What Causes Uneven Sidewalks?Uneven sidewalks can happen because of tree roots, wear and tear, poor placement, natural disasters, vehicular damage, impacts, and much more. Sudden drops can be difficult to see, while sudden steps can cause you to snag your foot and trip and fall.
What Kind Of Injuries Can You Get From Uneven Sidewalk Accidents?An uneven sidewalk can cause you to fall, and in some cases, you may severely hurt yourself. Although many falls result in a few scrapes and bruises, others can be more debilitating. You may land on a rock or against a car, or you may get caught and have all your bodyweight come down on one body part. Some of the injuries you can get from sidewalk accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Torn muscles
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Closed head injury
- Knee damage
- Hip injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries
- Herniated or slipped discs
- Persistent pain and soreness
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
Uneven Sidewalk Accidents: Who Is Liable?If you are hurt in a slip and fall on an uneven sidewalk, you should determine who is liable for the damages. A property owner can be held liable if he caused the damage, knew about the damage but did nothing to fix it, or should have reasonably known about the damage but did not pay close enough attention. If the property owner placed hazard signs and warnings around the area and requested a fix from the city, you may not be able to hold the property owner responsible for your injuries. Property owners can cause uneven sidewalks if they are doing landscaping or if they drop heavy materials on the concrete, causing sections to break off. However, you may be able to hold the city liable in some cases. For one, the city may have planted trees adjacent to sidewalks, and the roots grew underneath and pushed the concrete up. Additionally, the sidewalk may simply be in front of a government building, like a courthouse or city hall. There is also the possibility that the sidewalk was laid onto soil that was not fully compacted and shifted beneath the weight of the concrete. If you contact our firm, we can figure out who is liable for your injuries and take legal action against the proper party.
What Should I Do If I Fall On An Uneven Sidewalk?In the event that you fall on an uneven sidewalk, you should take steps to ensure that you are safe and healthy. If you were hurt and you wish to file a claim, you should gather as much evidence as you can at the scene. Here are some steps to take if you were injured from a slip and fall on an uneven sidewalk:
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- Get medical help immediately so you can be sure you do not worsen your injuries and so that the insurance agent cannot claim that you were hurt elsewhere if there is a gap between the treatment and the injury
- Take photos of your injuries and damages
- Take pictures of the uneven sidewalk
- Talk to eyewitnesses, bystanders, neighbors, workers, and anyone else who can give their testimony about the accident or about the state of the sidewalk
- Ask a business owner, city official, or property owner for insurance details to file a report
- Call a qualified sidewalk accident injury lawyer to help you handle your case
What Is The Value Of A Sidewalk Accident Claim?The value of a sidewalk accident claim depends on many factors. The most important is the extent of your injuries and how much of an impact they had on your life and career. If you were not greatly affected, you would not be given as high of a settlement than if you were unable to continue working. Some claims are worth over $250,000, and if you were extensively wounded, you may have all of your expenses covered and then some. The insurance agent will consider your injuries, age, career, and more when he determines the compensation amount you’ll be offered. Once he makes an offer, our lawyers will negotiate a better deal. It is in the best interests of the insurance company to pay as little as possible, and we will make sure that they do not spare any expenses when it comes to your damages. We will strive to bring you coverage for any damages you accrued because of the sidewalk accident. You should receive ample compensation for the following:
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- Medical bills, including surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, and medication, as well as coverage of any additional treatments required in the future
- Lost income from missing work, in addition to any wages you will lose because of extra medical help or recovery time
- Property damage if any personal belongings were lost or broken in the accident
- Pain and suffering damages, which cover emotional trauma like PTSD, fear, anxiety, psychological scarring, and more
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim For A Sidewalk Accident?In California, personal injury lawsuits or premises liability claims must be filed within two years of the date of the injury. If you miss the two-year deadline, your claim will become invalid and you will no longer be able to pursue compensation. The statute of limitations is in place to keep claims moving and to efficiently handle such accidents in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that evidence will become corrupted and that memories will get foggy. The statute of limitations does have exceptions, however. The most common exceptions include the age of the plaintiff (minors do not have to adhere to the statute until they turn 18 years old) and the location of the defendant (if he leaves the state, the deadline is temporarily suspended). It is important to note that if you intend to file a claim against a government entity, you do not have the two-year limit. Instead, the statute of limitations is reduced to 6 months from the date of the injury. This can often confuse people, and many clients have missed out on receiving compensation because they were unaware of the difference in time limits. To ensure that you have all of your documents filed on time and that you will not be barred from receiving compensation, contact our law firm. We’ll be certain to act within the appropriate time frame.
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