Who Is Liable for a Sidewalk Trip and Fall Accident in Los Angeles?
Trip and fall accidents and lawsuits cost the City of Los Angeles approximately $3 million to $5 million every year. According to a Los Angeles Times article, the Bureau of Street Services has estimated that about 40 percent of the city’s sidewalks need repairs. In fact, at one point, the price tag for the repairs to these broken sidewalks estimated at $1.5 billion. At the current rate that the city is repairing its sidewalks, it will take approximately 70 years for it to finish.
Who Is Responsible?
So, if so many sidewalks are in poor condition, who is legally responsible for the numerous injuries caused as a result of the sidewalk trip and fall accidents? Unfortunately, the answer is not always clear because liability ultimately depends on the specific facts of the accident.
For example, in a typical tug-of-war between homeowners and the city, property owners blame the city to pay for the sidewalk repair because they say the city planted the trees that caused the destruction of the sidewalk. On the flip side, city officials counter that most of the trees actually belong to the property owners.
In most cases, homeowners can be held liable for sidewalk accident injuries if they contributed to the disrepair or dangerous condition of the sidewalk. On the other hand, the city will be liable if the injured party can prove that the injury was caused by the dangerous condition of the sidewalk.
Legal Help Is Important
Sidewalk accidents can be difficult to prove. These cases are often litigated against the various city or public entity which controls the premises, making them very challenging cases. One of the reasons that raised sidewalk claims are difficult to prove is because you need to show some degree of notice on behalf of the city. In other words, you need to prove that the city or public entity had some sort of knowledge of the dangerous condition of the sidewalk.
It is also important to note that the amount of time (known as the statute of limitations) you have to bring a sidewalk injury claim is also limited. When dealing with a city or government entity, you typically have 6 months from the date of the accident to file a claim for your damages. Without an experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorney, you may miss the statute of limitations and be forever barred from bringing your claim.
Consult with a Sidewalk Accident Attorney in Los Angeles
If you or a loved one has been injured in a sidewalk trip and fall accident in Los Angeles, you may be entitled to financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas today at 888.848.5084.