To hold a municipality liable for a sidewalk fall injury, their negligence must be the reason for the accident. In most states, it is the responsibility of the municipality to maintain a sidewalk. When someone gets injured due to a sidewalk fall, the municipality can be held liable for its negligence in maintaining the sidewalk.
When is a municipality liable for a sidewalk fall injury?
A municipality can be held liable for a sidewalk fall injury if their negligence was the cause of the accident. Just because someone fell on the sidewalk does not necessarily mean that the municipality was negligent. Also, just because there may have been a slippery or other unsafe condition on the sidewalk does not mean that the municipality was negligent. To prove that the municipality was negligent, one must prove that they knew or should have reasonably known of the unsafe condition.
Liability for slipping on ice or snow on a sidewalk
The most common cause of a slip and fall on a sidewalk is the presence of ice and snow. However, a municipality is not responsible for clearing away ice and snow on a sidewalk in front of a private residence or a commercial building. A municipality is generally responsible for clearing away ice or snow on a sidewalks in front of a public building or areas. If you slip on ice or snow on a public sidewalk in a residential area, the municipality cannot be held liable. But if you slip on ice or snow on a sidewalk in a commercial area, you can hold the municipality liable.
Liability for tripping on a broken sidewalk
If you fall into a hole or trip over a broken piece of sidewalk, you can make a claim against the municipality, depending on the size of the hole or the break in the sidewalk.
It is important to note that you should take pictures of the accident scene, your clothes, and any bruises that you might have received. The condition of ice and snow or the broken sidewalk can change within minutes. Ice can melt, or it can be cleared away and the broken sidewalk can be fixed. It can be difficult to win the case without pictures of the ice and snow or a broken sidewalk as it was at the time of the injury.
Contact Slip and Fall Accident Lawyers
If you have suffered injuries due to a sidewalk fall, you need the advice and support of experienced slip and fall accident lawyers. With more than two decades of experience, the slip and fall accident lawyers at The Reinken Law Firm have the skills needed to help you protect your rights. Contact us at 203-541-0090 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case.