Sidewalk Accident Lawyer
What Is a Sidewalk Accident Lawyer?
Have you sustained an injury in a trip and fall on an uneven sidewalk? Have you had another type of sidewalk accident? Call today or complete the online contact form below to talk with a sidewalk accident lawyer in your area.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trips, slips and falls account for more than 20% of all emergency room visits. Whether you walk frequently or occasionally, you are vulnerable to injuries in a sidewalk accident.
A sidewalk accident lawyer helps you receive compensation for your injuries and other damages.
Common Sidewalk Accident Injuries
Whether you slip on an icy sidewalk, trip on a damaged walkway or experience some other type of sidewalk accident, you may sustain a variety of injuries:
Regardless of the type of injury you suffer in a sidewalk fall, symptoms may not appear immediately. That is, your body’s stress response may mask the signs. Consequently, following any fall, you may want to seek emergency medical care.
Only after a doctor examines you thoroughly can you know with some certainty you have not suffered a potentially serious injury in your slip, trip or fall.
Liability for Sidewalk Accidents
Whether you may pursue financial compensation for the injuries you suffer on a sidewalk depends on the owner of the sidewalk. For private owners, you may be able to proceed with a legal claim based on a negligence theory.
Seeking compensation when the owner of the sidewalk is a public entity, such as the city, may be more challenging. For legal claims against public entities, there are often strict notification requirements. You also likely must comply with a shorter statute of limitations than a normal personal injury matter.
Put simply, if your injury occurred on a publicly owned sidewalk, the laws of your state likely dictate your recovery options. Therefore, it is critical to work with an experienced local attorney who understands how to bring legal claims against public entities after your sidewalk accident.
The Negligence Process
Similar to suing public groups, private personal injury matters also fall under the purview of state law. Therefore, if you have a sidewalk slip and fall, you must comply with the laws where the accident occurred.
Nonetheless, it is usually possible to bring a negligence cause of action against a private sidewalk owner whose negligence may have caused or contributed to your injuries. To recover financial compensation, you must prove the property owner did something wrong or failed to address an existing issue.
If the sidewalk’s owner has property insurance, you may also be able to seek an insurance settlement for the owner’s negligent conduct. Either way, you must prove each of the four elements of negligence:
As members of society, individuals have an obligation to behave reasonably. For a sidewalk owner, this means maintaining the sidewalk, removing tripping and slipping hazards or notifying users of potential dangers.
For negligence purposes, breach is simply not complying with a person’s legal duty. If a sidewalk has uneven surfaces, accumulated ice or other hazards, its owner may be in breach. The same may be true if the owner of the sidewalk does not warn you of the slip, trip or fall risk.
Proving causation generally requires two steps. First, you must show the sidewalk owner was the factual cause of your injuries. Then, you must demonstrate the sidewalk owner is the legal cause of the injuries you suffered in a trip, slip or fall. To do so, you may need to prove your injuries would not have happened but for the negligent actions of the sidewalk owner.
Harm in negligence situations is usually straightforward. It refers to any physical injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, lost wages or other types of damages. Still, in most places, to proceed with a negligence claim, you must be able to assign a cash value to your harm.
Relevant Evidence for a Negligence Claim
If you are trying to secure financial compensation from a sidewalk’s owner, whether private or public, you want to gather as much relevant evidence as possible. Your sidewalk slip and fall accident attorney can tell you which type of evidence has the most value, but the following usually help:
- Medical records
- Complaint history
Recovering financial damages for a sidewalk-related injury tends to be difficult without contemporaneous photographic evidence. Accordingly, provided you can do so without injuring yourself or others, you want to take some photographs of the sidewalk as soon as possible.
Also, snap pictures of your injuries immediately after the accident and during your recovery process. Photographic evidence of medical devices, home alterations and other injury-specific matters may also be useful in your negligence claim.
To document your physical injuries, you want to obtain your medical records. These may include your initial examination, any diagnostic scans or tests, rehabilitation and other injury-related evidence.
If you need emotional support or mental health counseling after your sidewalk accident injury, obtain these records too.
Your sidewalk accident attorney can help you obtain the complaint history for the sidewalk that caused your injury. If there have been many complaints about slip, trip or fall hazards, you may have an easier time securing the financial compensation you deserve.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer
Whether the sidewalk where you suffered your injury belongs to a private individual or a public entity, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Still, assigning liability and proving negligence are not always simple.
Working with an experienced local lawyer may improve your chances of receiving fair compensation for your sidewalk slip and fall accident. Your attorney may investigate your accident, advise you of your legal options, represent you at trial or help you seek an insurance settlement.
To get the most out of your attorney-client relationship, you need an attorney who understands your state’s laws. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!