Walking is an everyday part of life for most people. No one should ever be afraid of being injured while walking. Unfortunately, it is very possible for someone to be hurt while simply walking down a sidewalk. When sidewalks are not properly maintained by those who are obligated to take care of them, people can fall and accidents may happen. This could lead to major injuries such as broken bones, concussions, brain damage, spinal cord damage, and more. If you have been injured at the expense of a property owner, it is important to seek legal counsel to defend your case.
Examples of Sidewalk Accidents
There are many things that may cause a pedestrian to become injured while walking on a sidewalk. Possible factors may include:
- Weather conditions such as snow, ice, water, etc.
- Damaged surface of the sidewalk
- Slippery substances
- Loose debris
- Hazardous materials
After an accident, it is important to address your fall within a reasonable period of time. In many Pennsylvania regions, there is a set window of time that allows property owners to clean up after inclement weather. This may vary depending on where you are. If you are injured during this period of time, it is possible the property owner may not be held responsible as it was a risk to walk in the area during the time.
When an individual is injured as at the fault of someone else, they typically wish to hold the other party responsible. In order to do so, the injured party must find out who is liable for the property on which they were hurt. Liability may depend on where the property lines begin/end, when the accident happened, and the weather conditions at the time of the accident. Those liable for poor sidewalk conditions may be private citizens, commercial property owners, and municipalities.
While working with an attorney, it is important to provide what is called the “burden of proof.” This requires evidence of negligence in order to prove that the property owner is responsible for your injury. To find the property owner negligent would require evidence that shows they knew about the condition of the sidewalk and did not do anything to fix it. Proving negligence of a municipality may be difficult, but an experienced attorney can help. To bring a case against a municipality, an individual must prove:
- A dangerous condition was present and created risk
- The municipality knew (or should have known) about the condition
- The municipality failed to fix the condition within a reasonable time period
- The damages would be recoverable if caused by someone other than the municipality
All medical documentation of your injury may be useful as evidence, as it shows the injury, where and when it happened. Pictures of the damages and witnesses to the incident can also be used as information to help your case.
If you have been injured in a sidewalk accident and wish to speak with an attorney about the best course of action for your incident, contact Friedman Schuman Attorneys at Law today.Friedman Schuman is an experienced and dedicated legal resource for clients throughout Pennsylvania. We proudly serve clients facing a wide range of legal matters. If you require the services of an effective attorney, please contact Friedman Schuman today to schedule a consultation.