Determining Fault In Sidewalk Accidents
Sidewalks provide many benefits, including safety, mobility and healthier communities. They reduce walking along roadway accidents and other pedestrian related accidents. However, as important as sidewalks are in preventing certain accidents, they can also be a hotbed of accidents in and of themselves. If a sidewalk is poorly maintained or in major disrepair, it can result in a devastating accident to a pedestrian.
In sidewalk accident cases, the common question that victims often have is who is responsible for their injuries. This issue can be somewhat trickier than most think. In most sidewalk accident cases, different factors can determine exactly who is at fault and responsible for your injuries.
Different Factors Affecting Sidewalk Accident Liability
Sidewalk accident cases can be very complicated because it is often not clear who is at fault for the accident. As such, it is imperative to hire a personal injury attorney who specializes in sidewalk accidents to investigate the facts of your case and determine exactly who is responsible for your injuries. A knowledgeable attorney will handle your claim in two distinct steps:
- First, your attorney will need to establish that the condition of the sidewalk where you were injured was unreasonably dangerous and that the property owner or the entity in control of the sidewalk should have reasonably known about the unsafe conditions that caused your accident.
- Second, your attorney will need to determine whether the conditions of the sidewalk that resulted in your accident was caused by a private property owner or by the municipality in charge of the walkway. In certain situations, even if the sidewalk was under the control of a city or government municipality, a property owner can also be responsible if he or she contributed to the unsafe condition of the sidewalk. In other cases, the municipality will be the only responsible party.
If your sidewalk accident lawyer determines that a city or government municipality is at fault for the accident, additional factors need to be considered. One important factor is time. If you plan on bringing a claim against the municipality, you have a much shorter time period to bring your claim – in most cases as little as 30 days. Moreover, you may also have a much shorter time period in which you can file a lawsuit, depending on the municipality’s statute of limitations.
To make sidewalk claims against municipalities even more complicated, there are differences between state highway and locally maintained property. If the area where you fell is along a state-maintained roadway, you will need to file a lawsuit against the state rather than a city municipality.
Consult with a Sidewalk Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a sidewalk accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. For more information or to schedule a free consultation with an experienced sidewalk accident attorney, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888.848.5084.