With more people walking and running as a way to remain healthy, slip and fall on a sidewalk accidents are becoming more common. There are many reasons why you may be injured after slipping and falling on a sidewalk. There may be cracks or breaks in the cement or the sidewalk may not be level. When you are injured, there are certain factors you need to know regarding liability for your injury after a sidewalk fall.
Sidewalks may be either public or private. A public sidewalk, which is one of the most common, are paths that separate private property from the street. A private sidewalk is located on private property. For example, the sidewalk in front of your home is more than likely a public sidewalk. The sidewalk leading from your backdoor to your garage is considered a private sidewalk.
Localities have different rules regarding who must maintain a sidewalk. In some cities and towns, sidewalks are considered public property and the municipality maintains them. However, in many small towns, homeowners are responsible for maintaining all sidewalks, including those considered public. In a development, sidewalk maintenance may be the responsibility of the homeowner’s association.
It is important to know who is responsible for sidewalk maintenance in the municipality where you were injured. If the sidewalk is owned by a homeowner or homeowner’s association, you may be able to file a premises liability claim against the responsible party. If the sidewalk is maintained by a governmental entity, you may need to file a special claim with the town or city, but most municipalities limit or prevent such claims due to governmental immunity.
If you have slipped and fallen on a sidewalk, you may have some recourse if you can prove certain factors. Even though many municipalities limit or prevent claims for such injuries, some allow claims when there is a significant sidewalk defect. In some cases, municipalities and homeowners may claim the “open and obvious doctrine.” This places some of the liability on you because the problem with the sidewalk was open and obvious, allowing you to avoid it easily.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall on a sidewalk, contact Lundy law today to learn what rights you may have. You can arrange for a no obligation consultation by completing the easy form on our website or calling us at 1-800-Lundy Law.