Property owners and municipalities are responsible for keeping their sidewalks in good condition for the community as a whole. Unfortunately, something as simple as going for a walk can sometimes result in a serious injury. This can happen when sidewalks are not taken care of by those who are obligated to maintain it. Serious injuries such as concussions, broken bones, brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and more can occur due to a fall. While medical attention should be sought immediately, legal action may be taken after.
Examples of Accidents
There are many ways a person could be injured while walking on a sidewalk. Possible factors may include:
- Sidewalk damages
- Weather conditions (snow, ice, water)
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
Injuries that happen as a result of these factors must be addressed within a certain time period. While it can be challenging to prove that dangerous conditions were present, an experienced attorney can help. Most communities provide a window of time to clean sidewalks after inclement weather conditions. A successful case may not exist if you are injured during that window, as it was a risk to walk during that time. This is often the case when dealing with snow or ice.
Proving that someone else is responsible for your injury can be tricky. When investigating who is accountable for your injury, it is important to know who is subject to take care of the sidewalk’s condition. Those liable for the sidewalk can be private citizens, public stores, private companies, and the community.
Burden of Proof
In order for a case to succeed, the injured party must prove that the property owner was negligent. This is called the “burden of proof.” The burden of proof is evidence that shows the property owner knew or should have known about the state of the sidewalk, yet did nothing to fix the hazard. The injured party should pursue medical attention if needed, as that will provide documentation for their case. Pictures and/or witnesses may also be helpful.
If the case is successful, the injured party may be eligible to receive monetary compensation. This may include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future wages
- Medical bills as a result of the injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
If you have been injured in a sidewalk accident and wish to speak with an attorney about your best course of action, contact the Law Offices of Trombly & Singer, PLLC today.
The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Trombly & Singer, PLLC are prepared to represent clients facing legal matters after being injured due to another person’s negligence. If you require strong legal representation in Washington D.C. or Maryland, contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.