I Fell on the Sidewalk: What Are My Legal Options?

Pedestrians on tiled sidewalk.

No matter the time of year, it’s possible to suffer a slip and fall accident on a city sidewalk. Although mostly minor, some slip and fall accidents can be very serious, causing major injuries that limit your ability to work and reduce your quality of life.

Many people who suffer slip and fall accidents on a city sidewalk consider a personal injury lawsuit against their city. While this can be a good solution, lawsuits against cities are very complicated and require a great deal of care. Learn more about liability in sidewalk slip and fall accidents and discover why you need a personal injury attorney for your case against your city.

Cases Involving Cracked Sidewalk

Liability is often unclear in personal injury claims against a city for a slip and fall accident. The exception is a claim that is based on cracked or broken sidewalks. Cities are legally obligated to maintain their sidewalks and public pathways. Unfortunately, many cities fail to uphold this obligation, and the result is broken and dangerous public pathways.

If you’ve suffered a slip and fall accident that was caused by a poorly maintained sidewalk, you may have strong grounds for a lawsuit. However, you need to make sure to gather evidence from the scene of your accident. Take pictures of the damaged sidewalk and collect witness statements if possible. This will help you build your case.

Slip and Fall Accidents on Ice

A more complicated type of slip and fall accident when it comes to liability are falls involving snow and ice. Contrary to what you might believe, cities are not required to clear sidewalks of snow and ice in all circumstances. The only time a city is legally bound to clear a sidewalk is when the sidewalk is in front of a government building or is on public property.

If your fall took place on an icy sidewalk that was located in front of private property, such as a business or a home, you are not eligible to file a suit against the city and instead would sue the property owner. You can only file a suit against a city when your fall took place on public property.

File a Notice of Claim

The first, most important step, in filing a claim against a city is providing them with a notice of claim. This document notifies the city of your plans to bring a lawsuit. Generally, you will only have a thirty-day window to file your notice. Missing this window often means losing your eligibility to file a lawsuit.

When writing your notice of claim, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable attorney can make sure that your notice contains the right information and is filed in time.

Find a Personal Injury Attorney

If you need help proving liability in your slip and fall accident, your best option is to hire a personal injury attorney from Mike Lewis Attorneys. We can review your case, find out who is liable, and inform you of your options for filing a lawsuit against your city.

Learn more about our free case reviews and find out how the team at Mike Lewis Attorneys can help you.

Call 866-299-1769 or use the Free Case Evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.
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