If you tripped and sustained an injury because of an uneven sidewalk, you could have a case for a slip and fall personal injury claim.
Slip and fall accidents are common and are considered to be the second-highest cause of accidental death globally. Employing a personal injury lawyer can help you get the financial support you need from insurance companies as you recover.
Who Is Liable for the Accident?
The first step is to determine who is responsible for your accident. In the case of an uneven sidewalk, it is likely one of four entities: the government, a homeowner, a business owner, or a construction company.
If your accident occurred on a public sidewalk maintained by a government entity, the government could be the liable party. It can be complicated to assign responsibility in public spaces because the location of the accident can determine liability. Local ordinances and laws can dictate that certain public sidewalks are the responsibility of a business owner, homeowner or construction company, despite being located in a public space.
Business Owner Liability
Sidewalks in front of businesses, such as a grocery store or shopping mall, could be maintained by the government, the business owner or the property owner. It is essential to determine the entity responsible for public property in front of a business before filing your claim.
Filing a claim against the government is different from filing a claim against a business owner. For your case to succeed, research is necessary to determine liability and the proper filing procedures and timelines based on the entity at fault.
There are certain sections of a sidewalk surrounding or within a residential property that could be the responsibility of the homeowner. A situation where the homeowner is liable would require you to file a claim with the homeowner’s insurance company.
Construction Company Liability
In cases where a construction company is repairing a sidewalk and fails to warn of a possible hazard, it could be held liable for your injuries. The sidewalk could be the responsibility of a government entity, business or homeowner, but the liability may fall on the construction company during the repair process.
What Are the Special Considerations for Claims Against the Government?
You should be aware of two primary considerations when filing a claim against a municipality. The first is a statute of limitations, which could be as little as 30 days, to give notice to the city if filing a personal injury claim. You will likely need to act quickly and meet specific filing deadlines if making a claim against a government entity.
The second consideration is where the accident took place. There are often restrictions on the monetary award for slip and fall accidents on public property, depending on where it happened.
What Does the Claim Need To Prove?
A slip and fall claim can be hard to prove. Your evidence should support two essential elements, negligence and damages, to establish a liability claim. Additionally, your contributing fault in the accident may also be evaluated.
There are many parts to the duty of care that the sidewalk owner must have failed to be negligent. Generally, you can prove negligence if:
- There was a definite and recognizable dangerous condition.
- The dangerous condition was caused by the property owner.
- The property owner knew about the hazard or should have been aware of the hazard.
- There was no warning or attempt by the owner to fix the hazard in an appropriate time frame.
- The dangerous situation resulted in substantial injury.
Examples of situations that could encompass negligence include a missing piece of pavement, patchwork that is not safe or used prohibited materials, a hole in the sidewalk, loose or unstable parts of pavement and slippery conditions.
Your claim should show that the owner’s negligence caused your injuries and that because of your injuries, you suffered damages. Proof of damages includes medical bills, medical records to substantiate injury, a statement of wages lost due to injury, receipts for out-of-pocket costs related to your injury and a demonstration of the extent of pain and suffering endured.
Along with negligence on the part of the sidewalk owner and damages suffered because of that negligence, your case should prove that you did not contribute to the dangerous situation. If you disregarded a warning or there is proof that your carelessness caused the injury, you could be fully or partly at fault for your injuries.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help?
Hiring a slip and fall personal injury lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of your claim and protect your rights throughout the legal proceedings. If your injuries are severe, permanent or eventually become a wrongful death lawsuit, the difficulty of handling the case can increase.
To be successful, proving negligence and damages is pivotal. The strength of your evidence can affect the monetary settlement or award assigned to your situation.
Knowledgeable personal injury lawyers can investigate to determine liability. They can also interview witnesses, calculate an approximate monetary amount you should seek based on your damages, uncover records of previous complaints or calls discussing the issue and incorporate any photographic evidence you may have.
Insurance companies tend to offer a low initial settlement, especially if you are representing yourself. A personal injury lawyer can represent your interests and negotiate a fair and appropriate settlement for your level of damages.
Serious Claims Support
Claims that stand to have a high-dollar amount award can involve complicated laws and processes. They can also be cases where the owner, construction company or insurance company are combative or unreasonable.
Serious, high-stakes or complex claims can include:
- Lawsuits for wrongful death
- Injuries involving children
- Cases of Long-term or permanent disability
- Claims against a government entity
- Situations when property owners are unresponsive or uncooperative
- Accusations of fault on your part
A personal injury lawyer can anticipate the kind of tactics used in these situations and ensure that you are not exploited.
You may find yourself in a situation where a fair settlement is impossible. In this case, you could decide to take your claim to court.
It can be a daunting decision to reject a claim and file a lawsuit. Having a legal team that can help advise your decision and represents you in court can give you certainty in taking action.
The legal process and the life-altering effects of your injury can be very stressful. Whether you decide to file court action or accept a settlement, your lawyer can manage your claim while you concentrate on recovering from your injury and rebuilding your life.
Jason Stone Injury Lawyers is experienced in slip and fall personal injury claims and can help ensure that your case is solid and filed in a timely matter. You can feel confident that when you work with the team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers, your questions will be answered and you will be treated with compassion. There’s No Obligation, Just Information if you schedule a free consultation, so there is no financial investment to learn how Jason Stone’s Team can support you. There is no need for you to tackle the complexities of a personal injury claim alone, contact the team at Jason Stone Injury Lawyers today.