Most people walk the streets of California everyday without injury. However, a small defect can send you tumbling down, resulting in severe injuries to the head, neck, knees, ankles, hips and limbs. It’s possible. Slipping and falling on a sidewalk can be disastrous. If can lead to economic damages such as medical expenses and lost wages, and non-economic expenses such as pain and suffering. Many times, unsuspecting people slip and fall on the sidewalk because someone negligently allowed a defect to persist, despite knowing its potential dangers. If you or someone you loved was injured after tripping on a broken sidewalk, consult a California premises liability attorney.
Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accidents
Sidewalk accidents can happen because of a number of reasons. You may have stepped on a slippery surface, tripped on a protruding tree root or uneven surface, stuck your toe in a hole and fell or slipped on a wet or icy puddle. When you trip and fall because of a hole, crack or defective sidewalk, someone may be negligent.
Liability for Sidewalk Slip and Fall Accidents
When a person trips and falls on a defective sidewalk, incurring personal injury, determining liability is the next step. Who is to blame? The answer is not as direct as you may think. This is where retaining an experienced personal injury attorney becomes helpful.
Ideally, liability may be placed at the door of the premise owner if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk adjoining private property and to the relevant municipal or state agency if you slipped and fell on a sidewalk not adjoining private property. This means if you slipped and fell because of an icy patch in front of a private home, the home owner may be held liable. If the sidewalk did not adjoin a home, store or private property, the municipality or state agency becomes the center of focus.
Claiming against the State or Municipal Government
According to the California Tort Claims Act, a municipality can be held liable for damages arising from negligence in performing its governmental functions, which include establishment and maintenance of streets. However, the mere existence of a defect on the sidewalk does not evidence negligence. You must prove the defect made the sidewalk unsafe and that the municipality knew or ought to have reasonably known of the unsafe condition.
If you have injured yourself in a slip and fall accident on a public sidewalk, it is important to file a claim with the appropriate government entity within 6 months of the accident. Failure to do so will forever bar you from being able to sue the government for damages.
Obtaining Compensation for a Slip and Fall Injury
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accidents on public or private land, you may be able to recover damages to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, proving liability is not easy. Contact a California slip and fall accident attorney at Deldar Legal to improve your chances of winning a claiming against a negligent public or private entity.
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