Walking, jogging, or running on a public sidewalk should pose minimal risk, but sometimes it can result in major injuries.
Unmaintained sidewalks can result in broken or missing pieces of concrete, uneven surfaces, vegetation overgrowth, and other dangerous conditions.
Tripping over your own two feet is one thing. But you should not be held financially responsible for a sidewalk slip and fall that occurs because of someone else’s negligent action or inaction.
Sidewalk Slip and Fall Premise Liability Claim
A sidewalk slip and fall is a type of personal injury claim. The common thread that runs through all types of personal injury claims is the concept of negligence.
There are four elements you must prove in order for an individual or entity to be deemed legally negligent and responsible for your injury:
- The other party owed you a duty of care when the accident happened—the legal responsibility a party has to maintain a public sidewalk free of hazards would be a duty of care;
- The duty was breached—if the sidewalk should have been maintained and wasn’t, the party who failed to do that maintenance may have breached their duty of care;
- Harm occurred because of the breach—if the failure to adequately maintain the sidewalk caused your slip-and-fall injury, your injury was likely caused by the breach of duty; and
- The harm resulted in actual damages—if you had to pay medical expenses, lost wages due to your injury, or suffered other types of losses, then your harm resulted in damages you can be compensated for.
Sidewalk slip-and-fall cases fall under the subcategory of premise liability when they occur on property that someone else has a duty to ensure is safe.
Who Is Responsible for a Slip and Fall on a Sidewalk?
In California, who the legally responsible party is will depend on the location of the sidewalk.
Municipalities and counties usually own the sidewalks next to private property, but California Streets and Highways Code 5610 states that landowners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk fronting their property and keeping that sidewalk safe and usable.
This means landowners are responsible for the sidewalk and may be assessed for the cost of the repairs.
However, when it comes to injury liability, landowners may not be liable unless the municipality enacts an ordinance to apply that liability to the landowner. In many cases, the municipality will be held responsible for the damages.
Other responsible parties could include construction companies or any other business or entity that disrupted the ground and sidewalk and failed to repair it.
Why Hire a Slip-and-Fall Attorney?
There are several reasons to hire an attorney if you slip and fall on a sidewalk. After you decide to bring a claim, one of the first things you will need to do is determine who is responsible for your injury.
Your attorney can review the local ordinances and records to find out who owns the land you fell on and who should be held liable.
This might take some additional research if the sidewalk was disrupted by another party.
An experienced attorney can also evaluate how much your claim is worth so that you are pursuing all of the compensation you are eligible to receive.
Contact the Slip and Fall Lawyers at Wells Call Injury Lawyers Today
Since 1984, the Wells Call Injury Lawyers team has recovered over half a billion dollars for our clients.
We have the experience and skill needed to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf and, if necessary, take your case to trial.
Do not settle for less than what you deserve. Our slip and fall attorneys focus exclusively on representing California personal injury victims like you.
Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.