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Who is Responsible for a Slip and Fall on a Sidewalk?

For a personal injury claim, there must have been negligence from somebody’s part that caused the accident that led to injuries. Before the question about who ii responsible is answered, considering in anyone can actually be liable is the first train of thought that should come to mind.

Slip and Fall Negligence

Negligence must be proven by the property owner, or municipality. Slipping and falling on someone’s property doesn’t mean that these parties were negligent. To have a successful case, negligence must be established. The owner must have known or knew that the sidewalk was in unsafe conditions; that is when negligence comes to the picture.

Public Sidewalk Slip and Fall liability

The state laws and homeowners deed can determine the liability of an unsafe public sidewalk. The laws vary state by state. Some states say that it would be the municipality the one’s liable, while in other’s that issue is unclear because it could be a few parties that could have been responsible.

City or Town Deadlines for Filing a Claim

The times for filing these claims are different for every state, but some are:

  • Less than 30 days to notify in writing of the place and circumstances of the accident must be reported to the proper department.
  • A statute of limitations may be in place for filing a lawsuit

Deadlines can be taken very seriously in some states. Many states will reject a claim if it was not done in time, and not sent to the right department. The claim must be made against the correct government agency. Depending on where the person falls, then there are different government agencies that might be responsible for viewing the claim such as, the city and the state.

Along with the deadlines, there are caps to the damages that a person can claim depending on which state they reside in.

How to Prove Liability

Any case requires evidence that negligence did in fact existed. The most efficient way of getting evidence is to take pictures of the sidewalk where it is visibly seen that unsafe conditions needs were present, and doing so needs to be done immediately following the accident because circumstances change, and a sidewalk can be fixed by the city the next day- all evidence of the claim would be lost. A picture will provide an understanding of how the sidewalk was unsafe and will be able to hold those responsible for their negligence.

Researching whether the municipality had any complaints previously about that sidewalk can prove helpful in any slip and fall case. It will show how the parties responsible knew about the problem, and did nothing to fix it. Just showing that a sidewalk was unsafe is not enough evidence. Showing that the owner, municipality, or other party was negligent, and that negligence caused the injuries is what will secure the case. This blog post was authored by the Percy Martinez Law Office

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