Did You Get Injured On a Badly Maintained Sidewalk ? You Might Have a Case.
Homeowners, business owners, and municipalities can be held responsible if someone slips and injures themselves on a cracked sidewalk, depending on where and how this happens. Thousands of people a year are injured in slip and fall accidents, and it's essential to know how to handle such a situation if it occurs due to negligence. Many incidents are merely just an accidental fall, and not due to a careless property owner. Property owners are responsible if they or an employee caused, knew about, or should have known about the issues and did not repair it. You must be able to prove one of these three criteria, and the third can be challenging in court. Here's what you need to know if you are injured to prevent one from happening on your property.
Many accident victims assume that falling was their fault, that is not always the case.
Sometimes, the accident could have been prevented if the sidewalk had just been maintained and cared for appropriately. Many neighborhoods and streets in the Philadelphia area have sidewalks for pedestrians, but they are not always maintained properly. If you trip and fall on a sidewalk, it could be the fault of the municipality responsible for the sidewalk, because they require maintenance in order to remain safe. In some cases, you can pursue legal action against the municipality if their negligence in maintaining the sidewalk ultimately caused your fall.
Falling on a hard surface like a sidewalk can often lead to injuries. Some are more serious than others, but most are very painful, and many of these injuries last a long time because they do not heal quickly or require extensive medical attention. Some common injuries include sprained or broken wrists or arms, especially if you try to catch yourself on the way down.
You could also end up with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises or soft tissue damage to head or spinal injuries. In serious cases, these injuries can lead to permanent disabilities, paralysis, or in some cases, even death. Of course, your physical injuries are also accompanied by emotional stress and financial concerns as well. Everyone knows that medical costs are extremely expensive these days, especially if your injury requires surgery or another medical procedure, or if you have to take medicines or go to physical therapy after you leave the hospital.
Who Is Responsible if I Injure Myself on Private Property?
Homeowners are required to maintain their sidewalk's safety by repairing any dangerous conditions such as cracks or uneven areas or provide an obvious warning about them. Under Philadelphia slip and fall laws, pedestrians walking on neighborhood sidewalks are legally allowed to be there, and the homeowner is legally obliged to make it safe. If you slip on a crack on a sidewalk on somebody's property and you did not see any warning, you may be able to file a case with your Philadelphia slip and fall attorney.
Who Is Responsible if I Injure Myself on Public Property?
As with homeowners, the space in front of commercial stores is public space and must also be kept free of any hazards. Businesses are required to keep the sidewalks in front of their store in good shape. They must fix any obstructions promptly. If you are injured from slipping due to an obstruction, the liability falls on either the business owner or the landlord of the property. These cases can be complicated, as neither may immediately take responsibility, claiming not to know about the damage.
Who Is Responsible if I Slip on Government Property?
Similarly, government-owned sidewalks must be kept free of any slipping hazards. However, things get complicated with these cases, as local entities are subject to the Tort Claims Act, while state properties fall under the Sovereign Immunity Act. The Tort Claims Act specifically requires you to prove that the local government knew about the crack in the sidewalk, and had ample time before the accident to fix it. The Sovereign Immunity Act requires written notice and sufficient time to have addressed it but is stricter on what damages may be recoverable. If you had a slip and fall accident on government property, contact a Philadelphia accident lawyer to get assistance filing a case.
How Do I Prove Negligence?
To prove negligence, you need to show that the property owner knew about the damage and had time to fix it. You also need proof of address from the local property tax department, photos of the crack or hindrance, possible witness statements, and a breakdown of total incurred damages, medical wages, lost wages and more. Philadelphia slip and fall attorneys can help you organize this information and file a case.
How Long Do I Have To File A Claim ?
In Pennsylvania, you have two years from the date of a personal injury accident to file a claim. For accidents on state property, you must file an intent to claim within six months, or your case will be dismissed. You must also have suffered serious or permanent damage as a result of the accident and definitive negligence, which can sometimes be challenging to prove without an experienced attorney on your case.Final Thoughts Slip and fall accidents happen quite frequently, mainly due to unkempt sidewalks with noticeable obstructions that are not addressed. While all property owners can be held liable for injuries that occur on their sidewalks, cases can differ based on whether it's a private home, commercial business, or government property. In order for a property owner to be liable for such injuries, you must prove negligence. If you have been injured due to a slip and fall accident in Philadelphia, contact Philly Injury Law at (215) 735-4800 today for a complimentary consultation.
It's Your Right to Be Safe
Sidewalks are intended to be safe places for pedestrians to walk so that they can avoid walking in the road and run the risk of being hit by cars. So when a pedestrian gets hurt walking on the sidewalk, it can be harmful and upsetting.Falling on a sidewalk can cause some painful injuries.
Medical Bills Can Pile Up Fast
Your medical bills can clearly pile up quickly, putting a huge strain on your finances. That strain only gets worse if you are injured to the point where you cant work for a while to earn the money you need to pay those bills. This is why it is so important to contact a skilled slip and fall lawyer to help you with your case.
By holding a negligent municipality responsible for your injuries from the accident, you could be entitled to legal compensation that would help you cover those huge medical bills as well as the wages you lost by not being able to work. You could even be compensated for your emotional stress, known in the legal field as compensation for pain and suffering.
Hire an Experienced Public Liability Lawyer to Represent You
Your slip and fall attorney will find the evidence necessary to prove that the municipality was negligent in maintaining or repairing an uneven sidewalk, such as going through the municipalitys records. They will need to be able to prove that the sidewalk was uneven when you tripped and fell, so try to take a photograph of the sidewalk where you tripped or have a witness photograph it.
If the sidewalk had been in disrepair a long time and the municipality knew about it but didnt fix it, you have a solid case against them. However, you need to be prompt about calling our offices, because there is often only a very small time frame in which you can file claims against municipalities. Your lawyer will help you go through the claims process quickly and effectively so that you will be able to access the compensation you deserve. As soon as the municipality has been proven to be responsible, your attorney can begin the negotiation process to ensure that the settlement is for the amount that you deserve, no less. Do not let the negligence of a municipality or property owner ruin your life and your finances. Call our offices today to get started on your case.