Whether you’re trying to hit a step count or taking your dog for an afternoon walk, sidewalks are crucial to keeping pedestrians safe from passing vehicles. However, the last thing you expect is for a public sidewalk to be the hazard that leads to your injury! These injuries can happen, so knowing what to do and who can be held liable is critical. The following blog explores what you should know about these circumstances and how a dedicated Broward County slip and fall lawyer can help you during these challenging times.
How Can a Slip and Fall Happen on a Public Sidewalk?
Unfortunately, there are several ways that a sidewalk can be unsafe for pedestrians. Generally, poor design, construction, and maintenance are to blame, as the following can cause someone to slip, trip, and fall, subsequently sustaining an injury:
- Uneven slabs
- Deteriorating concrete
- Tree roots
- Cracks and holes
- Puddling water
- Broken curbs
These hazards can cause someone to trip and fall on the hard concrete surface. Ultimately, this can lead to bone fractures, neck and spine injuries, traumatic brain injuries, back damage, lacerations, and other severe injuries.
What Damages Can I Seek in a Lawsuit?
When hurt due to an unsafe sidewalk, understanding the damages you can seek in a lawsuit is crucial. Most commonly, you will fight for economic damages. They refer to actual losses you’ve suffered because of your injury, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation efforts, and income lost if you’ve had to take time off work to heal. Additionally, you can seek non-economic damages for things like pain and suffering, humiliation, scarring, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Can the City or Town Face Liability for Injuries?
Generally, the city or town responsible for maintaining the public sidewalk can likely face liability for injuries caused by unsafe conditions or poor maintenance. However, it’s also important to note that if the public sidewalk is connected to private property, the owner of the property may also face liability for injuries, if they contributed to the circumstances by which someone was injured. For example, if they leave debris on the walkway causing someone to slip, they can face responsibility.
If the government is responsible for the injuries you sustained, it’s important to understand that the process of suing a government entity is very different from that of a private citizen. When you wish to file a suit, you must file a notice of claim within 180 days of the injury. Failure to do so will impact your ability to pursue a lawsuit.
When you are injured, the Finizio Law Group is ready to help. Our dedicated team understands how complex these circumstances can be. That’s why we’re ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve if the city responsible for ensuring public sidewalks fails to ensure they are safe. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case with a member of our competent legal team.