3 Things You Need to Know About Filing a Claim if You Fall on a Sidwalk

There's no shortage of people who slip and fall on a sidewalk every year, and sometimes these falls can lead to suffer severe injuries. However, who is liable in such cases and do you personally have grounds for pursuing a court case related to your slip and fall? Here is the information you need to know about slipping and falling on a sidewalk and how to prove your case.

Building Proof of Negligence

The most basic element of any slip and fall case is proving negligence. If you fall on someone's sidewalk it doesn't automatically mean you have a case. First you must prove that the sidewalk was in an "unreasonably unsafe" state.

If you fell because of a small twig on a perfectly well maintained sidewalk, it's very unlikely your case will go very far. However, if there is a large tree root that has created a large obstruction on the sidewalk, the sidewalk was in seriously poor condition, or the sidewalk was not properly deiced after a severe snowstorm, then you may have a more solid claim to work with.

At the same time, you must also prove that the owner knew the sidewalk was unsafe or there is a reasonable expectation that they should have known.

Liability for Personal Injuries

Each state has different laws surrounding injuries sustained on sidewalks. In some states, a local municipality or city government is responsible to maintain the condition of a public sidewalk. However, in other states liability may rest with the property owner.

In many instances, the issue of liability can become quite complex, and may depend on the way a property is divided or laid out, and the exact location of the sidewalk. It may even be that both the municipality and the private owner are responsible, but often the best option is to retain a personal injury lawyer who can research who the responsible party is.

Remember, in some states there may also be limits to how much you can claim due to falling on a sidewalk.

Special Considerations

It's often a good idea to file a personal injury claim regarding injuries sustained from a sidewalk fall as quickly as possible. Often, there are deadlines for such claims that courts will strictly adhere to.

It's important to thoroughly document all injuries you sustain from your fall, keep medical records, and attempt to photograph the sidewalk where you were injured as quickly as possible. Remember, ice can melt and repairs can quickly be made. If you fail to take a prompt photograph, your entire claim may end up being worthless.

You should also think about photographing what you were wearing when you fell, especially your pants and shoes. Otherwise the person or entity you're making a claim against may assert you were wearing improper clothing or shoes that may have led to your fall.

Ultimately, slipping and falling on a sidewalk can produce serious injuries. If you think you have a genuine claim against a town, city or private owner, contact a law firm like McDonald Law Offices as quickly as possible.