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Who is Responsible When I Trip on the Sidewalk?

Sidewalk accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. The presence of sidewalks usually means there are some cracks and raised edges, or that the sidewalks are defective in some way. Many people trip on even small cracks in the sidewalk, so it is necessary that sidewalks be properly maintained and kept safe for anyone using them. You may have no liability for fall on defective sidewalk if you were injured because of another party’s negligence to ensure a safe walking path. You can take legal action against a property owner if you were injured from falling on a defective sidewalk. The best option moving forward is to consult with an expert attorney at the Downtown LA Law Group who can file and litigate your claim for you. Our attorneys have years of experience in personal injury lawsuits and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for victims of defective sidewalk accidents.

How Do Sidewalk Defects Happen?

Sidewalk defects can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, there is simply no party to blame – but the responsibility of fixing the problem lies on someone. The defects on a sidewalk can be attributed to some of the following factors:
  • Weather and environmental damage, such as rain, heat, cold, rapid temperature shifts, ice, acid rain, and more
  • Natural disasters, including earthquakes, fires, and mudslides
  • Tree roots expanding beneath the sidewalk and causing it to raise or crack
  • Wear and tear from foot traffic and foot traffic
  • Damage from city maintenance, such as by fixing power lines, installing new telephone wires, cutting trees, and more
  • Improper landscaping or repair by property owners
If you were hurt in a sidewalk accident, take note of the type of defect. It can dictate who may be held responsible for the damages.

What Are Some Sidewalk Accident Injuries?

Simple trip and fall accidents over defective sidewalk can lead to numerous injuries. The damage can be made worse if you do not break your fall or if you have previously existing injuries that can get aggravated by the impact. Many times, people are simply minding their own business when they get snagged on a crack. They may be carrying bags or be heavily laden with belongings in their arms, which can throw off balance. The risk of injuries also increases with age. Many elderly people slip and fall on sidewalks because of their decreased mobility, and when they actually fall down, it is much harder for them to absorb the impact or react in time. These damages can give way to other injuries; for example, a fall can lead to a fractured hip, which may eventually retain water and require surgery, from which an infection could occur. Some examples of sidewalk injuries are:
  • Concussion
  • Hip and knee damage
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Torn muscles
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones
  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Dislocations
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Herniated and slipped discs
  • Paralysis
The more severe your injuries, the more likely it is that you will receive a large settlement offer. Generally, if your injuries cause you to take a lot of time off work, take a long time to heal or require numerous treatments, or alter your life, you may be entitled a fairly large sum. Less extensive injuries will not earn as much on average.

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What Are The Laws For Liability From A Defective Sidewalk Accident?

Liability for a defective sidewalk can be determined by examining who caused the defect or whose responsibility it was to maintain the sidewalk. For example, if a property owner does not bother repairing a broken sidewalk that he caused, he could be sued for damages. On the other hand, if tree roots spread beneath a sidewalk, you could look to the city for liability, as the tree was planted by the city and is thus their responsibility. In order to prove a party was liable, you must show that you were a victim of negligence. To do this, you must prove four points: that you were owed a duty of care, the duty of care was breached, the breach led to an accident, and the accident resulted in physical harm. All four points must be true. Pedestrians are generally owed a duty of care by property owners; the owners must make sure there are no hazards or dangers that could cause injuries. If there are, the owner could be held responsible. There are three ways for a property owner to be deemed liable for injuries. They are:
  1. The property owner knew about the defect with the sidewalk and chose not to fix it or put any warning signs up pointing it out
  2. The property owner caused the defect to occur
  3. The property owner did not know the sidewalk had a defect, but he reasonably should have if he had been more diligent in his examination of the property and adjacent areas
In most cases, the property owner will be responsible for your damages, but if the accident happened in front of a city building or on city property, the municipality would be the defendant.

The Ultimate Guide to Sidewalk Accidents

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Uneven Sidewalk Accidents
Can I Sue If I Fall On Broken Or Uneven Sidewalk?
Who Is Responsible When I Trip On The Sidewalk?
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What Can I Get From A Defective Sidewalk Accident Lawsuit?

Victims of sidewalk accidents can receive various types of compensation for their injuries. You should not have to pay the resulting medical bills and other damages if you were hurt as a result of someone else’s negligence. The proper party can be held liable and ensure that you’re not in any debt. Our lawyers will strive to bring you the maximum restitution available under the law, aiming to secure you the following:
  • Coverage of medical expenses, including surgery, hospitalization, medication, physical therapy, and future treatments
  • Lost income from work from the past and future if you need additional recovery time or medical procedures
  • Property damage for anything that was lost or broken from the accident
  • Pain and suffering damages, or emotional damages for mental pains like fear, anxiety, PTSD, and more
In the most unfortunate of cases, a family member or loved one may have passed away from injuries or complications resulting from a sidewalk accident. They may have been older or had dormant problems that became aggravated or worsened from the incident. In these cases, you could earn wrongful death damages, which would cover the funeral and burial expenses, pre-death medical bills and pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of expected savings and inheritance, and more. Contact our attorneys for assistance if you want to learn more about how much you can earn.

What Is The Statute Of Limitations For A Defective Sidewalk Lawsuit?

The statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for injuries suffered from a sidewalk injury is 2 years; if you do not file a claim within that time frame, you will be barred from pursuing compensation and your claim will be thrown out. It is crucial that you operate within this deadline. We know, however, that you may be stressed and time can thus slip away. It is important, therefore, that you consult with a lawyer who can help file your claim for you and ensure that nothing is ever late. You may be eligible for an exception to the statute of limitations. This is generally the case when minors are injured, as they cannot sue until they are 18 years old and the statute reflects that. Exceptions can also be enacted if the responsible party leaves the state or if you are physically or mentally incapable of taking legal action. It is also crucial that you understand that if you intend on suing the city or municipality for injuries from a defective sidewalk, you will only have 6 months from the date of the injury to take action. This difference is enough to confuse many people and cause them to miss out on filing a lawsuit.

Choosing The Right Firm With DTLA Law

Our attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Group have decades of combined experience handling sidewalk accident lawsuits. If you have no liability for fall on defective sidewalk, we will make sure that you are properly compensated by the responsible property owner. We will not stop pursuing your rightful restitution, and our aggressive lawyers will constantly work to secure you what you deserve. If we need to, we will take your case to court to prove that you are owed coverage in front of a jury. Contact our firm today for a free legal consultation with an expert attorney. We’ll walk you through the legal process and ensure that you have no questions at all about your claim. We’ll also tell you how much we believe your lawsuit is worth. If you hire us to represent you, we will also grant you our zero fee guarantee, which states that you will not pay any out of pocket expenses for our services. We will only get paid if we win, and the money will be taken from the settlement we bring you. If we lose, you’re off the hook, and we eat the losses ourselves. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Downtown LA Law Group if you need a defective sidewalk accident lawyer.

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