Pedestrians use sidewalks every day without thinking about the risks involved. Most sidewalks are made of concrete and any kind of accident that occurs can result in injuries to the head, neck, face, or hands. If you slip and land on your head, you can suffer a concussion, which is just one form of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Sprains and strains are common after a slip and fall accident and can range from minor injuries to those that are severe and painful from the moment they occur. Even minor sidewalk injuries can turn into chronic pain conditions.
Common Causes of Sidewalk Injuries
There are many different causes of sidewalk injuries. A small crack can be enough to cause a slip and fall accident if it leaves the surface uneven. Large cracks and potholes can develop from tree roots and degrading materials. Any debris, whether natural, like leaves and branches; or personal, such as toys or lawn tools, can trip a pedestrian using the sidewalk. Snow, ice, rain and other weather- related conditions can also be a factor.
Liability in a Sidewalk Accident
Although every city or town has different regulations regarding sidewalks, it is almost always the responsibility of home and business owners to maintain the sidewalks adjoining their property. Any repairs needed must be taken care of and any snow and ice present after a storm must also be removed. Some cities issue notices to homeowners if their sidewalk is in a state of dangerous disrepair. Fines may be issued if the situation is not remedied. The owner of a property may be liable in a sidewalk accident if two things can be proven: an unreasonable safety hazard existed and that the owner knew or should have reasonably known the hazard was there, but was negligent in eliminating it.
In the case of public sidewalks, sometimes property owners are responsible for the upkeep of public sidewalks adjoining their property and sometimes the sidewalk is the responsibility of the municipality. The law varies from state to state and in some cases liability can even rest with both the property owner and the municipality. It is more difficult to hold a municipality liable if you are injured in a slip and fall on a public sidewalk because most cities pass regulations that strictly define what constitutes a safety hazard and they will set limits on the amount of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit. Most importantly, the window of opportunity to file a personal injury claim against a municipality or other government entity is very short. To determine liability in your sidewalk accident, it is highly advisable to obtain legal counsel immediately from an experienced slip and fall lawyer in New Jersey so that you can be certain that your claim is filed in a timely fashion.
Passaic Slip and Fall Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Victims of Sidewalk Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a sidewalk accident that was caused by the property owner’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Our slip and fall lawyers in Passaic at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr will fight to make sure you receive the maximum damages allowable for your case. Call 732-537-8570 today to schedule a free initial consultation or contact us online. Our offices are located in Highland Park, New Jersey and we serve clients in Middlesex County, including the communities of Highland Park, Somerset, New Brunswick, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia, New Jersey.