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Can I Sue If I Fall On Broken Or Uneven Sidewalk?

Can I Sue If I Fall On Broken Or Uneven Sidewalk? Accidents can happen anywhere, and sidewalks are no exception. Pedestrians can get hurt for any number of reasons, whether by slipping on wet leaves that were not cleared away or tripping on a crack. Sidewalks generally do not get the maintenance they require; even though they are very sturdy and can go years without needing repairs, problems still pop up from time to time. Unfortunately, cities usually refuse to fix these problems for years at a time, which can create long-lasting hazards. Day-to-day maintenance and upkeep, however, is not the responsibility of the city; property owners must make sure that the sidewalks in front of their homes or businesses are clear and pose no danger to pedestrians. Not all property owners adhere to this, though, and as a result, incidents and injuries occur. If you have been hurt in a sidewalk slip and fall accident because of a broken or uneven sidewalk, contact our law firm, the Downtown LA Law Group, to take legal action against the responsible party.

How Do Broken And Uneven Sidewalks Happen?

Many of the causes of broken and uneven sidewalks can be attributed to natural means, like weather, earthquakes, heat, ice, rain, and more. The sidewalks can generally withstand a lot of damage, but nature can easily wreak havoc on them. Tree roots that spread beneath sidewalks can cause them to jut out, making uneven surfaces with sudden drops and steps. Wear and tear from a lot of foot traffic can increase the likelihood of sidewalks breaking, but if a sidewalk is uneven, it may have been improperly set when the concrete was poured, or it could have been laid on non-compacted soil. If the soil is not tightly pressed together, then the foundation for the concrete will shift, leading to the sidewalk moving.

What Are Some Sidewalk Accident Injuries?

We have seen individuals get severely injured from tripping over damaged and uneven sidewalks. Most of the time, the victims do not even notice the change in the sidewalk, and they are caught by surprise. Injuries can be much worse if the victims are carrying bags or have their hands full; they won’t be able to break their falls. Elderly individuals are also more likely to suffer more serious injuries due to more brittle bones, a history of injuries, and healing slower when compared to younger victims. Some of the injuries from sidewalk accidents include:
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Knee and hip injuries
  • Concussions
  • Closed head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Nerve damage
  • Torn muscles
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Herniated discs
  • Persistent pain
For more information on sidewalk injuries, or if you need a recommendation for a healthcare professional, call our law offices.

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What Should I Do If I Fall On A Broken Or Uneven Sidewalk?

If you fall on a broken or uneven sidewalk, you should immediately get medical treatment to ensure that you are not seriously injured. If you need to, you can call the paramedics to be treated or taken to the hospital. If you do not need emergency treatment, it is still important that you go to the doctor soon after. If there is a gap between the accident and any medical treatment, the insurance agent can claim that you were likely hurt elsewhere. Also, you should hold on to any medical notes and bills. You should make surer to take lots of photographs for your evidence. Your injuries should be documented and you should photograph the sidewalk from a few different angles. Contact the property owner to file an incident report or to get the necessary insurance information so you can file a claim. There may have been eyewitnesses who saw the fall happen or who can testify that the sidewalk has been broken or improperly maintained for some time. You can take their statements down to be used for additional evidence. Finally, it is crucial that you reach out to a qualified sidewalk accident attorney who can win you the compensation you deserve. You may wish to file a claim by yourself, but we advise against it. You will need to have a fair amount of legal experience to navigate the case and to negotiate a fair deal from the insurance agent. It is very likely that the agent will throw your claim out or ignore your requests, especially if you are injured and cannot dedicate a lot of time or energy to handling the case. You should focus on healing and avoiding the stress from a lawsuit – and our firm can make sure that happens.

Can I Sue If I Fall On Broken Or Uneven Sidewalk?

Yes, you can sue if you fall on a broken or uneven sidewalk and you get injured. As a pedestrian, you are owed a duty of care by property owners and businesses – these entities must keep sidewalks clean and safe. Further, cities must maintain the sidewalks and ensure they are not defective and dangerous. To file a claim, you must be able to show that the property owner knew there was a hazard with the sidewalk and chose to do nothing about it (put up no warning sign, refused to contact the city, fixed it himself, and more), caused the defect in the first place, or was unaware of the problem but should have reasonably known if he had paid ample attention. Further, the city is responsible for repairing the sidewalk. If the issue is egregious enough and was not caused by a specific property owner – for example, tree roots or an earthquake broke a sidewalk – then you could take action against the city for not adequately fixing the section. The city may claim that it is not liable, though, if the sidewalk is hardly uneven. It is in your best interest to seek the assistance of a sidewalk accident attorney. We can sue the responsible party for you and handle your claim from start to finish.

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How Long Do I Have To File A Claim For A Sidewalk Injury?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims or premises liability claims against property owners for damages caused by a broken or uneven sidewalk is 2 years from the date of the injury. If you do not file a lawsuit or pursue compensation within that time frame, you will be prevented from doing so in the future. There are exceptions to this two-year rule, however; if you were underage at the time of the accident, your statute would start when you turned 18. If the defendant left the state, the statute would be suspended until he returned. A difficult problem that many victims have is understanding that the statute of limitations changes if the responsible party is a government entity or the city. In this case, the statute gets reduced to 6 months from the date of the injury, which can make many victims miss the deadline. Our team of attorneys can ensure that you do not miss any important dates and that your claim is filed on time.

How Much Can I Receive In A Sidewalk Accident Lawsuit?

The value of your sidewalk accident claim will depend on the amount of damages you suffer, your age, the impact the injuries had on your career, your level of fault, and more. The insurance agent will consider all of these factors and come up with an offer. The most important part is the injuries – if you were hurt so badly that you required months of hospitalization and you were forced to alter your life or change career paths, you could earn a larger settlement than if you were hardly injured. The degree of your injuries could change your settlement from being worth less than $100,000 to being worth over $500,000. A skilled lawyer will be able to negotiate the maximum compensation available to you under the law.

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Our firm will fight to bring you compensation for all your expenses, including:
  • Medical bills (surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, medication, future treatments)
  • Lost wages at work from the past and future
  • Property damage for anything that was lost or broken in the accident
  • Pain and suffering (PTSD, anxiety, psychological trauma, fear, emotional scarring)
Every case is different, and the very same injuries two victims suffered may yield vastly different settlements based on the circumstances of the accidents. Reach out to our lawyers to ensure that you have the best representation possible. We will not settle for less than what you deserve, and we will make sure that you are fairly compensated for your damages.

The Top-Rated Firm for You

The Downtown LA Law Group has a team of attorneys with decades of combined experience handling sidewalk accident lawsuits. We know that broken or uneven sidewalks cause a lot of injuries, and we always strive to bring our clients the restitution they need, whether it’s from a business owner, property owner, or government entity. We will aggressively pursue your compensation and will negotiate the fairest deal from the insurance agent. If we need to go to court to win your case, we are willing to do so. Call us today for a free legal consultation with an expert layer. If you have questions, we’ll answer them and help you understand the legal process. We will also tell you what we believe your claim is valued at and what we can win for you. If you hire us, we’ll also give you our zero fee guarantee, which promises that you won’t have to pay a single dime of your own money throughout the case. We only get paid if we win, and the insurance company covers our fees. If we lose, we take no payment at all. To file a claim for falling on a broken or uneven sidewalk, get in touch with the Downtown LA Law Group today.
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