What Are Defective Sidewalks?Defective sidewalks can occur for any number of reasons. They may be caused by an individual who negligently dropped heavy materials, or they could simply erode over time due to natural causes. Some of the defects can happen overnight, which can make liability difficult to determine, while others take time and can present more evidence that a property owner was aware of the issue. Some of the causes of defective sidewalks include:
- Improper placement by city workers or overall negligence, such as by not mixing concrete or placing the sidewalks on unstable areas of un-compacted soil
- Tree roots that snake underneath sidewalks and cause them to pop up from the ground, leading to jagged and uneven surfaces
- Wear and tear from years of walking, bike riding, vehicle traction (in front of a driveway, for example), and more
- Earthquakes, heavy rain and ice, hail, wind, and other weather that corrodes the materials, causes upheavals, or causes the concrete to expand and shrink with the temperature
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What Are Sidewalk Injuries?A fall on a sidewalk can be devastating for some people. If you were running, the speed of your movement could cause you to tumble uncontrollably, even into traffic. You may snag your toe and fall forward or lose your footing on a raised piece and slip backwards. Elderly individuals and those with disabilities face greater dangers on sidewalks; the impact from falls can cause extensive damage to fragile bones. Some examples of the injuries you can suffer during sidewalk injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Closed head injury
- Broken bones
- Torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Knee and hip injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Herniated discs
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Dislocations and fractures
- Sprains and strains
Sidewalk Slip And Fall: Who Is Liable?Sidewalk slip and fall accidents can be attributed to certain parties depending on the circumstances. In almost all cases, the property owner directly adjacent to the sidewalk must take care of the pathway. Sidewalks are to be kept free from hazards and must be properly cleaned when there is adverse weather, such as snow and ice. If there are cracks and holes, the individual must repair them or request a repair from the city. Failure to do so can result in accidents for which the property owner is liable. Sidewalks that are on city property, such as the public park or near municipal buildings, are the responsibility of the city government. If there are issues with these sidewalks, then the government can be targeted in your lawsuit. For more details, reach out to a sidewalk accident attorney in Los Angeles today.
Premises Liability And Sidewalk AccidentsIn order to file a claim against the liable party, you must be able to show that you were the victim of negligence. A premises liability claim can be filed if:
- The property owner knew about the cracked sidewalk and took no action to fix it or delayed the solution
- The property owner caused the crack in the sidewalk
- The property owner should have been reasonably aware of the sidewalk’s defect but was not due to lack of attention or care
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started now.The larger the crack in the sidewalk or the more obvious the defect, the harder it will be for the responsible party to claim that he was unaware of it. Places of business are especially aware of the conditions of their sidewalks due to the large amount of customers that walk in and out. If there are problems, they will usually try to fix them immediately, as lawsuits are not great for business. A premises liability lawsuit is based on the negligent action of the responsible party. You as a victim were owed a duty of care, and there was a breach of that duty – whether it was by breaking the sidewalk or refusing to repair it. The breach then caused an accident, like a slip and fall, that resulted in physical injuries, of which there are many possibilities. Our team of expert sidewalk accident attorneys can help you prove who is liable and win your case for you.
Steps To Take After A Sidewalk AccidentIf you have been involved in a slip and fall on the sidewalk, you should make sure to follow these steps to have the best chance of success with your lawsuit. First and foremost, you should go to the doctor to get medical treatment if you were injured. It is crucial that you get seen by a healthcare professional quickly; the longer you wait, the more likely it is for the insurance agent to use that gap of time as a reason why you were not hurt in the accident. Even if you feel that you were not severely injured, you should still get treated. There may be issues that do not show up immediately or that are hidden below the surface that you cannot identify. Next, you should take photos of your injuries and the cracked sidewalk to show its dangers. Evidence of the defect is important because a property owner could quickly repair the crack and destroy your claim. If there were any witnesses around who saw the fall or could attest to the crack in the sidewalk, you can interview them for their testimonies and statements as to what happened. You should go to the property owner who was responsible for maintaining the sidewalk and ask to file an incident report. Lastly, you can reach out to a sidewalk accident lawyer for assistance with your claim. If you need help sorting through and gathering evidence or choosing the right doctor for treatment, we can make sure you’re fully taken care of.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Sidewalk Accident Lawsuit?A premises liability lawsuit against a property owner for a sidewalk injury can be filed for up to two years after the date of the damage. If you take too long to sue, you won’t be able to receive any compensation. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as being underage at the time of the incident or the defendant temporarily vacating the state – the statute would go into effect when you turn legal age or when the defendant returns.
Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.A notable difference in the statute of limitations is when the defendant is a government entity, such as city hall. If you intend to file a claim against the government for your slip and fall accident, you only have 6 months from the date of the injury before your time limit will run out. This drastic change can confuse people and has been the cause of many lawsuits being thrown out. For this reason, it is important that you speak with a qualified sidewalk slip and fall lawyer in Los Angeles.
What Can I Earn From A Sidewalk Slip And Fall Lawsuit?As a victim of a slip and fall accident, you are entitled to various kinds of compensation. Some of the damages you can receive include the following:
- Medical expenses (surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, future treatments)
- Missed wages at work from the past and future
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering