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Cracked sidewalk Injury

Cracked sidewalk Injury - Can I still sue the city for negligence Many individuals wind up in accidents on cracked sidewalks because of the relatively hidden nature of the sections. They may not realize there is a crack in the sidewalk because it is dark and hidden in shadow or because the crack is partially concealed by grass or something else. Cracked sidewalks become even more dangerous at nighttime and in areas with a lot of foot traffic. The issue with cracked sidewalks is the lack of initiative when it comes to fixing them; many times, property owners do not take action to repair the sidewalks, and equally as often, city governments do not believe it is their responsibility. This is, of course, not true, and certain circumstances dictate who is responsible for the upkeep of a sidewalk, and thus, who is liable for any injuries in the event of an accident. The city can be held responsible for negligent action in some situations, and our team of attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group can prove it. If you suffered a cracked sidewalk injury, contact our firm today for more assistance.

How Do Cracked Sidewalks Happen?

Cracked sidewalks happen for a number of reasons, and not all are directly attributed to any property owners. Thus, liability may shift from one party to another, depending on the circumstances of the incident. For example, some cracked sidewalks may occur because of the following:
  • Natural disasters (storms, earthquakes, temperature changes)
  • Wear and tear (foot traffic, vehicle traction)
  • High impact (dropped items, car accidents)
  • Tree roots (expansion below the sidewalk)
  • Broken water mains, pipes, and sewage systems
  • Negligent placement of concrete (atop shifting soil, un-compacted soil, soft dirt, grass, and other materials unfit to be foundations)
A cracked sidewalk can be a dangerous hazard for many reasons. Those on foot may trip very easily, but those who are in wheelchairs and who use canes or walkers to get around may also get snagged on the cracks. Further, those who trouble walking in general or who use service animals can slip and fall.

What Are Some Cracked Sidewalk Slip And Fall Injuries?

If you trip and fall on a cracked sidewalk, you could suffer serious injuries. In many cases, falls are simple accidents and you may only sustain a few cuts and bruises on your hands. However, other factors could worsen the incident, such as if you were running or if it were nighttime and your hands were full. You may also have a previously-existing injury that could worsen in the event of a fall. Some of the injuries include:
  • Broken arms, wrist, fingers, legs, and other bones
  • Concussion and traumatic brain injuries
  • Closed head injuries and internal damages
  • Neck and back injuries, like spinal cord damage and herniated discs
  • Knee injuries, like torn ACL, LCL, and MCL muscles
  • Hip injuries
  • Paralysis
The worse your injuries, the more likely it is that your settlement offer will be quite large.

Who Can I Sue For Injuries From A Cracked Sidewalk Injury?

You can sue a number of different possible parties from a cracked sidewalk injury. For example, if you were in front of a regular home and the property owner did not clear debris from a sidewalk that was cracked, you could hold him responsible for the accident. Cracked sidewalks that were caused by property and business owners must be attended to by those same owners.
Many times, individuals will deny liability because they did not cause the crack in the first place. However, only one condition of the following must be met in order for you to show that a property owner was negligent in his care of duty:
  • The property owner caused the crack in the sidewalk
  • The property owner knew about the crack in the sidewalk and chose to do nothing to fix it
  • The property owner did not know about the crack in the sidewalk but should have reasonably known if he had been attentive and diligent
In addition, you must be able to show that you were a victim of negligent action. The four points of negligence are as follows:
  • You were owed a duty of care
  • The duty of care was breached or violated
  • The breach led to an incident of some kind
  • The incident resulted in actual physical harm
Each point must be shown to be true to sue for negligence. If you were not physically hurt in the accident, you will not be able to file a lawsuit. Furthermore, you will only be able to sue if you had a certain level of care afforded to you in the first place based on your status on the property. For example, if you were entering a business, you would be considered an invitee, or someone who enters the property for a mutually beneficial purpose. If you entered a home, however, you would be considered a licensee, or social guest, and would have less care owed to you because you are not spending money at the store and the owner is not operating a business. The least amount of care is afforded to trespassers, or those who have no legal right to be on the property. All of these factors will come into play when filing a premises liability lawsuit, no matter if you are suing the city or another individual.

Can I Still Sue The City For Negligence?

You can sue the city for negligence if the cracked sidewalk were in front of a municipal building or if they city did not do its due diligence in repairing a sidewalk. Of course, the sidewalk must be egregiously cracked in order for the city to repair it or claim liability; small cracks do not warrant responsibility from the city. If you wish to sue the city, you must be able to show that the property owner did not have a hand in the accident and that the city ignored its duty. This can be much easier with the assistance of an attorney.

What Kinds Of Compensation Can I Receive From A Cracked Sidewalk Injury Lawsuit?

You can receive numerous kinds of compensation from a cracked sidewalk injury lawsuit. Our team of lawyers will strive to ensure that you receive the maximum restitution available. Those who file personal injury lawsuits are able to receive coverage for a number of different damages, and a skilled lawyer will be able to target the correct defendant. Your earnings could be:
  • Coverage of medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, medication)
  • Future medical procedures
  • Lost wages from missed days of work
  • Future missed income from additional days spent recovering or undergoing medical treatment
  • Property damage for anything that was broken or lost in the accident
  • Pain and suffering (PTSD, anxiety, fear, psychological suffering, emotional trauma)
In some instances, an individual may fall and sink into a degenerate state of health. Pre-existing injuries could worsen or damages from the accident could open the floodgates for other sicknesses and conditions. In such an event, the person could pass away from complications, which would allow you to collect wrongful death expenses (provided the person is a family member or a loved one). These expenses could be pre-death medical bills, pre-death pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of expected savings and inheritance, funeral and burial expenses, and more.

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

If you plan on filing a lawsuit to recoup damages for a cracked sidewalk accident, you should know that you only have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. This statute of limitations is in effect to ensure that claims are quickly filed and do not sit around waiting to be litigated. It ensures that witnesses have fresh memories and that evidence is not lost or corrupted. There are some exceptions to this two-year deadline, such as your age (those under 18 do not have to adhere to the time limit until they turn 18) and the location of the defendant (if he has vacated the state, the deadline would be extended to match when he returns). Additionally, it is extremely important to remember that there is a 6 month statute of limitations if you plan to sue the city. This change has been responsible for many individuals missing their lawsuits. An attorney can make sure that your claim is filed on time and that you do not miss any important dates.

Choosing DTLA

The Downtown LA Law Group is the premier law firm if you wish to file a sidewalk accident injury case against a property owner or against the city. Our team of lawyers has years of experience suing government entities and we will be able to win you the compensation you deserve. Our lawyers are aggressive and do not give up easily at all; we will pursue your maximum damages throughout the case, and if we are not satisfied with the offer, we will take your case to court. Contact our firm today to schedule a free and private legal consultation with our lawyers. We will sit down with you and discuss your claim and its value, and if you have any questions, we’ll answer you. You should not enter any lawsuit without ample knowledge of what you can receive and the likelihood of your success. If you choose us to represent you, we’ll give you our zero fee guarantee, which states that you won’t have to pay a single dime for any of our services. You will not touch your savings at the beginning or end of the case – the settlement will provide us with our coverage, and it will be paid for by the insurance company. If we lose, we earn nothing at all. To learn more and to get started on your cracked sidewalk injury case against the city, contact the Downtown LA Law Group at once.
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