Injuries from falls occur commonly and are often costly. Sometimes they result in death, and many other times in serious injuries such as head trauma and fractures. Among children, falls are a chief cause of injuries; adults over 65 are another vulnerable group, with millions rushed to the ER every year after a fall.
Sidewalks are one of the places where people can suffer injuries from falls. Uneven or cracked pavement can cause people to trip, and the hard, sharp surfaces increase the chances of serious injury. In Alaska, sidewalks are frequently icy or snowy, causing people to slip. Other obstacles, such as tree roots or debris, can also increase the likelihood of a fall.
If you're injured in a fall on a sidewalk, who's liable?
Liability for falls on sidewalks can prove a complicated issue, and there are several points that need investigation.
Where exactly did the fall occur and under what conditions? For example, let's say you slipped on an icy sidewalk, fell, and fractured your wrist. Who was responsible for keeping that particular section of sidewalk in good condition? Municipalities have certain responsibilities for sidewalk maintenance, and so do businesses and other property owners
Another question to look into is whether anyone knew about the potentially dangerous sidewalk condition and had sufficient time to take care of it. For example, it may be unreasonable to expect that a sidewalk will remain free of ice during a storm, but what's the window of time for dealing with the problem? What constitutes a failure to act in a timely way?
Don't hesitate to contact us to further discuss these issues. We can help you better understand the liabilities of fall injuries on sidewalks and fight for fair compensation for the costs.