If you’ve been injured tripping and falling on a sidewalk, you may be entitled to compensation from the municipality, the property owner or both. These cases are complicated and claimants are unlikely to be successful in collecting large amounts of compensation on their own. There are also short deadlines and picayune requirements for filing notice with municipalities that can cause a claim to be dismissed. That’s why it’s important to call an experienced sidewalk trip and fall attorney in California as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal rights.
Premises Liability and Negligence
In order to be successful with a sidewalk trip and fall injury claim, you must prove the following elements:
● The condition of the sidewalk unreasonably unsafe;
● The parties responsible for the sidewalk’s safety knew, or should have known, it was unsafe;
● The property failed to properly repair or warn of the unsafe condition and
● The unsafe condition caused your injury.
It’s also necessary to show that you are legally on the sidewalk. For example, if you crossed police lines or areas marked with “no entry to public,” you would be considered a trespasser, and might not be able to collect compensation. For sidewalk cases, municipalities often impose a duty on adjacent businesses and homeowners to maintain the sidewalk. Who’s responsible may hinge on a few inches and whether you’re a trespasser could depend on the prominence of a warning sign. That’s why it’s important to consult with an experienced sidewalk trip and fall injuries attorney in California that knows how to collect large amounts of compensation for this type of case.
Defects and Defenses
There are many types of defects that can cause trip and fall injuries due to negligence. These are some examples:
● Raised section of sidewalk slab;
● Construction Debris;
● Spilled Oil;
● Tree Roots
It’s important to remember that if a defect is very small, the court can rule that it was not reasonable to expect the municipality, homeowner or business owner to repair it. It’s important to consult with an experienced sidewalk trip and fall injuries attorney in California as soon as possible after your fall because deadlines can be short and evidence can be destroyed.