Sidewalks are supposed to be a safe place for pedestrians to travel, especially those set far away from speeding cars and busy alleys. However, even if there is nobody else on a walkway, you still have the potential for a serious injury through a fall. When this happens, a you can seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering from the person whose negligence caused the injury.
Common Conditions Leading to Sidewalk Falls
An unexpected hazard can cause a you to fall forward, breaking bones in your hands, knees, or face, while a backward fall can cause back pain, tailbone injuries, or even traumatic brain injury.
Some of the most common sidewalk dangers include:
- Cracked or crumbling pavement
- Curbs that have not been lowered at crosswalks or other entry points
- Uneven grading between pavement slabs or nearby surfaces (such as when a sidewalk intersects a driveway)
- Slippery walking surfaces (such as mud, moss, oil, or spilled sand and gravel)
- Debris (such as children’s bikes, electrical cords, tree limbs, or trashcans)
- Missing pavement slabs
- Cracked or hazardous walkways from tree roots pushing through the surface
Liability for Slips or Falls on Sidewalks
Under the theory of negligence, anyone who has the responsibility of installing or maintaining a sidewalk must take reasonable care to address common dangers before they cause injury. When these injuries occur, there may be a number of parties who could share liability, including:
- Municipalities. State and local government agencies must ensure that their sidewalks are properly designed for use. They must also rope off any broken slabs or areas under repair with caution tape until sidewalk maintenance can be performed.
- Businesses. If a business allowed an unsafe condition to continue on the sidewalk or path outside the building, the business may be held liable for negligence.
- HOAs. Condo or homeowners associations might share liability for a slip or fall inside a gated community, apartment complex, or housing development.
- Homeowners. Homeowners may be held partially responsible for the maintenance of city sidewalks that border their property. If you fell on a sidewalk in front of a residence, you may be able to bring a claim against the city, the homeowner’s insurance, or both.
Attorney Paul Cavonis will fight to get you all that you are owed when someone else’s negligence causes a fall, and we do not charge you anything unless we secure compensation for you. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page to schedule a confidential consultation to learn more about your legal options.