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Who Is Liable When You Slip and Fall on the Sidewalk?

Who Is Liable When You Slip and Fall on the Sidewalk?

Posted By The Dunnion Law Firm || 12-Jul-2017

Slip and fall accidents are amazingly common. In fact, they’re the most common form of accident that results in injury. These types of accidents can result from anything from loose gravel to cracks in the pavement to slippery or icy surfaces.

When you slip and fall through circumstances that aren’t your fault, you can sometimes hold the responsible party accountable and collect compensation for the injuries you suffer. To do this, however, you’ll need to know the right steps to take. Explore the complexities that are involved in slip and fall accidents in public places and why it’s important to have a personal injury attorney’s help.

Determining Liability

The first step in pursuing any personal injury claim is determining who actually holds responsibility for the accident. When you fall on a sidewalk, it can sometimes be tricky to understand who is liable. If you’re in front of a business, the business owner is likely responsible. If you’re visiting a friend’s house, your friend may be responsible.

What if you’re visiting an apartment building, however? Is it the owner, the property manager or the tenants? If you get hurt on city property, does the city bear responsibility, or do they have a contract with a third party to maintain the pavement? Likewise, if they are responsible, does the city have immunity or limits on how much you can collect?

Proving Negligence

In order to seek legal compensation for any injuries resulting from your fall, you’ll next need to prove that someone was negligent. This means that those responsible for maintaining the property had a responsibility to keep it safe, and they failed to do so. This specific failure, in turn, is what caused you to fall and get hurt.

If for example, the concrete is crumbling, cracked and uneven and has been that way for some time without being addressed in any way, the responsible party can be held negligent. If on the other hand, a crack results from a bad earthquake just a few hours ago, you may have a more difficult time claiming negligence.

Likewise, if you slip and fall because someone just spilled something slippery on the walk a few minutes before you came along, it could be argued that the property manager or responsible party didn’t have enough time to address the problem. If the spill happened hours or days ago, on the other hand, there’s been at least enough time to post a sign.

Getting Help from a Personal Injury Attorney

When you slip and fall, pursuing a lawsuit for damages can get complicated between proving negligence, obeying all local statutes and following statute of limitation deadlines. It’s important to have help from a qualified personal injury attorney.

Not only can the right attorney help you to avoid critical mistakes, they can prove your case and help you stand up against insurance companies intent on avoiding paying your claim. If you’re in central California and need help with your personal injury case, call on the attorneys at Dunnion Law Firm for help today.

Categories: Premises Liability