If you were injured after tripping on a broken sidewalk you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries that you incurred from the fall. You need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney right away to find out if you have a case. The first step for the attorney is to determine who is liable. Determining liability can be tough in slip and trip cases, which is why when you need an attorney to handle these matters you want it to be an attorney who focuses on slip and trip cases.
Who Is Liable In This Situation?
To prove liability in any type of slip and trip case you must first prove negligence. Was the fact that you fell due to the negligence of the property owner? A broken sidewalk does not automatically equate to negligence, which again is why you’ll want the help of an attorney with this matter.
In order to prove negligence in a case involving a broken sidewalk you’ll need to prove that the sidewalk was in an extreme unsafe condition which caused you to trip and fall. In addition to proving that the sidewalk was in an extremely unsafe condition you’ll also have to prove, as with any other type of slip and trip case, that the property owner was aware of the situation but did nothing to rectify the problem.
What Happens If You Trip And Fall On A Broken Public Sidewalk?
In the event that a pedestrian falls due to a broken sidewalk in a public area the city or town itself may be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries. There are some instances where multiple parties are held liable. These instances include both public sidewalks and sidewalks in front of a homeowner’s property.
The municipality could be held liable for failing to enforce that the property owner of the broken sidewalk maintains their property. Other entities that could be held liable in addition to the property owner or municipality include utility companies.
If a pedestrian fell on a broken sidewalk in an area where work had been performed by a utility company and was not safely blocked, or if the company failed to place warning signs in front of the area, they may be held liable as well. See here for Philadelphia city liability.
Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Complaint With The City
In Philadelphia, there is a 2 year statute of limitation regarding filing a complaint against the city, so it’s important to act quickly if you’ve been injured and the city should be held liable. Don’t wait until it’s too late to file. This two year window of opportunity gives you plenty of time to speak with a qualified attorney.
An unfortunate example of allowing the statute of limitation window to expire is the recent case involving Stephany Daniel of Philadelphia. Her lawsuit was thrown out by a Trial Judge and by a state appellate panel due to the expiration of the statute of limitation in the case. It was alleged that Stephany Daniel fell on a broken sidewalk and was injured in June of 2010 but she waited until it was too late to serve the property owner.
On the other end of the spectrum, Serra Mesa was visiting San Diego on a business trip when she slipped and fell on a broken sidewalk. Her injuries were so severe from the fall that she needed to have six surgeries. She had surgeries on her face, elbow, foot, hip, back, and knee.
She was unable to work and had no health insurance to pay her medical bills. She filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego and nearly 2 years following her fall she received a $200,000 settlement. Meadows’ settlement was apparently the largest that the city of San Diego had paid out on between 2008 and 2012.
When you act fast, have legitimate injuries and can prove negligence, you can get the compensation you deserve. If you or someone that you care about has been injured due to the carelessness of a property owner or a municipality, contact us today to find out if you have a case.