sidewalks that are not connected to private properties or businesses fall under the responsibility of federal. state or municipality. Just like private walkways, public thoroughfares must be kept free of dangerous conditions and be safe.
Proving Liability When You Have A Sidewalk Accident
As you can see, seeking damages can be tricky and not a job you should take on yourself.
The reason you want a good, experienced personal injury attorney is that they can determine who is liable for your accident and then fight for fair compensation. Your personal injury attorney can request compensation for:
● Medical and dental treatment
● Expenses incurred due to the accident
● Wages for time lost
● Pain and suffering
If you have fallen on the sidewalk through someone else’s negligence, you need to contact a Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, and Walsh as soon as possible. This way any insurance claims, calls, and paperwork will be handled by us, allowing you to focus on recovery. You deserve to get compensation to recover your losses for an accident that was in no way your fault. Contact us today to learn more!