California sidewalks are often more heavily used than sidewalks in other areas of the country, but that does not mean it is okay for them to show serious signs of wear are tear – and it is certainly no excuse for leaving uneven sidewalks in disrepair. Any time a person suffers a trip and fall accident on the property of someone else, they may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
We find that many people know that someone else may be responsible for the injuries caused by a slip and fall, but they assume that if the accident occurred on private property they have no options. This is not always true. Keep reading to learn who could be held accountable and then contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal consultation.
Responsibility for Uneven Sidewalks
The owner of a property is in charge of ensuring that the sidewalks on their property are even and not dangerous. There are a few sidewalks here and there that are on private property or have been leased or bought by private companies, but the rest of the sidewalks in California fall under the care of the local municipality, either city or county government. The rules for personal injury claims are different when the at-fault party is a government agency or office.
Factors Required to Show That a Municipality Was Negligent
In order to prove that you are entitled to compensation, we must show that the fact that the sidewalks were uneven directly led to your injuries. We must prove that the sidewalk was indeed unreasonably unsafe, that the city or county knew or should have known about the unsafe condition, and that they failed to fix it in a reasonable amount of time.
Finally, we will also need to prove that their failure to deal with the unsafe condition caused your injury and we must prove the damages from that injury. For example, simply tripping over a crack in the sidewalk is not grounds for a lawsuit – you must have been injured. That injury is not enough either because you must have suffered damages. These could be monetary damages, such as medical costs, or noneconomic, such as pain and suffering.
Learn What to Do if You Are Injured on Public Property
Your first step is to get medical care. Once you are safe, it is time to contact a personal injury attorney. Any time the plaintiff is a government agency, your time to file a claim is reduced from two years to six months. For this and other reasons, you do not want to wait to contact an attorney. You can get started by reaching out to The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 for a free legal case evaluation.