Many unfortunate slip and fall accidents take place on sidewalks. When the injury occurs due to uneven or broken sidewalk, the injured one may be able to secure the compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, as well as other damages that resulted from the slip and fall accident.
Who is Liable for Uneven Sidewalks?
While some sidewalks are part of a private property leased or owned by a business or person, most of them are a local municipality’s responsibility, like the city or nation government. Different rules pertain when the party who is in charge of its maintenance is a government office or agency, rather than a private company or individual.
How Can you Prove That the Municipality Was Negligent
To establish that you are entitled to compensation, you have to prove that the sidewalk’s unevenness caused your injuries. In order to succeed in the case, you and your slip and fall accident lawyer have to provide evidence for the following.
- The sidewalk in California was clearly in an unreasonably unsafe state
- The municipality either knew or must have known about its said condition
- It failed to fix the sidewalk’s condition in a reasonable time
- The failure as such caused the injury of the plaintiff
Keep this in mind: while municipalities should keep them reasonably safe for the pedestrian’s use, several places make property owners responsible for their unreasonably unsafe condition as well. For instance, homeowners or businesses have to ensure the safety of sidewalks in front of their property. So while determining who exactly is liable for the slip and fall injury you sustained, it is important to take into account the role played by the nearest property owners and the municipality.
Other Factors to Take into Account
Besides meeting the above-mentioned standards, you will also have to be aware of numerous factors often coming into play in slip and fall injury cases that involve an uneven sidewalk. Talk to the attorney of yours if any of the following pertain to your situation.
- Trivial Defect: If its unevenness was extremely small – less than an inch – the US court may find it was reasonable for the property owner or municipality not to repair the defect.
- The Shoes: Keep the pair of shoes that you were wearing when the accident took place, and do not put on those again. That is because you may have to prove your footwear was appropriate for navigating the sidewalk – and the fall happened due to the dangerously uneven pavement only.
- Tree: When it grows below the sidewalk in question, causing broken or uneven pavement, the liable person is usually the tree’s owner.